Rory previously played a prime minister forced to have sex with a pig on Black Mirror (Picture: PA)
James Bond actor Rory Kinnear, 44, on going nude, lockdown parties at no.10 and his bizarre Alex Garland horror movie, Men.
Your new film, the horror-fable Men, is odd. I’ve not got over watching you give birth to yourself multiple times through your own vagina. Did you sleep well after that? Any fun dreams?
The first time I saw Men I got on the Tube with the realisation I might be getting on with someone who’d just seen that and what a terrifying experience it might be for them.
Was it sticky to shoot?
Yes, particularly when they try and warm you up with one of those foil blankets afterwards and you realise it’s going to stick to you and various lumps come away with it.
Obviously, there were models to represent various apertures that I would emerge from, but it certainly felt like I was doing it for real.
You play around nine or 10 different characters in Men.
The script came to me with the proviso that Alex [Garland, the writer/director] wanted me to play all these parts, so obviously, my interest was piqued. But I didn’t want it to feel like a gimmick. For me, the acting should be the last thing you come away from a film thinking about, if you’ve done it successfully.
Rory can be seen as up to 10 characters in Men (Picture: AP)
One of your characters requires full-frontal nudity. Were you comfortable with that?
Alex said there were ways of doing this that didn’t involve being naked. I was basically wearing some CGI underpants!
You seem drawn to unusual projects. In Black Mirror you played a prime minister who is forced to have sex with a pig.
I guess I like things that are bold and provocative but that have an intent. There was a seriousness of purpose to Charlie [Brooker, creator of Black Mirror] getting that character to go that far in that piece.
And there’s a seriousness of purpose for what Alex is trying to achieve in this too and I guess I’m not scared about going too far for an audience if it means something to me.
You’ve spoken very movingly about how you couldn’t hug your family at your sister’s funeral on the same day as the infamous ‘bring your own booze’ party at No.10 Downing Street. Should Boris resign?
I believe in moral responsibility, particularly in leadership. And I believe that kind of moral responsibility sets a tone for the interactions that we have with each other or how we permit ourselves to behave.
The article I wrote was driven by a sense of anger but there was also something cathartic about writing it, which I have found with all of the articles I have written over the years about Karina [his sister, who was born with brain damage and died of Covid complications].
I knew that I was giving a voice to a lot of other people’s rage and frustration. And the sheer number of people with whom it chimed suggests there is solace in seeing that sense of national justice adhered to.
You’ve played Bill Tanner in four James Bond movies. Will you be back?
I’ve never known film to film what’s going to happen or whether or not they want me back. I can totally understand if they think they want to reset the whole thing. And I could also understand if they wanted to create a sort of sense of continuity with the previous regime. They’re always great fun to be involved with, but if that was my run, I had a good one.
Rory has been a staple of the Daniel Craig Bond films (Picture: Columbia/Eon/Danjaq/Mgm/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)
Your later father, Roy, was also an actor. He died when you were only 10. Did you grow up watching his films?
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory [Roy played Mr Salt] is probably the film that my generation and my friends knew him from. What’s amazing is that 50 years on I’ve shown it to my own kids and they laugh at the silly things he does. And as they get older they’ll watch more of his stuff and be able to maintain a sort of dialogue with him through his work, that I maintained after he died.
Particularly as I became an actor myself, I noticed the choices that he was making, noticing the chutzpah with which he approached roles and business and just the way he would seize his moment. More importantly, he just makes me laugh.
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What’s the weirdest thing you were into as a child?
I collected ceramic pigs and frogs. When I became an adult, I put away nearly all childish things except for one pig and one ceramic frog sitting in a rocking chair.
What hobby do you wish you had more time for?
Watching county cricket. Between April and September the clouds lift for me, both metaphorically and literally, and I go down to The Oval and watch Surrey in the slowest format of the game. Sometimes there’s wine sometimes there’s crisps. Actually, I’d say there’s always crisps.
God, I mean, that’s like asking, ‘What’s your favourite child?’ They’re all beautiful in my eyes.
Men is out in cinemas from tomorrow.