I headed out to have a breather at the stage door, dressed in my tramp costume. I had my bowler hat between my feet and there were passers-by, and one of them turned back and said, 'Do you need help, brother?' And $1 fell into my hat!
Doing some of the 'Lord Of The Rings' press junkets got a bit claustrophobic.
I was brought up in industrial south Lancashire, down the cobbled road from where LS Lowry (1887 - 1976) lived and painted.
There is a fantasy as old as the modern gay rights movement that if all our skins turned lavender overnight, the majority, confounded by our numbers and our diversity, and recognising a few of our faces, would at once let go of prejudice forevermore.
When I appeared in 'Coronation Street,' I lived in Manchester and enjoyed it very much.
If I was a star, it would be difficult to go off and do 'Coronation Street.' So I guess I'm not a star.
My own death threats have declined considerably.
In the past, kids didn't tell their parents they were gay, so there were never the bust-ups. Some parents react so strongly to the news that their children are gay that the reaction is, 'Get out of our house.' There's a residue of old prejudices that are going to die hard.
I certainly don't disparage someone whose attitude towards their work is utterly different from mine - that's up to them.
I often get mistaken for Dumbledore. One wizard is very much like another.
I always walk up the escalator on the Tube, and I live in a house with a lot of stairs, and that's good exercise, but you need more than that.
Why do you act? You act for an audience. In the theatre, you're in their presence. Film stars don't know what it is to have an audience.
When I went to lobby Nelson Mandela while the post-apartheid constitution was being drafted, I asked him to endorse making it illegal to discriminate on grounds of sexuality. I'd been warned that he might giggle if I mentioned homosexuality.
When you grumble about a taxi being dirty, people your own age will absolutely agree with you, whereas younger people say, 'You should be so lucky to have a taxi - I walk to work!' So I have lots of young friends, who fortunately don't treat me as a guru, a person that knows all the answers.
I don't make any distinction between a popular TV series or blockbuster film and doing Shakespeare. They're different, but as long as the material is good and the intention is honourable, it's all the same to me.
If I say often enough that I'm going to be in 'King Kong,' I'm hoping that Peter Jackson will take the hint.
'King Lear,' I've been seeing all my life. I mean, the great actors of my lifetime... to join their company, as it were, by playing a part that's challenged them, is one of the great joys of being an actor who does the classics.
If you are playing King Lear you are the centre of attention anyway. You don't need to draw attention to yourself. It's all laid out for you.
I used to think 'King Lear' was an analysis of insanity, but I don't really think it is. When Lear is supposed to be at his most insane, he is actually understanding the world for the first time.
There have been many gay knights in the past - like Sir Noel Coward or Sir John Gielgud.