Tolkien is as good as Dickens at sketching a scene.
You won't hear me talk about my politics, you won't hear me talk about my vegetarianism, you won't hear me comment on the Iraq war. You'll only hear me talk about being gay and being an actor. I am just public on those two issues.
In the U.K. there is still work to be done, particularly in schools, stopping the homophobic bullies in the playground and introducing unbiased discussion on gay issues in the classroom.
Before acting, I wanted to become a journalist. I also toyed with the idea of being a chef - but that's only when people asked me what I wanted to be. In fact, I always used to say I wanted to be an actor, but I didn't ever believe that I was good enough to be come one.
When I came out, I told my stepmother Gladys, and she just said she had known for years and was glad I wasn't lying anymore.
I don't make much distinction between being a stand-up comic and acting Shakespeare - in fact, unless you're a good comedian, you're never going to be able to play Hamlet properly.