I've realised now that the reality of children is you have to be in the right place with the right person.

Someone will always hate what I say. There's always going to be somebody spitting blood about my wooden-faced, toffee-named, crappy acting.

Metaphorically speaking, it's easy to bump into one another on the journey from A to B and not even notice. People should take time to notice, enjoy and help each other.

When you see a good horseman, you're unable to tell where the instruction is coming from. It's like telepathy.

I drive a motorbike, so there is the whiff of the grim reaper round every corner, especially in London.

Having your adolescence at an all-male boarding school is just crap.

Maybe it's because I was an only child, but I've always wanted kids.

I love theatre, and you learn too much as an actor and enjoy too much of it not to want to go back a lot.

My own grandfathers were a submarine commander and a 'desert rats' tank operator in the Second World War.

I love doing impersonations of people.

I am a PR disaster because I talk too much.

If people ask, 'Are you Sherlock Holmes?', it's horribly naff, but I say, 'I'm not, I just look a bit like him' - which is how I feel. There are bad attributes of his that I really don't share!

Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame.

My first, big, silly role at school was as Arthur Crocker-Harris in Rattigan's 'The Browning Version,' where my job was to make school-masters' wives weep with recognition.

Being a posh actor in England you cannot escape the class-typing from whatever side you look at it.

It'd be really nice to wake up looking like, I don't know, Jake Gyllenhaal and think, 'Let's try this on for a day and see how it feels.'

A woman who knows that she doesn't have to get all decked out to look good is sexy. A woman who can make you feel smart with her conversation skills is also sexy. I believe the sense of humor is important.

We're living through a time where we are fighting wars fostered by politics, admittedly not on the same scale as the First World War, but with equally tragic realities for our soldiers and their families.

I struggle to learn by rote. I've had meltdowns on set. Which is embarrassing and shameful.

The world of 'Sherlock Holmes' and the world that we live in now is big enough to take more than one interpretation.

I wasn't born into land or titles, or new money, or an oil rig.

I have actual acting scars.

'Sherlock' fans are, by and large, an intelligent breed, so they've gone through my back catalogue and got what I've done, why and how I've done it. There is some obsessive behaviour, but I worry for them rather than me.

The more charming person is the person who admits the other person is more charming.

As an actor, you are aware of how a role can seep into your real life.

I want to be able to play trailer-bound fatties in a Judd Apatow comedy.

I'm quite sensitive to people noticing me. There are times when I'm relaxed, then others when it does make me self-conscious.

When are you ever settled enough to have kids?

Fame is a weird one. You need to distance yourself from it. People see a value in you that you don't see yourself.

There's a huge raft of roles that actors in our culture perform, and you can see any one of about three Hamlets in a year. It's not something to be completely daunted by.

Landing the role of Stephen Hawking was the most positively surprising thing that has happened to me.

I'm interested in art for all. I don't want it to be only the sons and daughters of Tory MPs who get to see my plays.

If I'd had fame early on, I'd have been able to abuse it in the way that a young man should.

Live a life less ordinary.

Do awards change careers? Well, I haven't heard of many stories where that's the case. It's a fun excuse to meet colleagues and celebrate people who've done well that year in certain people's eyes, and it's nothing more than that.

We all want to escape our circumstances, don't we? Especially if you are an actor.

I'm not confident in social situations; just going up to someone in a bar and saying 'Hi' is going to be even more difficult because they won't know the real me. They will just know me as a fictional person I play on the screen.

People's hands fascinate me. It's tempting to look at a businessman's left hand and see if there's an indentation from a missing wedding ring. Or maybe there's a tan line and the skin is pressed down where's he's worked a ring off his finger.

The number of people my age, younger now, a whole generation younger, who are fiercely bright, over-educated, under-employed and who are politicised and purposeless really upsets me. It's soul-destroying.

There's no shame in stealing - any actor who says he doesn't is lying. You steal from everything.

I drag a lot of stuff round with me that I don't need.

I have an appetite for the normal in my life, as well as the abnormal.

Upper class to me means you are either born into wealth or you're Royalty.

Do I like being thought of as attractive? I don't know anyone on Earth who doesn't, but I do find it funny.

I think with any characterization there's a point where you empathize, no matter how much of a deviance his or her actions may be from your understanding of humanity.

When you freefall for 7,000 feet it doesn't feel like you're falling: it feels like you're floating, a bit like scuba diving.

My mum and dad had worked incredibly hard to afford me an education.

I realised quite early on that, although I wasn't trying to make a career speciality of it, I was playing slightly asexual, sociopathic intellectuals.

I'm not loyal to one genre. I want to mix it up.