Actress Cate Blanchett:
Cate’s character Sheba is married to Bill Nighy in Richard Eyre’s exquisite film.
“The hardest thing for me, on Notes, was: “Why would any woman married to Bill Nighy cheat on him?”” the Oscar-winning actress told me. She called Nighy a “divine, heartbreaking individual”.
Actor Sam Neill:
“Bill Nighy,” he says, seemingly out of nowhere. “He’s a reason to be cheerful. Did you see him in The Girl in the Cafe? Immaculate bastard. His detail was so exquisite. He’s droll, isn’t he? I just saw him on the TV. He was at the Windbreaker premiere last night.”
Actor Michael Gambon:
Is he aware of its extraordinary charisma? “No,” he says. “I can’t look in a mirror or a window because I hate it. I want to look like Bill Nighy, who I’m jealous of. I love Bill. If I looked like Bill I’d look in mirrors and shop windows but I don’t, I just carry on walking, with dark glasses.”
Actor Hermione Norris (Spooks/The Men’s Room) in 2008:
I did The Men’s Room with Bill Nighy, which was only my second piece of television work and I couldn’t have been luckier – he has great humility in the way he approaches his work and again I’m not unusual in saying this, I think he’s touched a lot of younger people’s lives.
Co-star Miranda Richardson about working with Bill Nighy in Gideon’s Daughter:
“Bill is a complete gent. He’s complex and simpatico, which is a lovely combination. And he plays great music. You always hear the Rolling Stones coming out of his trailer. What more could you want?”
A word in praise of A Charles Paris Mystery. I know it’s a repeat and I raved about it first time around, but this is still an object lesson in How to Do Radio Comedy Drama. Actually, it’s astonishingly simple: hire Bill Nighy.
Bill Nighy may be the coolest man alive. Not only can he say the word “groovy” and make it sound groovy, but he can play a vampire, a pirate, a world-builder, a zombie and a rock star within a few months and without breaking a sweat or ruffling his immaculately groomed hair.
Some actors to cherish: Javier Bardem and Lola Dueñas (The Sea Inside), Jeff Bridges (The Door in the Floor), Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda), Kate Winslet (Eternal Sunshine), Annette Bening (Being Julia), Jamie Foxx (Ray), Leonardo Di Caprio and Cate Blanchett [clip], everyone in Goodbye, Dragon Inn and Mooladé and The Woodsman and Vera Drake, and Bill Nighy in everything.
Anyhow, I think he gets cast as old rockers because, despite his lean, mean Mod roots, there is something of the wild thing in Nighy. He loves music, especially rhythm and blues, especially The Rolling Stones, and has been told by his agent to stop playing air guitar in photo sessions because he does it so often. One of his recent highlights was singing with Radiohead at a charity do. They did ‘Nobody Does It Better’: ‘And we brought the house down!’ he yelps.
I can’t get enough of Nighy. Close your eyes and just breathe in that voice – it’s the aural equivalent of eating dark chocolate truffles dipped in whipped cream.