Robert Carlyle, 46, was born in Glasgow and raised by his father. He was a painter and decorator before studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. After appearing in several TV shows, in 1996 he starred in Trainspotting and the following year in The Full Monty, for which he won a Bafta. He is currently in BBC1’s The Last Enemy. He is married with three children and lives in Glasgow.
When were you happiest?
The birth of my first child, July 4 2002.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing my family in some way.
What is your earliest memory?
Of being in a cinema or theatre when I was very young, maybe two. I was in my father’s arms.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
I’m a great admirer of Tony Benn -he’s one of the few politicians who speaks his mind.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
My wedding. It was at Skibo Castle long before Madonna or any of those people went there.
What is your most treasured possession?
A Brazil top signed by Pelé.
What makes you depressed?
I’m a relatively new parent, so anything that hurts children really upsets me.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
My son, Pearce.
What is your most unappealing habit?
I rant and rave about noise pollution.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I can look quite scrawny sometimes.
What is your fancy-dress costume of choice?
What would your super power be?
A bullshit detector would be excellent.
What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
On Angela’s Ashes, Alan Parker said to me, ‘You’ve got the Bafta, just get in the door.’ I was walking along the street to go into a shop and he saw me milking it a bit. It was a really good piece of advice.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Chocolate in bed.
What do you owe your parents?
I owe my father everything.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
The 60s, because I went through them as a child and I’ve lots of memories of the vitality of that time.
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
To John, a really close friend who died last year. I’d love to see him one more time and say, ‘Look, I’m sorry I wasn’t around enough during your life.’
What does love feel like?
Like safety, that you’ve got everything covered; no stress, no fear.
What was the best kiss of your life?
It’s got to be the first time I kissed my wife, at the Hacienda in Manchester.
Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and not meant it?
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Tony Benn and Paul Weller.
What is the worst job you’ve done?
The worst was as a butcher, aged 17.
If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I’d have concentrated a bit more at school and maybe gone to university rather than drama school.
How do you relax?
Football and music.
How often do you have sex?
As often as possible.
What is the closest you’ve come to death?
I was on a plane in India and I thought it was going to crash. It was an old, rickety thing. It was pre-children – I wouldn’t do it now.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
If war stopped.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Becoming an actor at all, considering my background.
What keeps you awake at night?
All this nonsense in the Middle East. It’s hard not to think about it.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
Something by Nick Drake.
How would you like to be remembered?
As an honest man.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To stand up tall and aim for what you want.