This outfit is all Paul Smith. I originally wore it when I interviewed Tracey Emin on stage at the GQ Heroes weekend. I wanted to look the business: cool, effortless, but funky as well. I went into the Paul Smith store and that pink shirt with the red belt and those trousers was hanging on a hanger and I just said: “That’s the look!” Pink is the opposite of emasculating; I’m not shy to wear pink.
I work with a company called Pin Drop Studio, where we read stories to adults, and they had an event at the Tate Liverpool during the Keith Haring exhibition. I thought: “Well, that outfit worked before; why not repeat it?” That’s where this photo was taken.
Steve McQueen is my style icon. I look at pictures of him now and I think: I want to look like that. I also like Jean-Michel Basquiat’s look – the cardigans; the loose-fitting, bohemian clothes. I’m very envious of people who can look effortlessly stylish – it’s what I aspire to. When you look like you’ve made too much effort, I find it gives me a bit of a headache.
My daily style is very casual; I love a cargo pant; I like to be comfortable. When I was younger, I wore a lot of clothes that I felt quite stiff in. I’ve moved away from wearing jeans; I get too hot in them. When I go out, I’m definitely a shirt man; I love a nice shirt and belt.
As an actor, I’m always in clothes that I wouldn’t necessarily choose to wear myself. I played a character who was an alcoholic in a film called Tower Block [in 2012] and I was put in this leather coat, which was horrific; it fitted terribly. It wasn’t attractive on any level, but it was what that character would wear – I thought: “He’s in his own insular world, he’s got a habit and he’s completely caught up in that.” Playing new characters is exciting when it comes to the clothes: it’s about pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.