Bill Nighy Will ‘Never’ Retire as an Actor: You Don’t Even Need to Be ‘Upright’ to Get Work

Bill Nighy has been in Hollywood since 1976 and has no plans to slow down anytime soon — even if that means lying down for roles.

The 72-year-old “Love Actually,” “Harry Potter,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” alum revealed to The Independent that he won’t even entertain the idea of retirement.

“I’ve never heard any good news about retirement and I have no plans to retire,” Nighy said. “I’m in a job which you can do fortunately as long as you can remain upright. And well, actually you don’t have to remain upright. As long as you can deliver a line sitting down, you could probably get some kind of employment.”

The BAFTA winner starred in 2022’s “The Man Who Fell to Earth” sci-fi series and currently has six more projects in the works, including “Role Play” opposite Kaley Cuoco and the “Heidi: Queen of the Mountain” children’s book adaptation. Nighy is also lending his voice to the upcoming animated film “Dragonkeeper” and the “Bloody Fury” short. This year, he’s a Best Actor contender for “Living.”

While starring in “Living” as a man dying of cancer, Nighy noted that he tries not to embody his characters, perhaps hence his career longevity.

“You don’t have to feel it all,” Nighy said. “Acting is work – and that doesn’t diminish it in any way.”

The “About Time” star continued on Method acting, “If you’re in the company of anybody who suggests that an actor has to feel everything that they portray, then you’re talking to somebody who’s basically an amateur. Often it’s a way to punish actors. I think drama teachers do it sometimes to control students. To just stand there and say, ‘You’re not feeling it.’ How do you know I’m not feeling it? What am I supposed to be feeling? You don’t have to have been bereaved in order to act somebody who’s bereaved – otherwise, well, how would we proceed? Y’know, acting is acting.”

Nighy noted that he has nothing against the Method acting practice itself, saying, “It’s fine, as long as there’s no pressure put on anyone else to do it the same way. And that it’s not weaponized as a status thing, obviously. And that it’s done on your time. In other words, not on a film set or in a rehearsal room for a theatre play.”

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