Throughout his career, he's played a rock star, a vampire, an army sergeant and even a villainous squid – here's looking at you, Pirates of the Caribbean 2 – but one type of character Bill Nighy is yet to bring to life is a superhero. And as it turns out, he's more than keen to do so.
"I'd like superpowers, obviously," the English actor admitted to IBTimes UK when asked what sort of roles he'd like to play in the future. "I know it's a little late in the day but if anyone could arrange for me to play any kind of part where I could wipe out whole cities... Well, not so much whole cities. I'd rather just [be unexpected]... because it would be so daft for me to be powerful in that way."
Sounds like Nighy might be better suited to the role of a supervillain instead given his comments. It's not exactly in the heroes' best interests to take down their surroundings. But then again, it's usually the baddies that are the most fun to portray in those sorts of movies. The need to play a less-than-law-abiding character didn't stop there either as he added: "I'd quite like to be a cat burglar actually. As long as somebody else does all the climbing, I'd be fine."
In his latest outing Their Finest, Nighy plays an actor; a task which surprisingly, wasn't that difficult for him to approach. "It's like playing a painter," he said during the film's press junket in London recently. "You can't really play a painter, you play a guy who happens to paint and in the same way, you play a man who happens to be an actor."
Set during World War II, Their Finest follows Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton); an advertising copywriter who gets drafted in as a screenwriter by the Ministry of Information, in order to help make a propaganda film about the evacuation of Dunkirk. At one point during the movie, Nighy's character Ambrose Hilliard believes he's in talks to star in the fictional film's lead role. However, he soon discovers that he's actually being tested for the older, drunk uncle part; a situation that rings true to some of Nighy's real-life experiences in the industry.
"I remember when I was about 39, being called and my agent said 'It's Hamlet, it's Moscow and Tokyo' and I said 'I don't want to play Hamlet.' She said: 'It's not Hamlet, it's Claudius and you realise you've become Hamlet's uncle," the 67-year-old laughed. "There are landmarks all the way through. You become a father in the movies or on TV; you have children. Then the children grow up [and] you have adult children. I now have movie grandchildren."
Directed by An Education's Lone Scherfig and also starring Sam Claflin and Richard E Grant, Their Finest is released in UK cinemas on 21 April.