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2014 - Ask Rupert Graves.

Author: Staff Writer.
Publication: RGO.

Interview with Rupert Graves: Friday 7th March 2014.

Rupert Graves: Hi Paul, how are you ?
Hi man, not too bad thanks, and you ?
Rupert Graves: Not bad, thanks!
Good, good - well as usual we are rushed for time, so here we are again with an exclusive question and answer interview, the response has been absolutely tremendous, incredible.
Rupert Graves: Right, right.
Basically, we've had to consolidate similar questions, and of course the rude one ones have been removed, again ha-ha.
Rupert Graves: (Laughing loudly) Good! That's a relief!
So, as you can guess, there are a lot regarding Lestrade.
Rupert Graves: Yeah, obviously.
Before we start, have you been watching television lately, I've been really engrossed in the drama "Line Of Duty", it's one of the best things I've seen for ages, really good.
Rupert Graves: No .... who's in it ?
Um, Vicky McClure, she's in it, and some guy who I've seen in a lot of stuff but for the moment I can't forget his name.
Rupert Graves: Right ..... let me think ...
Oh, I'll tell you who's in it, Keeley Hawes, you worked with her in "The Blonde Bombshell", and "Ashes To Ashes".
Rupert Graves: Ah, who directed it, do you know , is it Sam Miller ?
No, I  think Daniel Nettheim has done a few episodes, and a guy called Jed Mecurio is the writer, but I still can't remember the male lead, ah, now I remember Adrian Dunbar is in it, brilliant actor!
Rupert Graves: Is this the second series Paul ?
Yes, it it.
Rupert Graves: Is there a Scottish guy in it ?
Yeah, he's the male lead I can't think of his name right now though.
Rupert Graves: He's not being Scottish in this though is he ?
No, he's a cockney in this, a cockney.
Rupert Graves: Yeah, he's called Martin Compston.
That's the guy, yeah that's him.
Rupert Graves: And is Gina in it, Gina McKee ?
Yes, she is, how could I forget that!
Rupert Graves: I play football with Martin.
Ah right.
Rupert Graves: He's fucking good, he's really good, and Adrian Dunbar, he's brilliant.
He is indeed, and it's so well written, plenty of twists and turns, and Keeley is a revelation, I've seen her in quite a few productions, but she is an eye-opener in this, really is.
Rupert Graves:  She is, she is, I remember, "Bombshell" was her first big thing, she was great in that.
The Diana Dors story ...
Rupert Graves: Yeah Diana Fluck.
Yeah, no wonder she changed her name!
Rupert Graves: There's a true story, she was once opening a local swimming pool in Weston Super Mare, and the compere introduced her with "We have a local girl opening the pool, Diana Dors, better known as Diana Clunt.
Ha-ha, no way! That's ridiculous!
Rupert Graves: (Laughing) It's true, it is, "Clunt".
That's outrageous ... she was actually a much better actress than she was given credit for.
Rupert Graves: She definitely was, though for all she was classed as a sex bomb I never found her attractive.
I know, she was a bit too full on for me, if you understand ?
Rupert Graves: I do, I do.
(Laughing) Right, let us both stop being evil about dead people, we really better get this started. lots of questions!
Rupert Graves: (Laughing) Okay, let's do it.
Okay, before we start, I just want everyone to know every single question was looked at, and due to time etc we simply couldn't ask them all - but - the ones that have not been asked this time round have been kept on file for a possible future question and answer interview.
Rupert Graves: Okay, sounds good.

So first up - Laura in Australia asks:
Benedict says he can become impatient when he plays Sherlock. Does playing Lestrade affect you in any way, in day to day life, or on set ?

Rupert Graves: Em, let me think. Well doing anything on set can test your patience, but for me it's quite a nice part, because there are times when I've done something big, and you're carrying it on your shoulders. It's kind of nice being amongst such great actors, and just marvel. Me, and normally Una Stubbs normally sit and just say "Christ, they're good aren't they ?".

Grace O'Hanlon from England asks: On the set of Sherlock was there any pranks played ?

Rupert Graves: Not that I know of, the work rate is so phenomenal , we do six or seven pages a day, which for a big show like that is a lot, there's no time, we have long days, and people get kind of exhausted, so there's actually little time for any prankery, and with Benedict and Martin it's really a quite nice atmosphere.

Connie Brown from England asks: What is it that enjoy most about filming Sherlock ?

Rupert Graves: What attracted me to it, and keeps me going is the quality of the writing. You get the new scripts and you're doing the read-throughs, and you go "Ohhhh, Ohhhhhhhh, that's good! That keeps me very buoyant.

Lea in Sweden asks: Hello Rupert! I am a huge fan of yours. My question to you is, do you feel connected to Lestrade, can you relate to him? In which ways are you similar and different? Lots of love!

Rupert Graves: Thank you!
Well, (laughing) I'm not a copper! That's a difference. Seriously, you know the great thing about being an actor is .... I kind of  think that we are kind of born with a universal potential .... I know that's not strictly true, because we have genetic pre-dispositions, but I do think we are capable pretty much of being Ghandi or Hitler, and pretty much all in-between. I don't really know ... um, oh yeah, I can get very frustrated, a bit like Lestrade kicking the car tyre, I can definitely be like that, Susie will tell you that! I can get frustrated like he does.

Amy Bumstead from GB asks: What is the best role you've played and what is your favourite role ?

Rupert Graves: Hmmm, the things I have enjoyed most have probably been on stage. I really liked playing in a play called "Hurlyburly" by David Rabe, and I liked playing a guy called Presley in the Philip Ridley play called "The Pitchfork Disney". I don't know, I don't know what the best is you know, they are the ones I've enjoyed the most.

Kate from Malaysia asks: Which is your favourite Sherlock episode ?
Rupert Graves: Hmmm, difficult to say, but for sheer tension I think it's "The Reichenbach Fall".

Andrea Norris from The United Kingdom asks: Love your work! I especially love Sherlock and The White Queen. Has there ever been a tv show or film that you've watched and wished you had been a part of. or an actor you haven't worked with yet but would love to ?

Rupert Graves: Um yeah, "On The Waterfront", anything good, but I don't really watch something and think "I should have been in that". I tend to bring a bit of light heartedness to work, and I get that same feeling when I watch something good. The thing is about our profession is you still get probably about ten percent of everything you've worked for, so it's good not to have regrets and think "I should have done that", because it's good to keep bitterness at bay., and I would love to work with Meryl Streep.

Pitchfork from London, England asks: What has been your favorite stage production to work on, and will you do any more stage in the near future ?

Rupert Graves: Definitely "Pitchfork Disney", and I've no plans for any stage work in the future, no.

Caspar from The United Kingdom asks: What inspired you to become an actor ?

Rupert Graves:  A Few things. One thing when I was an elf, when I was four in a kindergarten play, and a second one, which I've only just remembered lately, I was hopeless at school, like shocking, and I remember sitting in science and I'd found a copy of "The Seagull" by Chekov. It's such a lovely story .... I was reading it under the desk, and I was thinking "Fuck me, it's amazing that anyone can write like that", and of course going to see "Death Of A Salesman", with Warren Mitchell in it.

Courtney from England asks: What would you say is your greatest achievement in life ?

Rupert Graves: My greatest achievement in life is probably not ... metaphorically or really .... falling over the edge of a cliff and burning up in a big ball of flames. It's sort of true!

Vic Weber from The Netherlands asks: You've played quite a few characters which were based on existing characters, either historical or fictional (Lord Stanley, William Shakespeare, The Duke of Buckingham, Lestrade, Scudder, etc.). Are there any famous characters, (fictional, historical or current) you'd love to portray in the future ?

Rupert Graves: Um, no not really, not particularly .... but I quite fancy having a go at Macbeth one day.

Bec from Australia asks: I saw that you visited Australia not long ago. Do you visit often? If so, is there anything in particular that you enjoy doing while you're here ?

Rupert Graves: I go roughly once every two years, my in-laws live there. I like that you can be outside most of the day, I like getting up early and going for a swim in the sea, in a lovely place called Clovelly.

Leeann from Scotland asks: I love Lestrade - do you share any personality traits with him ?
Rupert Graves: (Laughing) Yeah, I love a doughnut!

Maria from Spain asks: I've been acting in theaters with an amateur group for years now. I've finished university and I'm joining the police force. I always wanted to perform for a living, but it seems I can't get further from where I'm right now, and I can't continue to be a burden to my parents. My question is... how did you not give up? Have you got any piece of advice?

Rupert Graves: Well, Maria's probably in a better position professionally than I was, I didn't really have any qualifications, I went to a very bad school, I didn't have very many options, but I was completely convinced I would become an actor, I had no doubt. I didn't entertain any doubts, I was extremely single minded, I just didn't see any other options.

Sev from Switzerland asks: What was the funniest "accident" that happened to you while you were filming a scene or were playing on stage ?

Rupert Graves: In "The Caretaker" by Pinter, one night a mouse ran on stage quite brilliantly and just scurried about because it couldn't find an exit, not an accident I know , but it was funny. There was also a film called "Una Questione Privata", in which I was asked to cross the river and keep the gun out of the water, and there was snow melting and it was freezing, it was like a torrent and I got swept away, it was like a waterfall. I got out on the other side, and they just kept filming! I think it's in the movie, which wasn't supposed to happen, but you should have seen me, really obediently holding the gun above the water!

Ellen from The US asks: Would love to see you cross the pond again. Any plans for live theatre in your near future ?

Rupert Graves: There's always a possibility, but at present there are no plans for anything live at the moment, no.

Claire from the United Kingdom asks: Of your many past roles especially in the theatre, as well as film and TV), is there work that you were/are especially proud of but wish it could have been seen by a wider audience or for a longer stage run ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, things like "The Pitchfork Disney", which was at The Bush Theatre, which is a tiny little theatre, and it only ran for five or six weeks or something, and part of me thinks that's really special and precious, because it was such a small thing and it was what it was. At the same time, becuase it was such a great show, I guess it was sad because it wasn't amplified. Sometimes it's a double thing, I quite like the ... you know ... things are what they are, I can be doing a little play and it's kind of beautiful.

Erynn from Italy asks: What's the most interesting thing you've done as an actor, and why was it the most interesting ?

Rupert Graves: Oh God, I don't know ... the most interesting .... the really interesting thing about acting is you keep on having to open up new worlds. Something like .... what's that stupid dragon thing ... "Son Of The Dragon", which isn't a genius film, but having to go to China and work with Jackie Chan's stunt guys, part of his old team from Beijing. They did a couple of fights, but not only that, it was really interesting, these guys are experts. It was a fun film, and going off to China for three months and taking a crash course in Kung Fu fighting, I found it fascinating.

But this happens all the time. When I was doing "Scott & Bailey", there were lots of ex police there to give advice and keep it right. I'm there just talking to them about their world of being a policeman, I'd never really thought of it before ... I just ran away from them a few times as a teenager!

Innas from Malaysia asks: If you had to choose between being blown up or being burnt alive, which would you choose ?

Rupert Graves: In real life ? (Laughing) It's not a question I've considered, but I guess if I had to choose it would be the quickest way, being blown up.

Deryn from England asks: How good are you at watching yourself on TV / Film ?

Rupert Graves: Not very good, I don't really enjoy it and I'm quite critical. I'm prone to say "Why did you do that when you could have done that!". One of the hard things about TV, especially TV, which gets made quicker and quicker these days, is that you don't fully realise what a scene is intended to do in the context, and as you're often filming out of context and you don't see what other people are doing, and you sometimes get revelations when you watch it later. You sometimes think "Oh bollocks, I pitched that wrong". It can be very frustrating.

Naomi Roy from The US asks: If it was your last day on earth, what would you spend the day doing ?

Rupert Graves: I'd spend as much time with my family as possible, and maybe squeeze as much life out of that twenty four hours as I could.

Elanor McManus from England asks: How long did it take you to overcome your stutter and do you ever do it now ?

Rupert Graves: Occasionally I do, actually that's another reason I got into acting, because I had to go to an elocution place. It took me a while to get over it, it probably hasn't entirely gone. It wasn't a terrible stammer, it happened mainly in times of stress.

Cerise from The US asks: If you could be the screenwriter, which of your roles would you rewrite/amend/alter and why ?

Rupert Graves: I'd definitely rewrite Lestrade, and get rid of that ridiculous character called Sherlock and rename it Lestrade!

Taylor C from The US asks: What is your favourite kind of pizza ?

Rupert Graves: I really like thin crust, Italian, it has to be Italian, with seafood on.

Victoria from Russia asks: Do you have good relations with the other actors from "Sherlock" ?

Rupert Graves: Yes I do, without a doubt.

Elizabeth from The US asks: What is your favourite thing about being Lestrade ?

Rupert Graves: Well, the thing that makes me laugh every time are the grey shoes, which are really quite foul, they stick up at the end on the toes, they're like clown shoes, and every time I put them on it makes me feel like Lestrade, and it makes me laugh. Genuinely, they are ridiculous shoes.

Laura Findlay from Scotland asks: Your portrayal of DI Lestrade in Sherlock is incredible but with so many versions of Sherlock out there, what did you want to bring to the role to make it your own ?

Rupert Graves: I just bring my own ideas to the role, I look at the text and look at what my character is doing, what he is, and I just see what comes out really. I don't do it strategically, I just try and realise who the character is on the page.

Zoe Fisher from England asks: What is it like playing a detective that can't solve any cases himself and has to ask Sherlock, someone he doesn't show much affection for but secretly likes, for help ?

Rupert Graves: The thing about playing Lestrade in a show called Sherlock is that Sherlock is not a normal human being, he's a super hero. If you could have a super power I'd like one like Sherlock's logic or deduction, it is like a super power. What's genuinely interesting about Lestrade is he's conflicted, he's a proud guy, he's a detective and he's got this great asset in Sherlock. He's a little jealous of his brilliance, but I think also he genuinely quite loves him. Because Sherlock is so extraordinary , he deflects his affection.

There's a lot of banter going on between them, but I think that banter is Lestrade's way of showing his affection, often when Lestrade is being rude to Sherlock, it's affection. Sherlock is a much better policeman than Lestrade is, and he likes having to rely on him. It's complicated, I think there's some conflict in there. Admiration, but professional jealousy.

Amy Leonard from The US asks: Would you ever write/direct another short film ?

Rupert Graves: Maybe yeah, I'd love to if it was right.

Yulia from Russia asks: Dear Rupert, I'm happy to be able to tell you how much I admire you as an excellent actor and a wonderful person! Thank you for your Alec Scudder, David Martin, Paul Prentice, Arthur Huntingdon, Septimus, Patrick Standish, Buckingham, Shakespeare, Sir Arthur Hill, John Smith, Greg Lestrade and many others great works! My question is what word would a) your family, b) your friends, c) your co-workers use to describe you ?

Rupert Graves: I don't know, I don't know .... my children think I'm a clown, (laughing) my wife thinks I'm a child, I don't know what my co-workers think ... you'd have to ask them .... some people think I'm really tedious, some think I'm funny. Some think I'm crap, some think I'm good, I've really no idea.

Svetlana from Russia asks: They say scents hold better memories than any other sense. Is there any particular smell or scent that holds a memory for you ?

Rupert Graves: Close to the sea reminds me of my home, when you smell ozone, salt in the air, it reminds me of growing up in Weston Super Mare, which had fierce weather.

Cerys Irons from Northern Ireland asks: What is is like to work with Benedict Cumberbatch ? Now I want the truth!

Rupert Graves: I really like working with Benedict, he's so focused, he's got extraordinary energy, and what I love about doing scenes with him is the fact that he tries to spin it a new way almost every time he does it. It's always interesting, not dull, it's like trying to work with a whirlwind. I really enjoy it.

Shelly from The US asks: If you could play any role in British or American theater, what would it be, and do you have any theatrical roles planned for the near future ?

Rupert Graves: I'd love to do something from Arthur Miller, the guy who wrote "Death of A Salesman", and I'd love to do some Beckett. I really like doing ground breaking stuff too, and I'd like to do more Oscar Wilde, especially after doing "A Woman Of No Importance" which was really bad. I genuinely loathed it, in a way that is one of the reasons I'm hesitant about going back into theatre.

Claire T from England asks: Is there are character from a film or tv show that you wished you could have played ?

Rupert Graves: Any character form "On The Waterfront" because it's such a great film.

Robyn Witt from California asks: How much inspiration do you draw from Arthur Conan Doyle's Inspector Lestrade when preparing for your own performance ?

Rupert Graves: Not much ... I read the books, but I try to respond to the script I have ... he's moved on in a way, and there's not that much of the original Lestrade in the new one.

Lorrie Kim from The US asks: What was your reaction when you saw the caricature of Sir Arthur straddling the English Channel in Garrow's Law, and did you ask for a copy? That caricature makes me laugh every time!

Rupert Graves: I thought the cartoon was very funny and very good and it did make me laugh, though I never asked for a copy.

Anna Lawrence from The United Kingdom asks: It maybe a daydream but how would you feel about a DI Lestrade spin-off series to Sherlock ?

Rupert Graves: Yes please, with a ten year run! (Lauging). It's never going to happen, Lestrade needs Sherlock, he couldn't work without him, it wouldn't work without him.

Susie from Australia asks: Have you slept with anyone else apart from me in the last six months ?

Rupert Graves: (Laughing) You made that one up! (Laughing loudly). No, no, I've been loyal (More laughing).

Susie from The US asks: Will there be more of your character in season 4 of Sherlock ?

Rupert Graves: I haven't been asked to do it yet!

Anne Cunningham from The US asks: I am sure you have your own back story and personality traits that you have put together to bring to life Lestrade. What can you tell us about your Lestrade that we wouldn't learn in any of the episodes ?

Rupert Graves: I don't really like to tell secrets, I really don't .... one thing, but ONLY one ... he's a secret gambler.

Annie from Russia asks: What is your attitude to Louise Brealey ? She talks about you in her interviews so much, but I have never heard you talking about her. Just wondering.

Rupert Graves: (Laughing) I get on great with Louise, we spent a lot of time sitting together in the second episode of the last series, we get on very well.

Kim from The US asks: You're well-known for researching a role and you've said you like directors who allow you to create the character yourself. Your version of Lestrade is very beloved by fans of Sherlock because there's so much subtext in his interactions/reactions, and he's such a good man. What kind of back story do you envision for him, and how do you see his relationship history with other characters ?

Rupert Graves: Hmm, again I actually like to keep those kind of things quiet, sorry.

Samantha Helyer from The United Kingdom asks: You've played a lot of bad guys in your career. Do you ever worry about typecasting and is there a type of character you haven't had the chance to play but would like to ?

Rupert Graves: I don't worry about typecasting, because over the years I think I've played a fair range, and I can't really think of a type, not that I can think of.... oh it could be quite fun to do an adventure hero type, jumping over things and shooting. (At this point Rupert is reminded about his role as Riddell in Doctor Who). Oh, so I have done it already (laughing) bollocks!

Megan from The US asks: How do you approach playing the characters that are awful human beings ?

Rupert Graves: I try to look at it from the angle that people generally try to be themselves, everybody has to live with themselves, it's self justification. The guy I played from Garrow's Law (Sir Arthur Hill) I played wasn't particularly nice. The first thing I asked myself about him for example was why wasn't he given a good position in the government, he's got a good title, he's not a complete idiot, and it's because they obviously don't trust him. I looked at the text and I sort of made him very emotionally immature, and he became a laughing stock. People who are emotionally immature , they just can't help it, they are compelled to do things I think. So I try to create something positive I can play.

I also played the guy from Law and Order (John Smith) who killed three people, who had schizophrenia. So I really researched schizophrenia, and I really researched what the drugs do to your mind, and your behaviour and then you have motivation. You always have to have look for positive things to play I think, rather than negativity.

I did play a small role in Bent (Officer On The Train) where I played a Nazi. It's important when you play something like a Nazi what the belief is, I mean why did so many of them believe they were doing the right thing ? I think it was because there was a specific set of circumstances that led to the beginning of the second world war.

(At this point Rupert is reminded how sadistic his role was in Bent).

(Laughing) I actually didn't make that up so I'm not getting blamed for his behaviour, or the behaviour of any of the other Nazi's either!

Zoe Zhang from China asks: Hey Rupert. I'm from China. As far as I know, you have once been to China when you played in "The Son Of The Dragon". I'm curious to know what you thought was the most impressive thing about filming in China, and would you like to come back to China to make films or travel again ?

Rupert Graves: I'd love to come back to China. What I was most impressed by was the warmth of the people, very warm and hospitable. Normal kind of working people were really good, they'd worked hard to better themselves, and everyone could do or three things amazingly, whether it be karaoke or speak English, or karate or whatever. They are very, very intense, but equally warm and honest. I found them delightful people.

Leonard from The US asks: Do you believe in any superstitions or have any sort of good luck charms ?

Rupert Graves: I used to be very superstitious on the stage, but I've tried to stop it, obviously they are very ridiculous. I used to touch walls a certain number of times or a certain amount of coloured cars on the way to work. I don't have any good luck charms.

Claude Dequidt from France asks: Would you like to work in others European countries other than England and specially in France, and with whom as actors ?

Rupert Graves: I'd love to work in France, and I'd love to work with Juliette Binoche again, and I worked with Celine Beauvallet in "Una Questione Privata". I really like French cinema, "La Haime" is a really great film.

Sam from The US asks: What's it like working on set for Sherlock ?

Rupert Graves: The best way to describe it is it's hard, but it's fun.

Anny in Italy asks: How would you like to see Greg's character development in Sherlock ?

Rupert Graves: I don't know ... what I like best about Lestrade, I like playing him best when he's just being a copper.

Anna from The US asks: How would you feel about a romance between Molly and Lestrade on Sherlock ?

Rupert Graves: It would never happen, she only has eyes for Sherlock!

Kat from Germany asks: About the Sherlock script readings: What are they like? Do you pantomime important scenes (like that car park hug) during the read through, and are there interruptions to talk about characters, lines, or does anything funny happens during the readings?

Rupert Graves: No, not at all. The thing is about a read through is that it's the first time you really hear the story, or you're just told together in one room, so we all know what we are doing together. So we get a sense of the thing we are going to make. You can't mess around too much or you can distort the story.

It can be quite funny during the readings, Steven Moffat does all the directions and he reads it really funnily and really quickly.

Mallory Cruz from The US asks: Steven Moffat has mentioned making a spin off about Lestrade. I don't think he's truly being serious, but let's say it did happen, what's something you'd want to see in this show - - more focus on either his life in the police force or his life outside of work, or a good balance ?

Rupert Graves: I don't think it's going to happen. Really, Lestrade exists being in Sherlock's shadow. I've never heard anything, nothing has been muted to me, maybe Steven was having a joke.

Gabby Gouband from The US asks: Is there any specific thing you'd love to have Lestrade do in the next season ?

Rupert Graves: Well I've not been asked about another series yet, but if I was the nice thing is the surprise I get when I read the scripts.

Nataly from Russia asks: Rupert, are you aware there are a lot of your fans in Russia, and do you get any Russian presents, and what's the most unusual present you've ever had ?

Rupert Graves: (Laughing) Well, I don't get any Russian presents, but if you've got the odd Faberge egg hanging around. Hmmm, the most unusual ? I don't know, I once got some knitwear once, which was very nice and appreciated.

Marlene in Germany asks: Being a candidate for a local council election in far north Germany this year I remembered reading an article that your wife is quite active in politics and once ran for local council as well. This brings me to my question: Have you ever considered or are you working actively in a Party, like going to meetings or taking up posts?

Rupert Graves: No, not at all.

Liang in Japan asks: What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done ?

Rupert Graves: Well "The Sheltering Desert" was quite embarrassing. Oh I don't know ... I did get locked out of a hotel without any clothes on once. It was in Kent, I was working on "A Room With A View", and Julian Sands pushed me out of the door naked and thought it was funny, then locked the door. I never got him back for that but I will when I see him next!

Mila from France asks: Is Mr Graves aware that DI Lestrade is a much, much beloved character in the Sherlock show, and that many people hope he'll be given more screen time (possibly with a bit of romance) in Season 4? If not, he should be!

Rupert Graves: Thank you for that. Again I've not been asked yet, but if it happens let's see what Mr Moffat and his crew come up with.

Irena in Russia asks: Rupert, I'd like to ask my quick fire questions if you don't mind. Just choose your answer:
- Book or movie?
- Chekhov or Pinter?
- Opera or ballet?
- Red wine or white wine?
- In movie,  fencing or riding?
- In song,  lyrics or music?
- Jogging or swimming?
- In football, forward or defender?
- The bitter truth or a sweet lie?

Rupert Graves: Movie, "Gummo", Book, too many, Chekov, but only just. Opera or ballet, I'm not mad about either, but maybe ballet. Red wine. For the movie, fencing. Lyrics for the song, and swimming for exercise. I prefer to play forward in football but I'm too old now so I have to play in defence. The last one ... hmmm ... the bitter truth.

Rita Stevenson in The US asks: Will you return to Sherlock season 4, and doing are you anything else in movies or theatre work , and are you coming to the USA ?

Rupert Graves: (Laughing) If I'm asked, if I must! I've nothing concrete planned work wise just now, and I've no immediate plans to go to The USA, but I'm sure I will in the near future.

Charlotte in The United Kingdom asks: What kind of roles excite you the most ?

Rupert Graves:  The ones that stretch me as a human being and as an actor, hope that doesn't sound too pretentious.

Caroline from The US asks: What was your favourite film as a kid, and did it inspire you to go into acting at all ?

Rupert Graves: I used to watch "Little House On The Prairie" as a child (at this point there is an audible gasp from the other side), and "General Hospital" was good too (another gasp).

(Laughing loudly) Is "Little House On The Prairie" not very butch then ?

Seriously I did watch the Saturday morning pictures, stuff like The Children's Film Foundation, but I really didn't watch films as a kid. I did watch "Bullet", and I did watch some of the "James Bond Films", "Goldfinger" was probably my favourite. The thing is I never really liked the films, James Bond was really a psychopath, but he was an English psychopath so you had to love him, but I still think really horrible. I did quite like Roger Moore as bond because he was so patently taking the piss out of it!

It makes me laugh really, I mean Sean Connery was brilliant at it, he was probably the best one really, his films were probably the best, the most stylish and all that, but Sean Connery takes it so seriously. I think Daniel is really good and I really like him in that. I still like Roger Moore in it, because he just hams it up, and that's the right response I think.

Kevin Bolton from Australia asks: What would you like to be doing if you had not become an actor ?

Rupert Graves: I don't know .... I'd like to become a zoologist or something like that maybe working with monkeys.

Nick Deutsch from The US asks: Have you ever considered combining your enjoyment of music with your acting work, for example by collaborating with musicians on a "words & music" project, say for a benefit evening, or an audio recording ?

Rupert Graves: That would be a good idea, I've never thought about it, but I will now! I'd like to, yeah I'd like to.

Manami Kitamura from Japan asks: We have a lot of your fans here in Japan, do you have any plans to visit Japan in the near future ?

Rupert Graves: No, I don't have any plans but I'd love to visit Japan, probably more than any other country, I'd really love to go, I'm really fascinated by Japanese culture.

Nisa Byrne from Singapore asks: Hi Rupert. Is it possible if we could get a picture of you waving hello to us ?

Rupert Graves: I'll probably forget but I'm sure we can do that, yeah.

Angela Taylor from The US asks: What is the last book you read ?

Rupert Graves: Michael Faber's "Under The Skin".

Dee from The US asks: Have you ever felt that you belonged to a different time or place, and if so why ?

Rupert Graves: Ultimately, no. I feel I genuinely belong in my own skin in my own time, though another good thing about being an actor is doing period stuff ... I think another time is actually like another place, culturally. You can stay in the same place and it changes so much over a couple of generations. I think if you went back to London, say three generations ago, it would feel like a completely different place then.

Elf from The United Kingdom asks: I make work for museums/art galleries all over the world. Do you have a favourite museum or gallery in London that you think everyone should visit if they have a chance ?

Rupert Graves: One of the great things about London is the amount of free art galleries and museums. One of my favourite things about Germany, East Germany is that there used to be, I'm not sure it is still there, is a lovely little art gallery devoted to Otto Dix.

There's also a nice little museum in London, I forget it's name, which has a private collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts, none of the big things. It's very dark and they give you a torch, you kind of explore it on your own. I also like going to The National Gallery, dipping in and seeing two rooms at a time, it's so amazing that place.

Elodie Kagan from France asks: What famous part would you have loved to play ?

Rupert Graves: Caligula, the stage version, but I'm too old for that now, much too old!

Megan McKinney from The US asks: Is there any female role that's so compelling or challenging you have ever thought "I wish I could play that part" ?

Rupert Graves: I saw this fantastic production of "Agamemnon" and the woman who played ... I think it was "Clytemnestra" was so brilliant, I thought, "I want that part".

Luka from Finland asks: You have acted in many films and tv-series, but has there been any specific actor or actress you have enjoyed doing a film or series with the most ?

Rupert Graves: No, not "most". I just enjoy ... it could be the part, it could be the actor, it could be the director, it could be the script. When a flow happens, it just starts happening. Those moments are fates of grace, which I really enjoy, I enjoy it every time it happens.

Shoko Ochiai from Japan asks: What do you do holiday with your children ?

Rupert Graves: (Laughing) I run away from them, get drunk and try to lose them. Seriously, because we live in London, when we get out of London, it's a big outside thing, and basically we do things together, try to have some fun really.

Clara from Austria asks: I think the chemistry between Rupert and James Wilby is magical - would you like to do another project with him ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I'd love to do anything with James.

Zi in China asks: If there is need to support a charity, are you willing to attend the activities for example a stage-play, a charity-sale, or something like a meet-and-greet ?

Rupert Graves: As long as the charity is for a good cause, yeah.

Eva Mlejnská from The Czech Republic asks: I couldn't really think of an intelligent question to ask I simply wish to congratulate you on your work instead. I hope there will be many great roles for you in the years to come, for both you and us, your fans, to enjoy.

Rupert Graves: Thank you, thank you.

Ashley Starnes from The US asks: Of all of your accomplishments in life (successful acting career, fatherhood, charity work etc), of which are you most proud and why ?

Rupert Graves: I don't really have much pride I think, I mean I'm glad my family hasn't fallen apart, I'm glad my career hasn't fallen apart, and (laughing) I'm glad I haven't fallen apart, so I guess just keeping things together is something I'm proud of.

Alison from The United Kingdom asks: You've worked with lots of very talented people but is there someone you haven't worked with yet that you'd really like to, or someone you wish you could've ?

Rupert Graves: I would have liked to work with Philip Seymour Hoffman, he was very good, and definitely Meryl Streep.

Eifaul from China asks: How does it feel to be a father ?

Rupert Graves: It's amazing to be a father, it's really amazing.

Maria from The US asks: Is there any role that you would love to play for the future ?

Rupert Graves: Hmmm. Maybe the role in "Sacrifice" if it ever happens, I've read the script and it's very good.

Natali from Russia asks: How do you work on the character's accent, do you listen to some audio, or speak with some people, or just imagine how it would be sound ? Because I think many actors don't bother in this at all, but in your performance every new character sounds special.

Rupert Graves: Thank you. I listen to people, then I go to see a voice coach.

Karinia from Hong Kong asks: You often seem to work together with old partners, such as Helena Bonham Carter. You and she have collaborated in five projects. The latest one was "Turks & Caicos". Have any interesting things happened ?

Rupert Graves: (Laughing) Like what ? She's a very good actress and a great lady, and she laughs a lot so it's always a lot of fun.

Vera from Germany asks: Do you have a theory about Lestrade's private life, his friends and family, hobbies etc ?

Rupert Graves: I have yeah, but I don't really like to go into that, to give too much away.

Tomo in Japan asks: Do you have any pets ?

Rupert Graves: No, I used to have a greyhound but he died. I don't think I'd like any more pets (laughing) five kids is enough. London is a bit tricky, and in my work I go away a lot, so it wouldn't be fair.

Stephen James from The United Kingdom asks: Do you have any thoughts about the changes in media output, for example we have The BBC cancelling popular shows because of ratings, such as "Ripper Street", only for online shopping companies like Amazon offering to fund a new series ?

Rupert Graves: The idea that families all sit down and watch the same thing together now is just a blinkered old idea, the internet has changed and will continue to change many things in the future. I think it would be disastrous if none of the new companies were coming in and not making drama, but they are making drama, which is a very good thing.

I don't know if these online companies are going to be good producers or not, but I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be, and if they are it has to be a good thing. I think it could be a good thing for new companies to come forward with some new ideas, with some confident, thrusting new producers, with new ways of putting forward new drama.

Andrew from Scotland asks: Apart from the guitar and piano, do you play any other instruments ?

Rupert Graves: No, none at all.

Stevie from Eire asks: I keep reading different answers to this question (not from yourself!) so if possible, can you tell me if you directed "Checkout Girl" and "Jeremy Wolf" ?

Rupert Graves: No, I didn't direct Checkout Girl, and yes I did direct Jeremy Wolf, hope that helps!

As usual Rupert, we've run out of time, thanks for the answers, always a fun and interesting thing to do.
Rupert Graves: Yeah, it is!

We'll keep the rest on file, and hopefully arrange another special in the future.
Rupert Graves: Okay, we'll do that.

Take care then, be in touch soon.
Rupert Graves: You too, bye, bye.
©2014 Rupert Graves Online.