As an ethnic actor, I still feel I can't be in 'Downton Abbey' or in period dramas.
I have been 'absorbing' people - their voices, their mannerisms - all my life, to the point where I am a sort of Frankenstein of different people. My own speaking voice is, in fact, a mixture of how my two best mates speak, because they are cool, and I am not.
When I wind someone up, it's never to make them feel angry or aggressive; that doesn't make good telly. It's about uncovering a layer of themselves that is kind of sweet and nice.
Why did Barry Humphries play Dame Edna for so many years? Why is Steve Coogan still doing Alan Partridge? Because there are just one or two characters they love doing. I'm lucky enough to have six that I'm crazy about.
I look at my early career, and you know, when I left drama school, for a young Asian actor, you could either play a doctor on 'Holby City,' or you could play a terrorist in 'Spooks' and get to wear a nice shiny suit.