Bill Nighy: “I wish someone had told me about the Summer of Love at the time”

National treasure, style icon and heavyweight of British film on why the swinging Sixties never really swung

Bill Nighy, 67, is dancing on a table the first time we meet.

Arriving early for our interview, I open the door to a penthouse in the Corinthia Hotel London and Purple Rain almost knocks me over as it blares out down the corridor. Encountering scenes that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Soho studio during the Swinging Sixties, Nighy is doing his best faux-tap number while a photographer shouts: ‘You’re so handsome, Bill, you sexy, sexy man!’ As introductions go, this one lives up to the hype.

Bill Nighy is one of the legendary actors of his generation, thanks to starring roles in franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter. But it’s Nighy’s turn as ageing rockstar Billy Mack in 2003’s Love, Actually that elevated him into the pantheon of British acting royalty.

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