Martin Freeman: The unknown part of the actor’s job

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MARTIN FREEMANYour IMDB is a real mixture of different genres, not necessarily expected of you, given where you came from on The Office, was that something you fought against?
Of typecasting? It’s been a mixture of, I think people thought I was genuinely a stand-up from doing The Office, particularly in the first few years after, and clearly I am not but I could have made a nice profession doing comedies and all that.  I love comedies and love to make people laugh.

So how have you guided your career to new terrain?
I do say no which comes down to my own taste and what I would watch myself and what I wouldn’t. But I also have people working for me whom I am very grateful for who have sort of cleared that path and shone a light on me by saying, ‘He would be interested in doing that.’

When will we be seeing the next series of Sherlock? Or are we in for a long, long wait?
It’s the same story, every time, each time before every season, it’s a fortuitous curse that we’re all so very lucky to be so damn busy. It’s a blessing, overwhelmingly a blessing but for Sherlock, it’s a curse. It’s not a curse [laughs]. But between Benedict, Steven, Mark and myself, we’re a disparate group leading very disparate lives.

I’m not being cagey when I say I really don’t know. It might happen yes. We take our time, like quality control. 

But you want to do more?
Sherlock is one of my favourite things I’ve ever worked on, maybe will work on, I love doing the show and I’m like a little kid when those scripts come through my letter box. I get genuinely breathless.

It’s just a shame the series aren’t longer.
I’m actually glad in lots of ways that we don’t churn it out all the time, fifteen episodes a year. That would take away a bit of the magic for not only me but the audience too. I get bored very easily and the unknown part of this job is what appeals to me most. I like not knowing what’s coming next, I like embarking on a new [adventure] and will it work out, maybe it will, maybe it won’t.

Will The Office reunion ever happen? And would you be on for it now? I know you’ve had reservations in the past.
I no, I like the finite nature. I like the idea of leaving it alone, allowing the memory and the legacy to live on untarnished. You’re running the risk of making something that won’t be half as good as what we did before.  I say, ‘leave people wanting more. Not wanting less. No one wants to read a review, which so often happens, ‘they should have stopped five years ago.’ I’m happy to say, ‘Sorry, that’s enough.’

Will you and Benedict come together in the Marvel Universe at any stage?
I really hope so, that would be fun. But I don’t know how it would happen because they’re very different worlds. If I had my way, yes please. But I’m not Kevin Feige, I’m not the boss man, out of my hands.

How do you handle your fame now?
I just think it’s important to never believe it. Never actually taking any of it seriously, like it means anything in the grander scheme of things. When you do, that’s when the problems start.

See Martin Freeman’s IMDb pages here.