gratuitous

‘Why do we need to offer people gratuitous sex in film? There’s plenty of porn online’

Getty
Getty

Timothy Dalton has a laugh like a pantomime villain. Rich, deep and playfully thespy, it booms from our Zoom chat as his press team asks me to pivot my camera away from a nice blank wall towards a pile of unwashed laundry, to improve the lighting. The laughter erupts again when he spots my broken hoover.

I’m rewarded with a third, expansive peal when I tell the 74-year-old actor that my 10-year-old son – eavesdropping from the hall earlier as I watched the delectably surreal but 18-rated series Doom Patrol – said of Dalton’s performance as Niles “Chief” Caulder: “His voice is a massive spoiler! I mean, the posh English guy in an American action thing? You just know he’s going to turn out to be a baddie! Even if he’s a good guy for now.”

“Good for your son!” Dalton chuckles. “After I shot my very first scene

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