Bill Nighy has forged a career in Hollywood taking roles playing some more sinister dudes, or at least guys on the bit seedier side of the graph. It’s been a spot that’s worked for the actor, for sure. And he continues to land parts, even in recent years, taking on parts that show a unique way to handle these types of characters. But according to the actor, this isn’t exactly what he thought he wanted to do in his career. And there are a few regrets along the way. He recently sat down to talk about an upcoming project and revealed that what he really wanted to be was a writer, but he managed to come up pretty short in that regard.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Bill Nighy discussed his career as well as upcoming productions, one of which is an audio project around Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. For Nighy, it looks like this will be something of a career high-point seeing as how the actor is now on record saying he’d always dreamed of being an author. But he asserts that this never came to fruition because, well, he never actually wrote anything. Check out what Bill Nighy had to say about the unwalled career path as well as why it was he never actually put pen to paper.
“I wanted to write, my heroes were writers. I procrastinate at an Olympic level, and I’ve managed to get to my ripe old age without writing a single word. I didn’t have the courage, and I think it’s probably a very good thing that I didn’t, because I don’t feel that I would have been a very good writer.”
The last part is an honest admission by Bill Nighy seeing as how it’s a bit a stretch to say you’ve always wanted to write, but never actually wrote. There have been many a person (celebrity or not) who’s claimed over the years that they’ve wanted to write/ be an author without understanding the amount of time, work, and talent that actually goes into such a venture. Admitting at the end that even had he taken this path, he wouldn’t have been very good at least finds the truth there, because it’s likely the case. Regardless, it’s sometimes a bummer to find out folks get to later in life with regrets like Bill Nighy saying he never tried to do something he obviously thought a lot about.
For his next project, while he won’t be actually writing anything, Bill Nighy will be channeling an author, one that he’s been a fan of over the years. That would be the late Terry Pratchett, somewhat ironically, one of the most prolific authors we’ve ever had, especially in the fantasy space. For this project, Bill Nighy will be voicing Terry Pratchett’s “character” in the audio collection. In the Discworld series, Pratchett would insert himself as a character in the story through a series of footnotes. The next project will include 40 audio recordings of the Discworld series, all done in honor of the author. Terry Pratchett passed away in 2015.
As for Bill Nighy, though he’s said that his ambition (or at least passing thought) to become an author never came to pass, he’s carved out a successful career on the big and small screen that still has him working in addition to this latest audio project. For starters, he’s set to have a role in Showtime’s The Man Who Fell to Earth which is hitting the network on April 24th. He’ll also play the narrator in the upcoming The Button Maker. So there’s plenty on his plate, just no words yet.