Stanley Tucci: “British news channels are a 1000 times better than US ones”

The Hunger Games star also reveals his favourite TV and why he doesn't watch Bake Off

Stanley tucci

Your wife is the literary agent Felicity Blunt, who’s the sister of actor Emily, and you have two teenagers and a young child. Do you argue about what to watch?

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No, with all the computers and having Netflix on your iPad, everyone can watch what they want. But we do still watch things together – we’ll all sit down and watch a movie or a football match.

What’s your living room like?

Our house is in Barnes in southwest London and it once had two parlours; it’s an older building, but modern inside. There’s a fireplace and an L-shaped couch, and everything’s in a palette of greys.

What do you watch?

Cooking shows are my favourite thing. Saturday Kitchen, Rick Stein, Heston Blumenthal, Mark Hix, Giorgio Locatelli… There are so many great chefs in Britain. I’m less of a fan of American cookery programmes. They’re kind of brash and showy.

Do you watch Bake Off?

I’m getting a little tired of those competition shows. I just like to watch somebody cook. Sometimes it’s nicer to have somebody come in and cook a chicken!

What else do you like to watch?

I watched The Handmaid’s Tale, which was just amazing. I love the way it was shot. It was so incredibly cinematic, and the acting was very good, Elisabeth Moss in particular. When you’re an actor or director, you can’t help but notice those things. I also love historical documentaries – Time Team is fascinating!

Are you a binge-watcher?

No, I never watch anything hour after hour, unless I have to for work. Felicity and I watched the original series of The Killing when we first met and were living in the States. That was very hard to tear yourself away from.

How do you relax?

I go to the gym five or six times a week. I go crazy if I miss a day. I always watch BBC News in the morning while I’m there. British news channels are a thousand times better than American ones. There’s so much happening now, so swiftly – it’s fascinating, it’s making it slightly addictive.

Have you always been engaged with world events?

No, it’s probably over the past decade that I’ve become that way. It started when George W Bush came into office.

You’ve written and directed a film about the artist Alberto Giacometti — are you artistic?

I do paint and draw. I suppose I have some talent, but really it just helps me clear my head and see the world more clearly. I do landscapes and portraits, and I’ll sketch while I’m on vacation. When I’m painting I’ll listen to a BBC podcast. I like science podcasts – anything that doesn’t have to do with entertainment or the arts. I try to avoid that in my free time. When it’s your life, you don’t need to read or hear about it.

By Sarah Carson

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Final Portrait, a biopic of artist Alberto Giacometti, is in cinemas from 18 August