“My dream was to play football professionally”: Michael Sheen warms up for Soccer Aid 2018

The Frost/Nixon star discusses joining the Rest of the World for ITV and Unicef's charity match

(Getty)

 What TV do you love?

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Pointless Celebrities and The Chase. They tend to be on at the same time on different channels – my mum and dad record them so when I stay at their house I can watch both. The last box set I watched was The Handmaid’s Tale. I watched it all in one sitting, which was intense, but rewarding.

Who do you like watching television with?

I like watching TV on my own so there are no distractions. I understand why people like to comment about TV while viewing, but nothing annoys me more when I’m trying to watch something!

Are you a creature of habit?

I’m filming The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle with Robert Downey Jr. At the moment, I travel back and forth between Wales and London every week and one day is never the same as the next. I am naturally a creature of habit, so that does make it difficult. Breakfast in general and coffee specifically is my most important part of the day. So as long as that’s taken care of I can pretty much deal with whatever the day throws at me.

You’re a lifelong football fan – what’s your favourite memory?

There are so many highlights but nothing beats walking out onto the pitch in front of 80,000 people to play alongside Zinedine Zidane during Soccer Aid. My absolute highlight was watching Serge’s extraordinary goal against England a few Soccer Aids back [Sergio Pizzorno from the band Kasabian]. That was a goal that would have made any legend proud.

What is it about football you like?

Wherever I’ve gone in the world, football brings people together. It’s like an international language. Soccer Aid is what led me to working closely with Unicef, so I’ll always be grateful for that. I’ve just travelled to Bangladesh to see how Unicef is helping there. Even in the refugee camp I visited we managed to organise a football match, which goes to show what an important role football can play in helping people.

You were scouted as a child for Arsenal Youth – did you want to be a star footballer?

When I was younger, my dream was to play football professionally, but I doubt I would ever have made it to the top tier. Even if I had, my career would have finished while I was still a young man. Even though acting can be just as precarious, I like to think my career could go on for as long as I want it to.

What makes you cry or laugh on TV?

The last thing that made me both laugh and cry on TV was The Secret Life of Five-Year-Olds.

Tell us something unusual about yourself…

I really enjoy folding clothes in shops. It gives me a real thrill if someone thinks I work there based on my clothes-folding skills.

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This year’s Soccer Aid match can be seen on ITV at 6.30pm on Sunday 10th June.

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