The actor has long had a fraught relationship with the media and their intrusions on his private life. As he promotes his new film with Steven Soderbergh, he talks about life post-Leveson and his love of theatre.
‘I’m 40! I’m an adult!” shouts Jude Law. “Aren’t I?” We hold these truths to be self-evident, I reply, as the actor, laughing, stares across the table with those adorable baby blues and more hair than’s fair. “But,” he says more quietly, “part of me thinks I can’t play a doctor. Who would come to me?”
You’ve got to be kidding. Who wouldn’t come to Dr Jude? In Steven Soderbergh’s film Side Effects, Law plays an Englishman in New York, a slimy limey of a pill-dispensing psychiatrist who becomes entangled in murder, drug switcheroos, a risible lesbian insider trading scam and lots more vaguely voguish, putatively Hitchkockian hokum before the credits. Astute critics have compared this performance with the one Law gave in the 2004 film I Heart Huckabees, where he played a shallow business exec in psychic meltdown. “The de-smugging of Jude Law is yet again a dramatic motor to swear by,” wrote the Daily Telegraph. Quite so: seeing Dr Jude losing his Brit cool when wrong-footed by faux-innocent Rooney Mara or handbagged by crackers shrink Catherine Zeta-Jones is worth the price of admission alone.