My face has been better to me than I’ve been to it. I tend to ignore it and I am always pleasantly surprised at how much it seems to change from role to role. Today I look like Omar Sharif, because I’m growing a moustache for a film. I prefer to be clean-shaven.
I have dark brown eyes, Semitic features and quite a strong jaw. Of course I play Jewish roles but, thankfully, I do a lot of other stuff, too, which I enjoy enormously. Since December, I’ve been a Chicago gangster, Hitler, a Welsh priest, an Asian and a Frenchman. I’m always surprised at what my face can do. It can go from tender to tough, but doesn’t look so friendly. Maybe that’s why I play a lot of demanding, tough people.
I’m in my 60s, and my wife says it’s not fair that I don’t have more lines. I do have them, but she thinks I should have a few more. I enjoy getting older – a lived-in face is a wonderful thing. I’m pleased to say I have a lot of hair and it grows quickly, so I can have it short or long, which is great for work. It was jet black, but it’s now increasingly grey; when it’s not dyed for a role, it’s distinguished looking.
As a younger man, I wanted to fit in a bit more and be a bit less exotic, but at this point in my life I wouldn’t change anything. Now I enjoy who I am; then, I think I was trying to work out who I was.
• Henry Goodman is nominated for best actor in the Olivier Awards 2014 on Sunday 13 April; highlights will be broadcast on ITV.