There's no way the writing staff of 'Game of Thrones' haven't read 'The Art of War.' There's definitely an influence on 'Game of Thrones' from this book in both a general way and on the character of Lord Baelish and his strategies.
Both 'The Wire' and 'Queer as Folk' had a big scope. They were panoramas, telling ambitious stories about two cities, Baltimore and Manchester, for the first time.
Everything's borne out of human experience, of course - rejection, humiliation, poverty, whatever. People aren't born bad, no matter how harsh the circumstances. There is a person in there, and that person is not made of ice.
'You're Ugly Too' isn't a comedy, but it has a lightness of touch with a hard edge. But it's essentially a warm story tinged with a bit of melancholy in the great Irish tradition. I'm very proud of that film.
I don't do a lot of reflecting. I'm usually about getting on with it.
To start, I wasn't really interested in acting at all, and I didn't make much impact. The first play I was in was on for five nights and I didn't show up for two of them and nobody noticed. But I stayed because that's where my friends were, and after a while I found myself wanting to inhabit other people's worlds and lives.
The first time I played a killer, in the 1997 film 'Mojo,' I went to my local video shop and got out a video of real executions and a history of the Third Reich. The guy in the shop was giving me a look. I thought this would help, but I don't think it made any difference, and I don't want to see any more executions.
So-called reality TV, which dominates British channels, is destroying what made it cherishable to me and lots of others in the first place. I loved Alan Clarke, Ken Loach and Alan Bleasdale's work. In fact the first TV dramas I ever saw were 'Screen Twos' produced by David Thompson, who also produced a lot of Alan Clarke.
It's nice to have a few names. I use a few names myself. I use a few different surnames. I call myself James sometimes. I actually use my mother's name as a professional name. But if someone calls me Mr. Murphy or Mr. Gillen, I don't like that. I don't like being called 'mister,' and I don't like being called 'sir.'
I've made a point of trying not to play the same part and of moving between theatre and film and TV. The idea is that by the time you come back, you have been away for a year, and people have forgotten you. If you like having time off, which I do, that's a good career strategy. Or at least, it's my strategy to keep my head together.