Style & ShowbizShowbiz

Tom Hollander says he hasn't got over being bullied at school

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Tom Hollander says he hasn't got over being bullied at school

Tom Hollander has admitted that being bullied as a kid still affects him now.

The 49-year-old star of 'The Night Manager' has had a string of successful roles including playing the lead in Julian Fellowes's 'Doctor Throne' on ITV, portraying weird chemist Dr. George Cholmondeley in Tom Hardy's historical drama 'Taboo' and being the star and co-writer of sitcom 'Rev'.

But his journey to adulthood didn't start well for Tom, who studied for his A Levels at Abingdon School in Oxfordshire, as he was mercilessly bullied at secondary school and even as a man approaching 50 it still influences his life.

In an interview with The Times newspaper, Tom said: "Oh, it sounds like a terrible old cliché, doesn't it? Let's revise that. I am probably slightly oversensitive. I take offence slightly too easily if I'm not careful, which I need to stop. Partly it's a family trait. I've just inherited it. I repeatedly get offended by stuff that hasn't actually happened at all."

He admits that his emotions go "up and down" in a short cycle which he described as being "very comical" for anyone to witness.

He explained: "I can get very, very low and exhibit all the symptoms that one reads about that can accurately be described as depression, but it can change. It can change in two hours."

And it's even got to the point where his change in mood has struck as he's about to take to the stage.

He recalled: "Sometimes I think it as I'm walking to the theatre and as I'm getting into my costume, and I'm still thinking it as I walk on stage. But as long as you're feeling something it's good for the performance."

But it's not hindered his acting - in fact he has used his experiences to his advantage - not only can it enhance his performance he's also used acting to escape his personal issues.

He explained: "To an extent all that stuff is all useful for actors and also we can go into character. It's a huge relief because you get to be someone else, and the more you are someone else the more you escape yourself. You can apply a Puritan work ethic to escaping, but in life it's not so helpful."

Tom returns to the stage in Travesties, which is at the Apollo Theatre, London until April 29.