Portrait: Law of averages

Hailed as one of Britain's most glamorous rising stars, actor Jude Law is actually quite normal. He got married in his trainers, hates playing the celebrity and prefers vegging out at home or playing with the kids to dressing up for premieres
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I was named after a mix of both "Hey Jude" and Jude the Obscure and I've got the lyrics to "Sexy Sadie" tattooed on my arm, which I had done when my wife was pregnant. The tattoos were a real pain in the arse when we were filming The Talented Mr Ripley, which is coming out soon. I played a yachtsman in short sleeves and we had to cover them up for each take.

I spent my childhood in south-east London, which I hardly recognise now. The Tories obliterated it, but I still love the area: it's multi-racial, chilled out, unimpressive and unimpressed. I miss it more than ever now my son Rafferty's at nursery, and I suddenly realise the relevance of home ground. North London is very much my wife's town [actress Sadie Frost]. She grew up on the street we live in. My son's going to be a north Londoner and I feel a bit odd about that.

But my school, Kidbrooke, was a nightmare. There was no heart to it: no drama, no sport. And a lot of kids were also a nightmare. My dad was headmaster of the Kidbrooke primary school and knew the people in the Stephen Lawrence case. I tried to fit in: every kid does their peer group thing, don't they? Even so, I supported Tottenham in a Millwall area - I still don't know why.

I went on to Alleyns, a more Bohemian public school, then I was at the National Youth and Music Theatre for four years. They were wonderful, encouraged us to take it seriously. There's no point giggling over lines. Commit to being an actor, otherwise what's the point? Then I went to Manchester, which was majorly wild then - Madchester! - and was going through the "baggy" period. I went out a lot, and worked with good actors on a not terribly good TV series, Families.

Final Cut, a film I made two years ago, is being released soon. We improvised around a brilliant idea which was that a young film-maker - me - makes a film of his friends through hidden cameras. There was no make-up, no second takes, no script; we have our own names and wear street clothes. People will love it or hate it.

In Wilde, Bosie was a challenge: to bring something human to a monstrous caricature. I couldn't find anything nice about him at all, except his clothes.

The production of 'Tis a Pity She's a Whore I'm in now is set in the Thirties, so I'm in a suit rather than tights and doublet. I play Giovanni, a student battling with Christianity, but I personally couldn't specify one religion: I'm too spontaneous.

I'm due to play Brian Epstein, the Beatles' manager. Here was a man who created popular culture. But he was racked with guilt. I've got a friend who makes suits for me, at Kilgour, French and Stanbury on Savile Row, and I've been talking to him about Epstein. He was renowned for his dress sense, and had extra pockets sewn into his suits for his pills: left for uppers, right for downers. He was a pioneer, old Brian.

I got married in a small ceremony on a canal barge. My wedding ring is made of bits of old gold. I wore a white suit and trainers. But as for the stardom angle, to be honest it's not in my reality. I'm married and have children and do my jobs. My reality is that when I've finished work I go home, see the kids and put them to bed, do some more work, have dinner with my wife, or hang out with friends. All the fan stuff is incredibly flattering, but I'm an actor not a celebrity - and there is a difference.

If the critics want to call our film company, Natural Nylon, "Britpack", fine. But I do think we've got to be careful not to limit things. If people think we're just a young group of actors who are Hello! and OK! fodder, they've got another thing coming. I was living in New York and I came up with the idea of "Nylon" - New York/London. Then someone said, "But nylon's synthetic and we're an organic company," and so we called ourselves Natural Nylon.

Sadie is well-known in her own right and I absolutely hate the celebrity couple bit. Since it has filtered out, she and I haven't been out at all. I find it threatening to my family. Luckily, I've never been keen on premieres - unless there's a friend in the film - or been a great fan of clubbing.

Actually, we're boring. If people want to know my recipe for a good veggie loaf I'll give it to them. Uma Thurman allegedly said I was an actor/rock star mix, but I've never thrown a television out of a window in my life.

Our child Rafferty is three and my stepson Finlay's nine. I suppose I became a father early at 23, but our grandparents' generation often had kids at 18. It's pretty relaxed with Fin. If Man United are playing he'll go round his dad's, if Spurs are playing he'll come to ours. It's wonderful.

As for keep fit, I was never a great fan of working out, but I really need to do something that calms me down. So I do Kundalini yoga. It's about breathing; a form of exercise that combines the mental and physical.

Jude Law appears in John Ford's `'Tis a Pity She's a Whore' at the Young Vic (0171-928 6363) from 1 Oct until 6 Nov

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