I moved into a hostel when I was 15 I was having problems at home so my friend picked me up and drove me over, and on the way I remember saying, "I've got no money, have I made the right choice?" But when you've got nothing, you've got nothing to lose, and it gives you the drive [to succeed].
Starring in 'Kidulthood' was a blessing and a curse I was excited about representing a side to London that you didn't normally see, so I went out of my way to make [my character] Jay authentic with the slang and dialogue. But afterwards I worried that when [producers and directors] heard my accent, they'd forget I was an actor. I imagined them saying, "Isn't he just a guy they picked up on the estate?"
Acting can make you a little bit crazy You're always trying to think about the next film, waiting for a call. There's a lot of auditions – and rejection – so you need to have this attitude that everything happens for a reason.
I signed up to 'Outside Bet' when I heard Bob Hoskins was in it Off set he was one of the boys. But he could do it all in one take; he nailed it, and it's the reason he's worked for so long. [Hoskins has just announced his retirement due to Parkinson's disease.]
The younger generation doesn't look at race so much We're an interconnected melting pot, and whether people like it or not, street culture in London has got so big now that everyone talks a certain way, and even middle-class kids listen to the same music as the ones in the council estates.
I get stopped by the police every couple of weeks People say to me, "Put a shirt on, or a jumper." But I've never changed my fashion sense and I still go out with a cap and a hoodie on, and because of that I expect to be stopped. So I put a copy of Anuvahood [which Deacon directed and stars in] in the glove compartment, so when they stop me, the police say, "Ah, OK, he's not a drug dealer, he's just an actor."
My friends say I think too much I drive them mad saying, "What if this happens, or I don't get that film… It's an approach that helps me when I get creative but sometimes I just have to switch off: turn the phone off, get some takeaway and watch TV for the day.
Adam Deacon, 29, is a Bafta award-winning actor and director. 'Outside Bet' is out on DVD on Monday