My Secret Life: Eric Cantona, 45, actor

'Every day is a work of art'

My parents were... immigrants. My father's parents were from Sardinia and my mother's from Barcelona.

The household I grew up in... Full of love, lots of love. We were like a clan around the table, singing, laughing, crying – everything.

When I was a child I wanted to be... I didn't know. My parents helped give me enough confidence to have the personality to choose later.

If I could change one thing about myself... Nothing, I have nothing to change. I would change others around me. I see the world become so uniform. Everybody has to be the same. I like people who are different.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at... acting.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... acting.

At night I dream of... taking a plane and there is the traffic light, most of the time. We live in a big cage but we need this sensation to have the sensation of liberty when we escape.

What I see when I look in the mirror... Myself, always as I expect.

My favourite item of clothing... My skin. I have to wear clothes but I don't like to give an idea of what I am with clothes.

I drive/ride... A sex toy. I have a car but it's not important.

My favourite work of art... is life. Every day is a piece of art. We use history to build a piece of art now, for tomorrow.

My greatest regret... Myself. I wish I could accept everything in this world. I wish I didn't sit in front of my TV, revolted by people who lie to us. It's hard to be like this but at the same time I'm very proud to be like this.

My real-life villain... I don't have enemies, but I am the enemy of some people, a lot of people. But they are not like enemies for me. An enemy is dangerous and nobody is dangerous for me, but I am dangerous for others.

The person who really makes me laugh... My family.

The last time I cried... was in the taxi this morning. A friend explained some things to me. I cry a lot. It proves to me that I'm a human being without armour.

My five-year plan... is to feel alive whatever I do. I want to find a way to feel alive.

What's the point? What's the point in answers? The point is to ask questions. The questions can have many answers, to open doors and let the mind travel. That's the point.

My life in six words... King seven minus one equals six.

A LIFE IN BRIEF

Eric Cantona was born in 1966. He grew up in Marseilles, where he played for a local football team before signing to the French side, Auxerre. A spell followed at Marseilles, then Leeds United. But he became a star at Manchester United, where he won four Premier League titles in five years. After retirement in 1997, he moved into acting, appearing in Elizabeth and, in 2009, the acclaimed Ken Loach film, Looking for Eric. He lives in Paris. Switch, a thriller in which he plays a detective, is in cinemas now, and on DVD and Blu-ray from Monday

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