My Secret Life: James Corden, actor, 33


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The Independent Online

My parents are... lovely, and very good at being parents.

The household I grew up in... It was like a little bubble of love, genuinely. My dad was a musician in the Air Force and a Tory, and my mum was a social worker, so that was the only tension!

When I was a child I wanted to... be an actor, or any performer really. I just wanted to be performing in whatever capacity I could.

If I could change one thing about myself... I wish I wasn't as heavy as I am, and I do endeavour not to be.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at... dancing. Urban street dance. No, seriously! I've got some moves; I used to go to dance classes.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... I'm awful at driving. I drive a lot but I also make noises like 'Oops' and 'Sorry' a lot...

I wish I'd never worn... When I was nine or 10, I had a huge crush on a friend of my older sister and she had a huge crush on Bros. So I dressed up in ripped jeans, a vest and a red handkerchief round my neck and my sister's denim jacket and sat waiting for her on the sofa. I thought I looked like Matt or Luke Goss. I didn't.

What I see when I look in the mirror... I see something that doesn't exist – in my head I'm a lot more attractive than I actually am; you don't realise till you see a photograph.

My favourite item of clothing... A Spencer Hart suit. They're the best tailors on Savile Row. I feel taller and slimmer when I wear it.

It's not fashionable but I like... One Direction. I just think they're good! Actually, I'm also going to say Justin Bieber. He is ludicrously talented. He's not manufactured, or from a talent show, he's the real thing, and still everybody hates him. Well, not me: I'm a Belieber.

I drive... a Jaguar XKR, and it's fun.

My favourite building... The National Theatre. Some people would say it's quite ugly from the outside but there's an energy to it, I find. It has tremendous spirit. All eight of the 'history boys' will probably have a romantic attachment to that building.

A book that changed me... I loved David Nicholls' One Day. I auditioned for the film but I didn't get it – that's the last time I was really disappointed.

The person who really makes me laugh... My friend Louis Weymouth. He's a comedy writer and without question the funniest person I've ever met.

My greatest regret... Lesbian Vampire Killers, probably.

My real-life villains... For quite a long time it was the parking warden who patrolled my road – we had a daily duel. Now I've got my permit, we've got a truce for a year.

The last time I cried... I think it was when my son was born.

My five-year plan... I would like to try to do things that are good, but understand that sometimes they won't be.

What's the point? To be nice and lovely and happy.

My life in six words... It's a marathon, not a sprint.

A life in brief

James Corden was born in 1978. He studied drama at the Jackie Palmer Stage School and had early roles in Fat Friends and Teachers. He was in the stage show and the film of The History Boys. Corden created and starred in Gavin & Stacey with Ruth Jones, for which he won a BAFTA for best comedy performance. He is currently appearing in One Man, Two Guvnors in the West End, and his autobiography May I Have Your Attention Please is out now. He lives in London with his fiancée Julia Carey and their son