My Secret Life: Noel Clarke

Actor & director, 34

My parents were ... immigrants from Trinidad. My mother was a nurse and my father was a carpenter. My mother raised me on her own.

The home I grew up in ... was a two-bed house on a council estate in west London. It wasn't much but it was always warm with a good food smell when you walked in the door. And it was ours.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... an actor.

The first time I got drunk ... I don't get drunk; I've always been someone who's stayed in control. I was always an athlete when I was younger, and really into karate. I'll have a drink now and again but getting drunk is not something I've ever wanted a part of.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I wouldn't change anything.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... video games.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... cooking. My wife's a great cook but I'm dreadful so she rarely gets her dinner made by me, which is terrible, I know.

At night I dream of ... My mind is a very strange place; luckily I don't have dreams. Whenever I am asleep and my mind starts wandering, I wake up.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... is a guy getting older. I can't do anything about that, I just hope I stay youthful enough to continue doing what I want to do.

My favourite item of clothing ... Right now it would be a white Florida Gaters T-shirt. I love it: it's a tight fit, makes my arms look muscley, and it looks worn even though it's new. I dig that.

I wish I'd never worn ... A few years back, I was in a Channel 4 six-part drama called 'Metrosexuality'. In the second episode my character went clubbing in a white thong, silver chaps and a full-length fur coat. That was different.

My house is ... a three-bedroom apartment in an old converted building in Kensington; I've only been there few months. It's bigger than the last place and has a garden.

A book that changed me ... I read 'Breaking the Rules' by Catherine Townsend. I already knew a fair bit about chicks, but this taught me a lot that I didn't know.

I drive ... a black VW polo. I also take the tube or walk. I'm not into flash cars and all that; I don't feel I need to compensate for anything.

Movie heaven ... For me personally, it is being able to make the movies I want to make without having trouble with finances.

The last album I bought/downloaded ... was 'Catch Me If You Can' by Bashy, a friend of mine, which I bought on iTunes.

My secret crush ... is Cheryl Cole. I liked her from the very beginning of Girls Aloud. When everyone was nattering on about the blonde one, I knew Cheryl was the one. She's driven, clever, and speaks her mind.

My greatest regret ... I don't have any: once you done something, it's done.

The person who really makes me laugh ... Alan Carr. He's way funnier than Jimmy Carr.

The last time I cried ... I nearly cried when my boy was born, nearly. That was a well-up but I never quite got the tears. It's strange, I've been to funerals of friends and still it just doesn't come out.

My five-year plan ... I can't tell you that, I would never tell anyone.

My life in six words ... Wasn't happening, so he made it.

A life in brief

Born in London in December 1975, Noel Clarke is a BAFTA-winning actor, director and screenwriter. His debut motion picture 'Kidulthood' was released in 2006 and won him numerous awards; the sequel, 'Adulthood', grossed more than £1m on its opening weekend in 2008. Clarke lives in London with his wife and baby boy. Noel is on the judging panel for this year's Virgin Media Shorts film competition; visit virginmediashorts.co.uk for details

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