Lewis star Laurence Fox chats about his wife Billie, son Winston, actor father James and the family pets... I hear your wife Billie Piper gave birth to baby Winston while you were filming. Did you get any paternity leave? "I went back after two days! They were really nice, and shut the unit down for a day. Everyone at work said I should have babies more often!" You look totally different from Hathaway... "I’m not as preened. I don’t really look after myself when I’m not working. I let everything grow. Months of wearing make-up makes you just want to rot. I keep myself clean but I don’t shave." What about Hathaway’s short crop? "I’d just finished another job where I had dyed brown hair so I shaved it off." Do you enjoy his sharp suits? "Yeah, you’ve got to get something out of it. I try and nick one or two at the end of every series, but I never wear them! I’ve got baby sick on everything. These are the only trousers I’ve got that aren’t covered in baby sick. They’re covered in pig s*** instead. We’ve got pigs, but they’ve got to move house. They were meant to be miniature pigs but they’re not, they’re sofa sized pigs!" Do you live in the country? "Yeah, not too far from London. The pigs were a bit of a mistake because I can’t kill ‘em in all good conscience. I’ve got chickens, but they’re all right because you’ve only got to look at them and they lay eggs. Everyday two eggs – it’s amazing. But pigs you’re just salivating – bacon, pork, crackling – so I don’t love them, I want to eat them. I’m calling up a local farm today about a children’s petting zoo to ask if they can take them." You’ve got a lot of responsibility, what with the baby, the chickens and pigs... "I’ve got this really nice guy who lives up the hill who feeds the chickens. But in the long run we need to get a little place in London as well. We’re too far away. It’s a fine balancing act with the childcare, but we’ll work it out. Billie is filming Belle du Jour again, which will be full-time. She doesn’t have any post baby weight, but maybe women are more sensitive. I’m like: 'You look great, baby!'" How was it working with your dad James in the first episodes? "Nerve-wracking! I forgot my lines I was so nervous. I had to re-dub them after! It’s the first time I’ve worked with him and I was surprised. At first I felt nervous for him because he’s a big character to play. Sometimes when you watch something live it looks odd. He did this high-pitched eccentric man and I thought: “Oh God!” but then I watched it and it was brilliant. But film actors are like that – it’s all there on the camera. I actually think he’s the best thing out of all of the guest stars in it. He’s better than I am. I’m not asking for a compliment, he’s a brilliant actor." But now you have carved your own career... "I know – I’m no longer the son of James Fox. At the moment I’m just Laurence Fox! The whole acting dynasty is fascinating to people, but why? I just don’t get it. Everyone imagines parties and hanging out with Mel Gibson. It doesn’t happen. My Godmother is called Doris. I can’t think of any celebrity friends we’ve got - or rather my mum and dad have got. They’re quite quiet family oriented people really. Like filming – seems glamorous - isn’t." I heard you're thinking of writing the script for Lewis...? "I’m planning to. I want to do it with Kev. I spoke to him two days ago and we’re going to meet up. In one of those boring moments on set we discussed a little idea and went out and had dinner and wrote a few of the ideas down. And then forgot about it." I read you were doing stunts in this new series... "A stunt to me is something that is dangerous, as opposed to jumping into some mud – as traumatic as it looks on screen! A car crash is a stunt. Those bits I enjoy doing. I dive into a swimming pool and save a girl who is going to top herself. I jump in a macerator, which chews up waste. Do I do anything else? I can’t remember." How do you think the relationship between Hathaway and Lewis has developed? "I think their relationship is like mine and Kevin’s in real life – I take the mick out of him, he tells me I have no talent, I tell him that he pulls stupid faces and doesn’t know how to act. And that transposes to our screen relationship really, our banter. And because he’s a really great guy to work with, I spend my time trying to make him snap! Another great way of spending the day! But seriously, we get on really well. We spend a lot of time together, and have dinner occasionally. He has yet to take me to Portugal on a golf trip! I’m working on that one." Lewis series three is available to own on ITV DVD from April 13.
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.