Michael Sheen plays 'himself' in films

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A 2009 British sports drama adapted from the bestselling and largely fictional book by David Peace, which is based on the author's interpretation of Brian Clough's 44-day tenure as the coach of Leeds United. The film is directed by Tom Hooper and stars Michael Sheen as Clough, with Timothy Spall acting as his right hand man Peter Taylor.
November 10th, 2012

Michael Sheen always plays ''himself'' in movies.

The 43-year-old actor is known for his portrayals of real-life people - including former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair in three films, 'Carry On' actor Kenneth Williams, legendary soccer manager Brian Clough and acclaimed reporter David Frost - in his films but says the characters are just him emphasising different aspects of his personality.

He explained: ''You're only ever playing yourself. That's all I can play.

''I think of it like a mixing desk in a sound studio, with all those faders that you put at different levels.

''To play Brian Clough in 'The Damned United', I amped up my bossy side, for Kenneth Williams I was a bit more outrageous. It's not like you put on a suit of clothes and take it off at the end of the day.''

While Michael has portrayed many real-life stars, he thinks his 13-year-old daughter Lily - whose mother is Kate Beckinsale - would be a great candidate to play him in a biopic because she is such a good mimic.

Asked who could play him in a film, he added to Elle magazine: ''Well, my daughter does a pretty good impersonation of me. She's brutal. But you need someone to play you, warts and all.''