At 67 Jim Broadbent is also one of the few actors who plays his age on-screen. In the British drama The Sense of an Ending, he plays a retired man looking back at his life, pondering his regrets through the eyes of his ex-wife and an old flame (played by Harriet Walter and Charlotte Rampling, respectively).

Charlotte Rampling and Jim Broadbent in The Sense Of An Ending

Broadbent says that the character was easy to identify with. "He's actually not really grown up," he says. "A lot of us older people like to think we're mature and grown-up and know what we're about. But we're still anxious and vulnerable and as arrogant and flawed as when we were at 20. We just get better at disguising it, at editing our life and behaving, supposedly, properly. I'm constantly astonished that I'm 67 years old and approaching 70. I think I'm just starting to think maybe somewhere down the line I'll get the hang of things. You never feel you've gotten there, that you've achieved any sort of wisdom."

He's also quick to point out that this isn't a movie targeting older viewers. "I don't think it's about that," he says. "It doesn't focus on being older. It focuses on who these people are now and what their current struggles are, not the fact that they're closing down. They're still struggling with life as it is."

That said, he admits that gaining experience does change the way he approaches his work. For example, he no longer compares himself to other actors. "I might have done once," he smiles, "but there's something about winning an Oscar which means that you don't do that much anymore. I must say it does wipe away a lot of that anxiety. I was also very lucky in that I did a lot of wonderful stuff around the same time I won the Oscar - Topsy Turvy, Moulin Rouge, Gangs of New York, Iris. Not that I was wonderful in them, but I think that made me worry less about my place in the world."

He also at the time famously turned down an OBE from the Queen. "The main reason is that I think actors should be anti-establishment," Broadbent explains. "And I like the idea of being a rogue and a vagabond and not being appreciated by the powers that be. I like the idea, even if I don't do it much!"

Watch the trailer for A Sense Of An Ending: