At 42, and with hits including leading roles as Hamlet and Henry V, as well as a captivating Hollywood debut in Primary Colors under his belt, Lester has less need of a soapbox than most men in the business. Nor did he wheel it out during our interview. Instead, he sat, perched on a sofa in his agent’s central London office, legs spread, chatting courteously through the issues of the day.
And yes, one of those was his bête noire, the subject that kept him awake in those small hours: colour. As Michael “Mickey Bricks” Stone in Hustle, which returns for a seventh series next Friday, Lester is proud that he plays a non-colour-specific part (although he concedes that this means the con artist was probably written as white), but he knows casting directors don’t exactly dish out those roles. READ MORE