Sir Derek Jacobi finds awards “strange”.
The ‘I Claudius’ star - who has a Bafta, a Tony and several other theatre honours – finds it odd that people can hand out accolades for acting by simply declaring that one person’s performance was better than another’s.
He said: “Acting awards are a bit hit and miss really, do you know what I mean? It’s in the eye of the beholder.
“I have never really been easy with critics and for someone to say, ‘OK, you are the best actor for this part – well, I just find it all a bit strange.”
However, the veteran actor acknowledged there are some benefits.
He said: “The only good thing is that it enhances your reputation and possibly you get more work.”
But two accolades that Derek does treasure are his knighthoods, as he has a Danish one as well as a British one, with Laurence Olivier the only other person to have received the same.
He told Reader’s Digest magazine: “I am very proud of those.
“I was sent a letter, saying I was being considered for a knighthood. Would I like one? There’s a little box to tick ‘yes’ and a little box to tick ‘no’.
“I wonder who ticks the no.”
The 82-year-old star’s worked steadily in theatre for years before becoming a household name thanks to his lead role in the 1976 BBC TV series ‘I, Claudius’, and he couldn’t believe how much it changed his life.
He reflected: “Within two years of ‘I, Claudius’, I was starring on Broadway, that’s the kind of game-changer it was.”
And the show was what really made his parents proud of his career.
He said: “Shakespeare was way, way beyond anything they knew.
“When I was at the National, it didn’t mean anything, then when I was in ‘I, Claudius’ [and on television] they could see it and my mum could talk to all the neighbours because they knew about me. I owe them a great deal.”