Bill Nighy reveals a club in Paris offered him money to sleep with older women when he was just 16

Bill Nighy has revealed that he was offered money to sleep with older women when he was just 16 years old.  

The Living actor, now 73, moved to Paris as a teenager and applied to work in a fancy bar there after leaving formal education.

But when they asked more of him than just waiting tables he turned down the offer of employment over fears he was too inexperienced.  

He told The Sun: ‘I was offered a job at a club and it was explained that if I slept with women of a certain age, they’d give me 200 francs.

‘I never did it because I’d never done it and would not know how.’

Shock: Bill Nighy has revealed that a club job in Paris offered him money to sleep with older women there when he was just 16 years of age

Shock: Bill Nighy has revealed that a club job in Paris offered him money to sleep with older women there when he was just 16 years of age

During the chat he also reflected on his drinking and drug use in his early career and how glad he is that he stopped using when he did. 

He quit in 1992 the year he got his first big break on TV when he was cast in the BBC series The Men’s Room.

Bill said of giving up: ‘Had I continued to drink and take other drugs, I would not be having this conversation. That is the central fact of my life. I got help.

‘There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t thank my lucky stars I do not have to drink.’

It comes as Bill will be heading to The Oscars on Sunday night where he is nominated in the Best Actor category for his role in Living.

He already has a couple of Baftas and a Golden Globe, plus a string of nominations for some of his previous films, but this marks the first time he’s had a nod from the Academy Awards. 

Living, directed by Oliver Hermanus, is adapted from the 1952 Japanese film Ikiru, which in turn was inspired by the 1886 Russian novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy. 

Set in 1953 London, it follows a bureaucrat in the county Public Works department (Bill) who is facing a terminal illness and quickly sets out to discover a purpose and sense of meaning for his life before he dies. 

Youth: The Living actor, now 73, moved to the French capital as a teen after leaving formal education when he applied to work in a fancy bar there (pictured in 1991)

Youth: The Living actor, now 73, moved to the French capital as a teen after leaving formal education when he applied to work in a fancy bar there (pictured in 1991) 

The film explored the idea of intergenerational friendship – with Sex Education’s Aimee Lou Wood playing Margaret, a young colleague to Bill’s character Mr Williams. 

Mr Williams becomes intrigued by Margaret who helps him utilise his years of experience to focus his energy towards completing a final big project.

Aimee previously opened up about her special friendship with co-star Bill with Glamour. 

She said: ‘I love having friendships with older people – whenever I’m in a play, for instance, it will always be the oldest person in the cast that I make best friends with.

‘I have many friendships with older men that are totally a space of safety, joy and comfort for me. I see evidence every day of amazing, unlikely connections and friendships.’

Speaking about the film, Living’s screenwriter Kazuo Ishiguro told Variety: ‘The inner story suggests that it’s the responsibility of each of us to bring meaning and satisfaction to our life. 

Busy: It comes as Bill will be heading to The Oscars on Sunday night where he is nominated in the Best Actor category for his role in Living where he stars opposite Aimee Lou Wood

Busy: It comes as Bill will be heading to The Oscars on Sunday night where he is nominated in the Best Actor category for his role in Living where he stars opposite Aimee Lou Wood

‘That even against the odds, we should try to find a way to be proud of, and happy with, the lives we lead. 

‘I believe this story can speak to the many of us obliged to spend long hours each day anchored to desks and screens — all the more so in this era of COVID — struggling to see what our individual contributions can possibly amount to within the broader picture.’ 

While director Hermanus added that the purpose of the film is to show that one of the purposes of humanity is that each individual’s small contribution might seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but that each small effort to help others is what life is about.

Living is being developed by Film4 and Ingenious Media, and in association with Kurosawa Productions and executive producer Ko Kurosawa. 



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