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Sheen: 'Don't call me an impersonator'

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Sheen: 'Don't call me an impersonator'

Rex Features

Michael Sheen has admitted that he gets frustrated being called an impersonator.

The Welsh actor has portrayed several real-life people throughout his career, including Tony Blair, Kenneth Williams and most recently David Frost in Frost/Nixon. He will next star as legendary football manager Brian Clough in The Damned United, released on March 27.

"I do slightly bristle when I hear the word 'impersonation' because that's not what I do," he told Empire. "But there isn't really a word for anyone doing this. It's a character, just with very specific parameters."

Sheen added that the opportunity to work with Oscar-nominated screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen) again meant that he is eager to continue taking on roles as real people. "Peter's writing some of the best scripts around at the moment and once you start doing them, it's hard to stop," he said.

Discussing The Damned United, Sheen revealed that he was attracted to Clough due to his forceful personality, saying: "One of the amazing things about him is that he's going to shape the world in his image. Inevitably there's something in us that recognises that that's playing with fire and the gods will have to strike you down.

"There was that Saturday night triumvirate of 1970s television: [Impressionist Mike] Yarwood, Parkinson and Match Of The Day. Clough was the only person who'd be on all three."

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