“There are moments when you have an awareness there are very few other people in the world who understand the position you’re in from your point of view,” he says, but that’s about as far as he’ll go in circumnavigating the strangeness of his life.
“The most wonderful thing I hear is people coming up and saying 'Thank you for my childhood’, which still blows my mind but is very sweet.
He’s also savvy enough to sense what not to divulge.
When I try to coax him into talking about his love life, he replies with a smile: “I’ve learnt that no matter what I say or don’t say, people form their opinions anyway, so I’m now going to let everyone guess and leave it there.” But he’s also chatty, self-deprecating, articulate, focused – all of the things many young men would like to be at his age but often aren’t.
Certainly being who he is, he finds “you affect the room you’re in and people will turn around and have certain perceptions of what your life must be like.
Having succeeded in show business without really trying, he now has to consolidate childhood’s achievements in adulthood.
“I don’t want anyone to ever say that I don’t belong where I am,” he admits.
I feel like 'child-star prick’ is the image many people have of actors who started young; that’s the stereotype you’re coming up against.” That could easily sound aggrieved, but he says it with a laugh.
It’s only when I try to revisit the subject of his boozing that he clams up.