The 49-year-old star has enjoyed success on stage and screen during his career, but his ambitions to become an actor were actually sparked by his passion for literature.
Richard – who has also recorded a number of audiobooks – said: “I love reading. I think that’s what brought me into this profession. It wasn’t watching films and wishing I could be in them but reading books and, in my imagination, creating a mini movie out of them. An audiobook is very similar to that. I get real satisfaction out of it.
“Very rarely have I found a book that I didn’t connect with. I read as if I’m reading to one person. It gets to the root of why I do what I do. I just love storytelling.”
Richard has also admitted to worrying about the future of the theatre industry in the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Venues have been forced to close amid the health crisis and the actor – who previously starred in movies such as ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ and ‘Ocean’s 8’ – feels the industry is hanging “by a thread” at the moment.
Speaking about the situation in London’s Theatreland, he told the Guardian newspaper: “I’d been there recently. My little nephew wants to be an actor and I’d seen him perform in an amateur production there. It was a great theatre space.
“Leicester [Square] is fortunate because it does have other venues. But there are some smaller towns that don’t have many arts hubs and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
“We’re kind of hanging on by a thread. The news of cinemas suffering is another nail in the coffin.”