1998 began with filming alongside Samuel L. Jackson in THE NEGOTIATOR, and later that year I narrated the voice of Hopper the grasshopper in A BUG’S LIFE. Also in 1998 I hit the stage once again, headlining in a London production of Eugene O'Neill's “The Iceman Cometh.” This production eventually transferred to the Old Vic Theatre, which is where I first fell in love with the building, its history and would soon become its active champion.
The legendary British actor, Peter O'Toole, might possibly be the most impressive, but undeniably the coolest, person I have met. One night after a performance of “The Iceman Cometh,” he came backstage at the Old Vic, surprising me completely. He grabbed my head like it was a football, and then began to describe my performance in the most wonderful adjectives I’d ever heard: funny, brilliant, hilarious, quick, clear, fast, clever… Nice as this was to hear, with each word he said he was banging the back of my head with his hand until I literally thought I was going to be knocked out because it was so hard! At this point, however, I was too ecstatic to care. Peter O'Toole was bashing my head in with compliments, and it was fine by me! If I die, I thought, then this is definitely the way to go!
In 1998, I was awarded the London Evening Standard Award for Best Actor, the London Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and to top it off, the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor. This definitely became one of the most memorable years of my life!