Martin Freeman dreamed of being a successful sportsman as a child.

The 47-year-old actor has starred in some of the most successful films and TV shows of recent years, but Martin has admitted that during his youth, he was instead focused on becoming a top-class soccer player.

He told the Guardian newspaper: ''I wanted to be a footballer and then a squash player - I was in with a chance because I was very good. But I fell out of love with that by 14 or 15 and joined a youth theatre.''

Martin also revealed that reading 'Animal Farm', the political novel by George Orwell, proved to be a life-shaping moment for him.

The actor explained that the book helped to inform his outlook on the world and on life.

Asked which book changed his life, Martin said: '''Animal Farm'. I was 11 and it was the best book that I had read. It shaped a lot of my future world view.''

Meanwhile, Martin previously revealed he doesn't enjoy the attention he receives.

The 'Black Panther' star explained that some people don't realise he is his ''own person'', rather than just a character in a movie.

He admitted: ''I think I'm a pretty decent person. I'm not horrible or unfriendly.

''But I'm my own person and I think sometimes people think 'affable' is going to mean 'doormat' or 'just grateful all the time for any attention' - and I'm not.

''I'm not grateful for the attention - quite the opposite, 80 percent of the time, dependent on the context.''