Paul Giamatti is an accidental actor - he only discovered his talent when a friend pushed him to appear in a college play.

The SIDEWAYS star, who is the toast of film critics the world over for his performance in the wine tasting comedy, enjoyed his sideline in acting, but wanted to be an animator until he began to land regular work in the theatre.

The 37-year-old says, "I was in college, and a friend persuaded me to do a play. I wasn't a drama major or anything - it was all very extracurricular.

"Then I moved to Seattle intending to do something in the animation business, but I knew a guy who ran a theatre out there. I started making a living out of acting.

"I thought, 'Well, I'm making money and I'm enjoying it, so I'd better keep doing.' Anyway, this isn't such a bad second career."

02/02/2005 13:43