Martin Freeman recently appeared on British talk show The Graham Norton Show, alongside fellow actors Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Naomi Harris.
He turned up to promote his latest movie, Ghost Stories, which sees a professor stumble across a mysterious file. Inside is the details of three haunting cases, with terror following soon after, which Freeman’s character plays a part in.
Speaking to Norton about the film, he tapped into why he was interested in starring in a horror movie, which isn’t something the Sherlock star is known for:
“I grew up watching classic films from the 1950s and 60s and this film has borrowed from them. When I was seven my mother let me watch Psycho and it was so scary. For a longtime afterwards I was paralysed with fear going upstairs or having a shower.”
“This film is enjoyably scary and there’s nothing like the communal thing of going to the cinema, sitting in the dark and being scared witless. I like it. It’s a smart film.”
When Johnson asked him whether he believed in ghosts, he replied: “I’m open to it until there is definite proof”. But as these talk shows often do, the subject turned from the material they were promoting into a stranger topic. As it turns out, Freeman’s greatest fear is choking, which leaves certain foods freaking him out.
“I’ve got a real thing about choking,” he explained.” I mean – if you’re on your own, in a hotel, it could take days to find you. What if you choked to death?”
While he believes this is a rational fear, as he’s not scared of choking all the time, one digression revealed it to be a little more extreme. When it comes to avocados, he is even more afraid, as the stone brings images of choking to his mind immediately. There’s no chance really of choking on an avocado stone, given how we eat them and how obvious they are to see and remove.
But he still has a problem with the fear. “Every time I have an avocado, every time I cut through an avocado, and I see the stone – I invisage that stone being lodged in my windpipe,” he explained.
Freeman even says he has choked at various points in the past, which hasn’t done anything to lessen his anxiety over doing it again. “It’s scary,” he said. “It’s horrible.”
He describes one incident when he appeared on the quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, wherein he ended up choking on some potato chips, or as the British call them, crisps:
“I’d had too many crisps. Because I’m a pig and I like eating crisps as quickly as possible, I hoovered these crisps down, and they weren’t ready to go down.”
People saw him choke and laughed, but someone he knew rushed over and gave him the Heimlich manoeuvre. This isn’t even the only story he has, as he also had a choking incident… at Andy Serkis’ house. Hopefully Freeman can slow down on the crisps and get over his fear of avocados, as they really don’t mean him any harm.