Bill Nighy was once a beggar in Paris.

The 70-year-old actor - who is best known for playing aging rocker Billy Mack in 'Love Actually' - ran away to Paris to become a writer when he was younger but it did not work out.

He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: ''I flunked school because I was looking out the window and dreaming of being F. Scott Fitzgerald. I went to my local newspaper asking for a job and the editor said I needed five O Levels - but I didn't have any.

''So I ran away to Paris to not write the great English novel instead. I'd read Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce and everyone who had been in Paris in 1922. But I didn't have any ideas so ended up begging on the streets at the Trocadero for a while.

Bill also revealed that fans still shout Billy's famous 'Love Actually' line ''Hey, kids, don't buy drugs... Become a rock star and they give you them for free'', at him, even though it is almost 20 years since the movie was released.

He said: ''It's possible success would have happened anyway, but Love Actually certainly accelerated it. The line of Billy's follows me around everywhere.

''When the movie first came out all the kids in my district used to follow me down the street shouting it and they all knew it by heart.

''I once came through Immigration from Canada to the US at about 4am. I was the only person there, and this very scary Immigration guy with a huge black moustache beckoned me over.

''I thought, 'Oh my God'. But he smiled and said: 'Hey, kids, don't buy drugs, become a rock star, people give you them for free, right? Am I right?'

''When I die, those words will be on my tombstone.''