She is now rumoured to be dating Evgeny Lebedev the Russian billionaire.A psychic friend predicted he would meet his future wife on his first big movie Sense And Sensibility and he thought the up and coming star Kate Winslet was The One.“Everyone else on the film set was married,” he says.“So I thought, ‘It has to be Winslet.’ I asked her out. But it was the wrong call.”Wise, 48, was soon put right by Winslet.She famously had an affair with millionaire businessman Archie Stirling before becoming involved with actor Kenneth Branagh.She also dated the television presenter Jamie Theakston; however their relationship came to an end in 2001.
Is that why we love the crime writer, asks Andy Martin Nick Dear's taut, fiercely focused version of Frankenstein – a project that has brought Oscar-winning film-maker Danny Boyle back to his theatrical roots – offers a radically different ending from either Mary Shelley's 1818 novel (on which it is based) or the movie versions spawned by James Whale's 1931 classic.
They have daughter Gaia, aged 14, and adopted a boy soldier, Rwandan refugee Tindyebwa Agaba, now 27, when he was 16.“He went to Exeter University and then did an MA,” Wise says proudly.“He is an extraordinary guy. He’s a proper grassroots activist.”Wise reports that family life in West Hampstead, London, is more like a village atmosphere than the big city.
His mother-in-law, actress Phyllida Law, 82, lives in the house opposite.
His sister owns a flat a few doors down.“Every evening we are in we all have a meal together,” he says.“Gaia, my mother-in-law, sister, us, Tindy if he is around, and any other waifs and strays. It is healthy for us all – no telly and no phones.”Wise is the first to admit that stardom has been far from his priority.“The idea that you have a proper career in acting with your life mapped out is just untrue,” he says.“There was a big fuss around the time of Sense And Sensibility and I went to Hollywood but I committed career suicide when I told the head of Sony Pictures, ‘I don’t want to work in America’.”He adds: “I came back and worked for nine months as a builder on my own two-bed cottage in London.
I was digging trenches, knocking walls down and mixing the mortar for a builder directly after all the huge song and dance about the film.
He was an unknown – albeit dashing – while she was already an established star.“I didn’t look at it that way,” he reflects now.“We fell in love and it seemed that there was no reason not to get together. She remains close friends with Wise and Thompson.“She was more of a mod or punk,” says Wise.“I think I’ve always been an old hippy.”The reason we are discussing the circumstances after all these years is Wise’s sinister new film Blackwood in which he witnesses a succession of spooky events.