Oscar winner Jim Broadbent drives a hard bargain

Broadbent in It isn't often you'll spot someone who's both an Oscar winner and Harry Potter regular playing golf on the municipal links, but that's where you'll find the British actor Jim Broadbent. "I go to cheap public courses," the Another Year star told WalletPop during the New York Film Festival.

Broadbent saves money over country clubbing -- it costs about £10 [about $16] for nine holes at his local course in North London. He also saves face."I'm a very bad golfer and the guys I play with are really bad and we like to be able to play badly without disapproval of the members," he said with a grin.

In the Mike Leigh-directed Another Year, showing at the festival, Broadbent portrays an ordinary bloke who's happily married but put upon by lonely and alcoholic friends.(The Mike Leigh-directed film is scheduled to open in theaters Dec. 29.) Broadbent is perhaps best known lately as magic professor Horace Slughorn in a three-movie Harry Potter arc, which continues with the Nov. 19 release ofHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

The 61-year-old actor requires no conjuring, however, to economize on occasion. For instance, he drives the extra mile for less expensive gas. "I resent going to the ones that charge the most because I think that they're getting away with it, and I don't want to give them the satisfaction," Broadbent said. He also uses his mass-transit Freedom Pass for seniors to ride the rails and buses in and around London for free.

Early in his career, Broadbent recalled being a regular at thrift shops, where he would hunt for American baseball jackets. Those days are over. In addition to his Academy Award for Iris, strong supporting roles in Bridget Jones's Diary, Gangs of New York and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull have made him quite comfortable.

He intends to keep it that way. Asked about the best financial advice his father gave him, he replied that his pop didn't provide counseling on that front. His father didn't handle money well, the actor said. But he did plant the seed for Broadbent's personal fiscal policy. "He spent a lot of time being anxious about money," Broadbent said. "From that I thought I didn't like the idea of debt and big overdrafts and big mortgages and the stress that could bring. I've avoided it by and large."
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