Although he made his feature debut starring in misfiring bowls comedy Blackball and subsequently had brief appearances in Agent Cody Banks 2 and Spivs, Paul Kaye remains best known for his TV work in Perfect World, Citizen Kaye and, of course, as spoof celebrity stepper Dennis Pennis.
That though may now change with the release of comedy drama It's All Gone Pete Tong (rhyming slang invoking the name of the seminal DJ and remixer), Kaye's second big screen starring role in which he plays Frankie Wilde, a superstar Ibiza DJ whose work and lifestyle excesses send him deaf.
Shot as a mockumentary, it's directed by Canadian Michael Dowse whose previous film, Fubar, took a similar approach with its spoof documentary about two heavy metal fans. Candidly, Kaye admits he wasn't impressed.
"I didn't much enjoy it. The main actor gets diagnosed with testicular cancer and I remember thinking 'good, he deserves it.' But when I got the script for this it changed my mind about Mike!"
A film that's certainly going to divide opinions, if nothing else it's a remarkably committed performance by Kaye, though having been immersed in the club scene for the movie he owns up that musically speaking he and his character are poles apart.
"I had earplugs in the whole time, which was handy," he laughs. "Some dance music is ok but I prefer punk and reggae really! My formative music years were in Camden Town. The Music Machine was a regular haunt of mine. I'd only been to Ibiza once before with my mum and dad in 1980, and it was a lot quieter then!"
He also confesses that he's not exactly in thrall to the cult of the DJ
"Well they only do that, don't they?" he says, motioning like he's spinning a disc on a turntable.
"I mean, it's not hard. Most of them don't really perform behind the decks, in my experience and they all look a bit like librarians. But to be honest, the music was sort of irrelevant to me, it could have been any genre."
What swung it for Kaye was the whole theme of self-destructiveness and the way Wilde claws his way back from oblivion.
"I thought it was absolutely the right thing at the right time for me. I'm coming up to 40 and needed to get a lot off my chest," he explains.
"For me it's a rock n roll movie. My heroes Hendrix and Sid Vicious ended up dying and I know a lot of people who have pressed the self-destruct button. I read Keith Moon's biography before we started filming and it was one of the most depressing things ever. For all the highs, the lows were tenfold in comparison.
"I had my head in my hands because it was such a desperate story, and yet everyone remembers him as the ultimate rock and roll star. But behind that the sadness and the tragedy of his life was so appalling. I wanted to get that across. Frankie's disability actually saves his life. Had he not gone deaf, he'd be six feet under."
Had Kaye himself, perhaps, ever got caught up in the lifestyle that fame can bring and come close to pressing that same button?
"I'm not in the celebrity world," he insists.
"I have never had any intention or desire to be like that. I don't even really know any celebrities. Dennis Pennis was the first acting job I'd ever done and that's almost ten years ago. I came from a completely different background, with no intentions of performing.
"I fell into that as an accident, and it lasted for about a year and a half, that was proper punk rock telly; no make up or wardrobe, it was just me and a mate doing our thing.
"I cringe at a lot of that now. I always liked the idea of doing it more than actually doing it. I guess that if I'd been going to hit the self-destruct button it would have been then. I was pissed most of the time I did that, but that's about as close as I got!"
Having done a two-year foundation course at Harrow School of Art straight from school, Kaye was originally convinced he'd go to do an illustration or a fine art degree.
Instead he wound up at Trent Polytechnic (now Nottingham Trent University) doing Theatre Design where, imagination fired up, he wrote, directed and designed something called called Diggle and the Devil about the Nottinghamshire luddites.
But even having acquired the taste for the performing arts, after graduating in 1987 he spent the next eight years working in bars, illustrating for the NME, designing theatre posters and singing in bands. For a while he was even Tottenham Hotspurs' in-house graphic designer before moving to Tel Aviv in 1994 to become resident theatre designer at their equivalent of RADA.
Six months later he got a call from a BBC producer who'd seen a tape he'd made of him being Dennis Pennis extracting the urine from Oxford Street shoppers and asked if he fancied doing it to celebrities. He jumped on a plane and a new career was born.
He was 30 then. Now he reckons he's entering a new phase. After filming Pete Tong he did a five month run at the Wyndham Theatre in Moira Buffini's vicious comedy Dinner and is soon to be seen in Woody Allen's latest, Match Point. He's currently filming comedy action drama Eating Dust and developing what he says will be 'the Hiroshima of all chat shows' for Channel 4.
Hankering to further his serious side, for the past he's also been writing a straight drama about an animator. But while he'd love to sink his teeth into more meatier dramatic roles like Frankie Wilde, he says he just doesn't get offered the sort of work he knows he can do.
"I'll be honest, I don't think I've had the roles I feel qualified to do," he states.
"I don't think I am as versatile as I think I am, if that makes any sense, but I am up for anything. But people haven't been sure what to do with me. I certainly wasn't a comedian, I have never done stand up, and I think that's how you define a comedian.
"Also in comedy people tend to stick at what they are good at, and a lot of comedians who move over to movies can be soulless in their acting. They don't turn me on when I watch them.
"I like to think I'm not frightened to take risks. I have never ever done a job knowing what I will do next and I've spent a lot of time in the last three or four years not working, so this movie was heaven sent. I was dying to do something that felt right."