The actor left the prestigious Eton College boarding school in England when he was 18 to herd cattle in Argentina.
His career path then took an even stranger turn - he decided to take a five-month break from acting to become an acrobat with the Argentinian travelling troupe De La Guarda.
West recalls, "I'd seen the circus perform in London and I loved the show they put on. It was a kind of rave-club circus where the performers swung around on ropes and ran around the walls. I'd always liked physical theatre, but I'd never been any good at it. But I fancied having a go at this.
But West struggled with the physical demands of the circus, and was glad to return to his original acting ambitions.
He adds, "After five auditions, I was accepted. I was out of my depth really. All the other performers were dancers or athletes. I struggled with it, but I gave it my best.
"One of my moves involved jumping off a very high pole, swinging over the audience, picking someone out of the crowd and flying up again. It was a little crazy at times.".