Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Morrissey Puts Crime Drama into High Gear; SMALL SCREEN

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Morrissey Puts Crime Drama into High Gear; SMALL SCREEN

Article excerpt

DD AVID Morrissey. wouldn't wouldn't call himself controlling, but he does enjoy a certain amount of influence when signing up to a show. It's why a couple of years back, he co-founded a production company with his friend, producer Jolyon Symonds.

"One of the first things we did was meet writers we wanted to work with, and top of that list was | Dan| Brocklehurst," says 50-year-old Morrissey of the man whose credits include Accused and The Street.

"I've known and wanted to work with him for a long time, but we'd never got round to it, so we sat down, he had a few ideas, and this was the one that jumped out."

" He's referring to The |Driver, a | three-part drama for the BBC in which Morrissey stars as taxi driver | Vince McKee, a man who, frustrated Vwith the monotony of life, accepts an offer to drive for a criminal gang.

"Vince has walked astraight and has walked astraight and " | narrow line, paid his taxes and supported his family, but he slightly feels like he hasn't been rewarded for it," says the Liverpool-born actor, who began his training at the city's Everyman E Youth Theatre before Y enrolling at Rada.

Vince has h| Vince is introduced to the gang by V Colin, a friend who's resurfaced after a six-year stretch in prison. He's played by Ian Hart, an old school pal of Morrissey's, ''''walked astraight and narrow line ...but he feels like he who he previously worked with on the acclaimed 1983 TVseries Vseries One Summer.

hasn't been rewarded The actor, who's played a mass murderer in The Widowmaker, Gordon Brown in Peter Morgan's The | eal and an arcade owner in the BBC musical series, Blackpool, recalls a time when Hart travelled down to London to support him in his hour of need.

"I was 16 and working in a theatre company in Wolverhampton. I had no money, I was living in a bedsit, and it was my first time away from home. It wasn't that long after my dad had died either, and I hadn't really dealt with that, so I was quite miserable," recalls Morrissey, who wrote to Hart telling him as much.

"Soon after, I was in a rehearsal in this big warehouse and the door opened at the back. I remember thinking, 'God, that guy looks like Ian'. He'd come to see me, and I'll always remember that."

It was during his visit that Hart revealed that dramatist, Willy Russell, was working on a new was working on a new Rproject, and "seeing everybody". That project was One Summer, and Morrissey returned to Liverpool and gatecrashed an audition.

"We later got the phone call saying we'd both got parts. It was a really great time, but slightly surreal. We were old enough to know this was special, but too young to enjoy it as much as we should have done."

" Their shared history meant they could enjoy a shorthand on the set of The |Driver, a project he describes | as a "domestic drama". …

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