Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I like to Start with the Shoes When Trying to Build a Character; Liverpool-Born Stephen Graham, 41, Is One of the Most In-Demand Actors of His Generation, with Roles in Snatch, Public Enemies and This Is England. He Talks to ROGER CROW about His New Film Hyena, Why an Old Pair of Shoes Helped Him Get into Character, and His Desire to Do More Comedy

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I like to Start with the Shoes When Trying to Build a Character; Liverpool-Born Stephen Graham, 41, Is One of the Most In-Demand Actors of His Generation, with Roles in Snatch, Public Enemies and This Is England. He Talks to ROGER CROW about His New Film Hyena, Why an Old Pair of Shoes Helped Him Get into Character, and His Desire to Do More Comedy

Article excerpt

How did you get involved with new movie Hyena? I GOT sent the script from a casting director, Des Hamilton. It was about three years ago that he rst sent me it, and then I watched [director] Gerard Johnson's rst lm, Tony: T Portrait Of A London Serial Killer, which I thought was fantastic.

It left me a bit shell-shocked because it's documentary style but brutal, and a fantastic character study.

Des said: 'I'd really like you to play this role; he's written it with you in mind', which I didn't know was a compliment.

e script was fantastic and it was something I really wanted to be a part of; it's a great ensemble piece as well as a standout performance from Peter Ferdinando.

ere's some great roles for women. It was just a pleasure to be a part of. It's a proper, real, true gritty British lm, which pulls no British lm, which pulls no punches. punches.

What research did you do to play detective David Knight? A LOT of police research.

I got a lot of information from Gerard and me and Peter went through a back story we had for our characters.

We wanted him to be a character like... you know these We wanted him to be a character like... you know these people who you think are your friends and then all of as udden they'll stab you in the back? people who you think are your friends and then all of as udden they'll stab you in the back? ese kind of people that really want to climb that slippery pole of success and do anything to get to the top no matter who they stand on.

really want to climb that slippery pole of success and do anything to get to the top no matter who they stand on.

Do you use an item of clothing or prop to get into a character? Do you use an item of clothing or prop to get into a character? WHAT I like to do is nd the shoes for the character and then sort of embody the physicality and stu-. Years ago I got these brown, suede Gucci loafers. I bought them in a pub and took then home and my wife Hannah went: 'What the hell are they?' I said: 'ey're great; they're Guccis.' She said: 'I don't care what they are; they're disgusting!' I left them at the bottom of the wardrobe and I knew they'd come in handy some day, so when I was playing this part, I thought, 'I know exactly what I'll use; I'll use them shoes'. …

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