Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Coogan tells of strip club research

Steve Coogan arriving at the UK premiere of The Look of Love

Steve Coogan has admitted that he visited a lot of strip clubs to research his latest role as porn baron Paul Raymond.

The Alan Partridge star attended the premiere of his new film The Look Of Love with co-stars Anna Friel and Tamsin Egerton at the Curzon cinema in London's Soho.

The film, directed by Steve's long-time collaborator Michael Winterbottom, is based on the real-life story of strip club owner Raymond, dubbed the King of Soho.

He said of his research: "What you do is you talk to people who knew him, and you watch old footage of him and then you go to strip clubs to do a lot of research, which I obviously had to do. Someone had to do it, I volunteered. It was very difficult but eventually I felt I got the handle on the character."

The comedian admitted he had tired of playboy life by the time filming was over.

He said: "It's a bit grubby. At the end of it I was ready to ... it became exhausting playing him.

"He didn't see much daylight. He seemed to live the life of a vampire, he hardly ever ventured out into the day, and at the end of it I just wanted to see some daylight."

Anna plays his wife Jean, Tamsin plays his mistress, porn star Fiona Richmond, and Imogen Poots plays his daughter Debbie, who battled addiction and breast cancer before dying of a heroin overdose.

Tamsin had to ride topless through Soho on a horse for one scene in the film, as Richmond did to promote one of Raymond's ventures.

She revealed: "I had pants on. They CGIed the bum because I would never have done that. But yes, it was pretty daunting still, even going out with a wig and no top on. I was petrified, absolutely petrified, that day. But it has to be done, and she did it incredibly confidently, and so I had to just feign it and do it properly."

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