Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Graham: I look for message in roles

Stephen Graham likes being part of projects that make people think

Stephen Graham has revealed he finds himself drawn to roles that present the audience with a moral message.

The 40-year-old actor is best known for his roles in This Is England, Boardwalk Empire and Public Enemies and admits that he has played a lot of troubled characters.

Stephen explained: "The stuff I tend to choose to be a part of, something that can make people think just a bit. Just a tiny little bit.

"Because that was the great drama that I was brought up on, things that really made you just stop for a second. They were very entertaining and very gripping and brilliantly acted, but they also had a message behind them."

He added: "It's great to play them kind of roles, they're much more interesting to me than Mr Darcy, do you know what I mean?"

Stephen is currently shooting his latest film Orthodox, an extended version of a short film he made with David Leon.

The film, which also stars Michael Smiley and Giacomo Mancini, follows Stephen's character Benjamin, a man persecuted for his commitment to the Orthodox Jewish faith who is pushed towards the fringe of the religious community. Taking up boxing as a means of self defence, he quickly finds himself out of his depth in a criminal underworld.

Stephen revealed the dark lives he lives on screen are very different from his own.

He said: "I've never had nothing but happiness in my life. I had a beautiful childhood, every day was a summer holiday. But I've seen struggles, and I've seen pain and heartache and stuff like that."

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