Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Marigold Hotel star's dream role

Ronald Pickup plays an ageing lothario in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Ronald Pickup has confessed he'd love to play a "really unpleasant" character on the big screen.

The 72-year-old actor - who stars alongside Judi Dench in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - has many TV, theatre and film roles under his belt but said it's still his ambition to play a really unsavoury type.

"I'd love to play somebody really unpleasant," said Ronald, who has appeared in television shows such as Midsomer Murders and Waking The Dead.

"But who has an aspect of him that makes you understand him. I'd love to do a big part like that on film."

In his latest movie, Ronald plays Norman, an ageing wannabe Romeo who is part of a group of seniors who moves to a retirement hotel in India.

The actor said of his character: "What's lovely about him is that he is definitely a wannabe, because he's not actually any good at it. I think if I'd have been expected to play a successful lounge lizard, I'd have said no, because I'm not good at that. But what is good is when you're playing somebody who has all of those inclinations, but knows he doesn't cut the mustard, it gives him a vulnerability that is nice to play."

Ronald revealed it was hard to make sure Norman came across as charming rather than creepy.

He said: "All the time during filming I kept saying to John (director John Madden), 'Are you sure that wasn't too creepy?' But he always assured me it wasn't. But when it did slip into something we didn't want, he was always so wonderfully aware of it."

:: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is available on DVD and Blu-ray from June 25

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