Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 March 2015

Movie star Strong on guns message

Mark Strong and James McAvoy attending the gala screening of Welcome To The Punch
Mark Strong and James McAvoy attending the gala screening of Welcome To The Punch

Mark Strong has revealed he educates his children against gun violence - despite firing weapons on screen.

The Zero Dark Thirty and Kick-Ass actor, who has two five-year-old twin sons, Gabriel and Roman, got to shoot guns as a former criminal in Eran Creevy's stylish thriller Welcome To The Punch.

"I'm not a big fan of automatic weapons," he said at the film's gala screening in London's West End.

"I've got two boys who I'm training not to be interested in that stuff.

"They do know what I do. I just tell them it's my job: it's nothing special, it doesn't mean anything, it's just a job that I do. But for the purposes of this film, it was fun."

The 49-year-old continued: "We were filming around Canary Wharf and couldn't make any noise, so these were specially-adapted weapons, so there was no noise and no gun flash, so it was like being a kid again."

He was joined at the screening by co-stars Jason Flemyng (also a father of twins), Johnny Harris, Peter Mullan, Ruth Sheen, Danny Mays and Jason Maza.

James McAvoy, who plays Mark's screen nemesis, posed for photos but had to rush off for his stage performance as Macbeth at London's Trafalgar Studios.

"Working with James was great because he's a real professional. He's very strong and committed - the very guy you want to be doing scenes with," said Mark.

Director Eran, who has a one-year-old daughter, defended the film's violence, saying: "I've been thinking about gratuitous violence and screen violence because I've got a one-year-old daughter myself. But we shouldn't underestimate audience members' intelligence. What they see on screen is hyper-real violence and not real."

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