Belfast Telegraph

Eddie: I don't do Cockney gangsters

Eddie Marsan has revealed he purposefully avoids British gangster movies.

The star of Happy-Go-Lucky, War Horse, Tyrannosaur and Hancock is open to all kinds of roles, but he is not a fan of the popular genre of Brit flicks, which he brands "Cockneys on coke".

Eddie said: "I don't like Cockney gangster films, because I am a Cockney but not a gangster.

"I did a film called Gangster No 1 which I thought was a great script, but generally I just try to avoid them.

"There are more nuanced and lovely colourful stories to come from the East End than a load of geezers walking around with double-barrelled shotguns."

He added: "What I've always strived for is diversity, because I'm a character actor. There are certain genres I avoid but generally, if I do one thing, I try to do something completely different next."

Eddie will next be seen in TV drama The Best Of Men, about German doctor Ludwig Guttman, who was posted to Stoke Mandeville Hospital to care for soldiers paralysed during the war and helped create The Stoke Mandeville Games, the first national athletic event for disabled athletes, in 1948. These games are widely accepted as being the precursor to the first official Paralympics, which took place in Rome in 1960.

Eddie admitted he had "no idea" that was how the Paralympics started. "And it's such an amazing story," he said. "An immigrant comes to the country and contributes so much and changes so many people's lives, it's fantastic."

:: The Best Of Men is on BBC Two on Thursday, August 16.

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