Bob and weave
Low budget British movie TwentyFourSeven has given BOB HOSKINS his best screen role since Mona Lisa. Words: John MacKenzie
Bob Hoskins is fed up with the image that people, espeCially film people, have of him — the tough guy, gangster, Long Good Friday image. His new film, Twr,>rityFourSeveri is a refreshing (hange, then. It was written for him by 25-year-old director Shane Meadows — recently featured in The List’s ’Famespotting’ series — and is set in the Nottingham housmg estate where Meadows grew up. The story
'One of the most horrifying
(entres on Hoskins's character, Darcy, a (onirnitted but ultimately lonely SOCIal worker who sets up a boxmg gym to give the local lads something to do. Hoskins was very struck that so young a filmmaker should have such insight and compassion -— and then
sights to me is seeing an old
man sitting feeding the pigeons in the park, on his own. I hope I don‘t: enti an iiite that.’ Bob Hoskins
think of him. He describes Meadows as 'cubic’ (short, wide and thin on top), so they hit it off immediately, The experience has left him very upbeat about the film industry and he reckons that, with Thatcher and the Tories gone, the British definitely are coming. And he’s coming With them TwentyFourSeven won Hoskins the Best Actor award at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, but that‘s not the main reason he says it is ’probably the most important film I’ve ever done . . . and the most brilliant study of loneliness I’ve ever read’. Surprisingly for such an outwardly gregarious and fearless personality, he admits to haying an acute phobia of loneliness himself. ’One of the most horrifying sights to me is seeing an old man sitting feeding the pigeons in the park, on his own,’ he says. 'I’ve always thought, shit, I hope I don’t end up like that.’ But, then, his own background was far from gilded. His artistic promise at school was misunderstood by his teachers, who thought him difficult. In fact, he was short-sighted
and dyslexic. A gym master, however, encouraged his passron for literature.
Hoskins left school at fifteen and, after a period of self-imposed homelessness and a variety of professions, fell naturally into acting. His television fame came, long before those BT ads, through the BBC adult literacy programme On The Move and
Dennis Potter’s Penn/es From Heaven, which showcased his musical as well as acting talents. That is, he can mime.
Later, Cinema success came in The Long Good Friday and Mona Lisa. Hoskins might bemoan his gangster persona, but his courage and his vulnerability are exemplified in Mona Lisa. It’s JUSI that, in that film, the narrative is rooted in his character’s darker side, whereas in Twenty FourSeven, the reverse is true.
And so inevitably to Hollywood, which he likens to a kind of artists asylum capable of manufacturing incredible splendours in the face of terrible scorn. For instance, James
Lonely are the brave: Bob Hoskins in TwentyFourSeven
Carneron’s Titanic. ’They paid $200 million dollars for a man’s dream ’cause they had that much faith,’ Hoskins says, ’and what was wonderful was he proved them right — that’s Hollywood.’
This leads him to ponder what might have been if Hollywood and Leonardo da Vinci had coeXisted. Well, Nat King Cole would never have sung about Mona Lisa, and Hoskins’s career might have been different, But, anyway, Hollywood has Leonardo DiCaprio instead —» and that’s box office
MentyFourSeven goes on selected release from Fri 10 Apr. See review.
A MOVING AND BLOODY HILARIOUS FILM... DON’T MISS IT’
‘BREATHTAKING. .. INSPIRED.
EVERYONE OVER FIFTEEN SHOULD SEE THIS MOVIE.’
‘IT’S IN THE BAG:
SHANE MEADOWS HAS MADE THE BEST BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR. HOSKINS IS MAGNIFICENT’
880 Films 8. Scala Scala Production Shane Meadows i .- -
Bafta Nomination BEST BRITISH FILM
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SHOWCASE SHOWCASE (EAST) GLASGOW PAISLEY 01236 438000 01418870011
AND AT CINEMAS EVERYWHERE
ODION ODION EglNBURGH GLASGOW
i .A; 11 0141 4130345
2-16 Apr 1998 THELIST 27