Anything Eric Cantona can do, VINNIE JONES can do better - including his f film debut in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. Words: Anwar Brett
3 Soccer hardman. Welsh inter- national. country gent. QPR‘s assistant manager and now actor — Vinnie Jones has a talent for
I reinventing himself. livery role
f has been more surprising than the
5 last. but the shaven-headed former Wimbledon legend has faced each new goal with characteristic determination.
So when. after his feature film debut in Lock. Stock 62 Two Smoking Barrels. he says he wants to go to Hollywood and become a movie star. his critics would be well advised to take him at his word.
‘People might laugh.’ he intones menacingly. ‘but those people normally regret it. I've got a habit of getting what I want at the end of the day. and this is something that I‘m going for. And besides. Bruce Willis isn't getting any younger.‘
()n the evidence of his performance as Big Chris. debt collector and fixer for East End gangster llatchet llarry. Bruce and co will be looking to their laurels. for Vinnie is as convincing here as he is scything through an on-rushing forward most Saturday afternoons. In fact. he looked upon the opportunity of a film role in a more measured and mature way than some of his footballing choices might have suggested. Deciding to donate his fee to charity. he approached the film — a kind of Italian Job for the 'l‘arantino generation — as a learning experience.
liirst time writer-director Guy Ritchie is full of praise for Vinnie‘s performance. in a role which was written specifically for him — he even promises another part in his next film. But by then. Vinnie could be sitting by a pool in Beverly Hills fielding multiple offers to play a fistful of tough-guy roles.
Many American stars make the leap from the sports field to the soundstagc. but in Britain they appear to be the exception rather than the rule. Yet. within a month of each other. both Vinnie and liric Cantona will be making prominent appearances in
107 THE LIST 27 Aug-~10 Sep 1998
'I've got a habit of getting what I want at the end of the day, and this is something that I'm going for.’ Vinnie Jones
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Gun play: Vinnie Jones in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
British movies (with the Frenchman playing a noble in historical drama lz‘lizuln'I/i).
‘Me and Iiric were very different on the field. so I'm sure we‘ll be very different in this business as well.’ Vinnie notes. ‘But I think if you looked at me or him playing football. you got an idea of what we‘re about. ()ur characters came through on the pitch. (iuy saw that in me. and I suppose they saw that in liric as well.‘
Whether the ()I’R first team harbours any more budding thespians. time will tell. (‘ertainly Vinnie‘s young charges at l.oftus Road will rue the stick they gave him during last season. when he divided his time between the training ground and the film set.
"l‘here were times when I’d have to be on set at 4am. and get home at 5pm. and only do five or ten minutes' work.‘ he remembers. ‘I went and trained with the lads in between. and they laughed because they thought it was only a small part. with me sitting in the background and beating someone tip a little bit. Since I've done some of the TV shows and there's been clips and everything. .\'ow the sniggering and the
joking has stopped.
‘.\'ow.' he smiles gently. ‘they‘re asking me to get them tickets for the premiere.‘
General release from Fri 28 Aug. See review, page 105.
News picked up on the cutting room floor.
LITTLE PINK PICTURES offers gay. lesbian and bisexual filmmakers the chance to make short films for screening at this year's Glasgay!, which runs from 30 Oct—8 Nov. In this case, small is beautiful, as each proposal must be for a work that lasts three minutes or less. The style and theme are open, however: rant, erotic fantasy, video love letter, coming out drama, fly-on-the-wall documentary, abstract experimental - anything, just keep it snappy.
Production (on DV video or 5-8 film) will take place through Sep—Oct, but no filmmaking experience is necessary — Glasgow Film and Video Workshop offer training and technical back-up. The deadline is noon on Fri 4 Sep, so get an application form from Little Pink Pictures, GFVW, 34 Albion Street, Glasgow, G1 1LH (0141 553 2620).
WHILE LOTTERY FUNDING has provided Scotland with a very hit- and-miss selection of feature films - The Slab Boys, Orphans and The Life Of Stuff, to name three completed projects - a new scheme hopes to encourage short film production north of the border.
The Scottish Arts Council’s newly published National Lottery Film Production Guidelines include details of a scheme designed to fund to a number of organisations interested in commissioning a series of short films, provided they have some partnership funding and a strategy for getting the finished work out there to audiences. The document is the result of a major consultation exercise conducted earlier this year with over 300 people with experience in the film industry, as well as drawing on advice from Scottish Screen and PACT Scotland.
Copies of the guidelines and information for applicants are available by calling the SAC’s Help Desk on 0131 240 2443/2444, Mon-Fri, loam—noon or 2-4pm.
Lottery winner: Alex Norton and Douglas Henshall in Orphans