Carlyle and Kathy Burke

Tomlinson and Burke

.. Buys trains

'There hasn't been a film made in the Midlands for 30 years and then there's this guy who wants to make a trilogy there'

lTnbelievable as it seems. Meadows has only just turned 30. As well as 'IirwiIvl'bm'var'n (1997). he has two brilliant films behind him: the featurette Smulllimt' (l996). in which he played his last starring role. and A Room-for Romm Brass (1999). his gentle sttburban tale of an overgrown bully‘s brief reign over the life of a vulnerable teenager. Paddy (‘onsidine the star of that movie and tip to that point Meadows’ muse. the De .\'iro to his Scorcese went on to other projects most recently popping up a the grizzled Rob (iretton. New ()rder‘s manager in the hilarious 24 Hull)‘ l’urtv I’r'up/t'.

Meadows is more than happy with his new leading man Robert Carlyle. bttt was he not worried about casting old Begbie in another psycho role'.’

'He‘s more of a loser than a psycho.’ he says. “At the beginning of the film we see him live in what is basically a squat and then he comes back as the big hero. bttt it’s all

a big facade. The more yott peel away at his character

you realise he's from that vety sad group of men out there who. when you are lb. get all the best girls and go into crime bttt when they get into their 30s. when they need to start behaving like fathers to their children. they can‘t do it. There‘s a bit more serenity and hopelessness in him than in Begbie.‘

Meadows makes adverts (most famoust for

.\lcl)onald‘s) to pay his bills and support his beloved family. which is a good thing because there are long gestation periods between his films. l'nsure of what‘s coming next. he talks of a film that may be based in (ilasgow and Arizona and another film in which he may return to acting. as a homophobic farmer called Tank Bullock.

You can‘t help bttt warm to this suprisingly stable young director. He flicks off his heroes and influences with ease: 'Jimmy Boyle for A Sense o/‘l’n'cdom. Martin Scorcese. Alan Clarke. Stephen lirears. (iillies MacKinnon for The Grass x‘l’t’llu and Small I’ucvs and a lot of hard hitting British TV from the l‘)8()s.‘

Our time is already tip. I want to ask him a silly question to end with. Like his movies. I want the interview to end positively. I ask him if there is a film he loves to watch again and again. ‘Yeah. there’s two actually: Mam Streets. which I've seen over and over again and the other is (‘mr‘m/i/c Dam/cc. for some reason I just stick it on a Sunday afternoon and I absolutely adore it. I was quite disappointed in the sequel.‘

Once upon a Time in the Midlands, is on general release from Fri 6 Sep. See review, page 25.

z", YE? Sit-ti :‘t‘tT-L‘ THE LIST 19