The Joy of Six
A mixed selection of short films, featuring Judi Dench, Peter Mullan and direction from Romola Garai
Read a review by The List here
Swedish Sunset Song production
A new film based on one of Scotland’s classic novels will soon be in production – in Sweden. An adaptation of Sunset Song, the book by Mearns novelist Lewis Grassic Gibbon, will be filmed next year. Stars will include Peter Mullan, Agyness Deyn and Stuart Martin. Location scenes will be shot in the Mearns but most of the technical work on the movie will be done in Sweden.
Read more at Kincardineshire Observer
Another trailer for 'The Fear'
Channel 4's new 4-part drama series The Fear, starring Peter Mullan as a Brighton crime boss turned entrepreneur. A promising chronicle of the the disintegration of a criminal mind... Don't miss The Fear Première on Monday, December 3rd | 10pm | on Channel 4
PETER MULLAN: PLAYING RICHIE BECKETT
Glaswegian actor and director Peter Mullan is known for his hard man roles in shows such as Red Riding and The Fixer. However there was a much more personal reason for taking on his latest gangster persona for Channel 4’s The Fear.
He says: “What grabbed me about it was that someone with a very dark past and a very shady present should have to come to terms with a disease that has claimed the lives of millions and caused so many families to suffer.
“I have lost a lot of my family to Alzheimer’s. Ritchie is a guy who quite rightly you should not, nor ever should, sympathise with but who will nevertheless demand a certain degree of empathy from the audience. To understand that even bad people get diseases.
“As far as I’m concerned he’s been a pretty bad boy to say the least. Based on his previous actions, you would be more than justified in saying he’s not a pleasant human being. So now he’s been diagnosed, his false persona unravels and you get to see who he is and what is at the heart of him.”
A word of warning. This drama is not for everyone, with violence, gore and bad language. If you don’t flinch from any of those, The Fear is a thought-provoking idea that none of us is immune to Alzheimer’s, not even hard-men gangsters. The challenge for actor Peter Mullan has been to make his character sympathetic. Or has it?
One of our best character actors, Mullan is far from bothered about whether we like Richie Beckett or not.
He says: “I don’t like the way some actors, when playing a nasty character, will try to grab hold of something good about them. With Richie there is nothing. Nothing at all redeeming.
“I don’t think you would pity him. He’s just too unpleasant to pity. But yeah, there are certain moments when I guess you may not dislike him as much.
“I mean, you’re looking at a guy who has been running a drug empire for years, he has killed people to get to where he is and he wouldn’t think twice, in the past, about the number of lives he has destroyed through the so-called illegal product that he sells. No, I hope the audience wouldn’t pity him because that would lead to sympathy and let him off the hook.”
In the four-part drama stripped across the week, Mullan plays crime boss turned “entrepreneur” Richie, trying to fight off both an attack on his commercial interests and a mind that seems to be disintegrating.
Unbeknown to him, he has a very aggressive form of Alzheimer’s. As Beckett’s dark past becomes apparent, unresolved traumas echo the medical chaos that engulfs him. Says Mullan: “Well, Richie sees himself as a businessman, so called, but he is a gangster in reality, which I suppose some businessmen are, at least in my book anyway!
“He’s recently realised that his behaviour is quite aberrant and through the course of the series he discovers he has Alzheimer’s, which takes hold in a concentrated period of time. It’s extreme.”
“Aberrant” is not the word. In the first five minutes, he vents his anger on a passing cyclist. Mullan shares some of his character’s feelings towards the pedaling fraternity: “I have to say I really don’t like Brighton [where it’s set] cyclists. They cycle too worthily.”
His character though has more of a problem with foreign upstarts. “There is a group of gangsters,” he says, “who have come over from Albania to try to take over his patch.
“His family have, on the one hand, to cope with his increasingly erratic behaviour, but also disguise it at the same time because they don’t want it known to the wider gangster community that he’s no longer in charge of his faculties.”
All of this troubling behaviour puts pressure on his relationship with his wife and two sons. Says Mullan: “He becomes more aggressive, more emotional and in a weird way, paradoxically, more open, more vulnerable than he’s ever been before.
“So in some respects it brings the family closer together but obviously in other respects it rips them apart because his nature is to fight things.
“Instead of coping and finding the support he needs to get through these things, his behaviour becomes more and more violent and unpredictable. That obviously pushes the family away.
“He’s fighting, in this case, the unfightable.”
The Fear, Channel 4, December 3, 9pm.