Saturday 16 December 2017

Hard man Ray Winstone takes a battering from Irish extras

Ray Winstone
Ray Winstone
Ray Winstone with Aneurin Barnard (left) and Lorcan Cranitch (right).
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

He's the archetypal English gangster but hard man Ray Winstone met his match on the set of new Sky1 HD drama Moonfleet.

The 56-year-old actor was left black and blue after a gang of Irish extras battered 'the gravy' out of him on set.

"There is a prison scene where I'm chained up and I've got five or six Irish boys playing guards beating me up," he told the Herald.


I had a pad on my back where they were supposed to be hitting me but they hit me everywhere but the pad. I thought have I said something really bad about Ireland. They beat the gravy out of me," he said.

Winstone plays smuggler Elzevir Block in the two-part period drama which was filmed in Dublin and Wicklow this summer.

"It was fun doing all the swash-buckling and running around with a gun."

Overlooking the pummelling on set, Winstone says he found filming a highly enjoyable experience.

"I love Ireland. My wife is a Dublin girl. My favourite thing to do in Ireland is drink -- it's the national past time here. And Irish actors and crew are grafters -- they work hard, them boys, I'll tell you that and all," he said.

"Despite all the battering it was a great shoot; we were filming around Dublin, we worked along the coast and the sea was like glass. There were seals watching us film. Some of the water looks like Antigua until you get in it.

"I've worked here 10 years ago on King Arthur -- there were a lot of the old boys on that set doing this too." Asked if the film industry has changed greatly since his last time in the country, Winstone said: "Yes -- everyone is skint. What happened? There's no money.

"It's like someone pulled the rug out from under them -- you can't have that. Something very wrong went on here."

Having been declared bankrupt twice, it's something Winstone can relate to.

"It was easier the second time. I paid it off, I worked my butt off for two years to get out of it. People have to remember they can't hang you for it."

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