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Straightheads - Danny Dyer interview

Gillian Anderson and Danny Dyer in Straightheads

Interview by Rob Carnevale

DANNY Dyer talks about appearing in violent revenge thriller Straightheads and working alongside Gillian Anderson…

Q. Coming so soon after your role in Outlaw, which examined similar themes of violence and revenge, how do you consider this movie to be different?
Danny Dyer: Well this film starts off and you think it’s going to be this amazing love story between these two strangers that come together. Everything is perfect, we go to this amazing party and have amazing sex up against this tree. Everything’s just great and when you first meet someone that’s exactly how you want it to be. But then it changes just like that. It takes this really mad turn.

Outlaw was more political. It’s about the country we’re living in at the moment which is a fucking horrible place to live. The world, actually, is a naughty gaff. But this was more about two people that started off with real high hopes and then stay together because of this horrific thing that’s happened to them. They think that once they’ve got revenge they’ll fuck off into the sunset but obviously that’s not going to be the case whatsoever. So for me, personally, I want to go toe to toe with the best and see if I can do that. And Anderson is up there. So this was a real test and I hopefully pulled it out the bag.

Q. Did you find the role reversal interesting, given that you have a less masculine reaction to being attacked than people who know your work might expect?
Danny Dyer: Well I think that people who know my work and know what I’m about will expect me to be the front runner, absolutely. So I do like that idea of Gillian’s character taking control. I’m sitting around feeling sorry for myself and trying to deal with the fact I’ve got one eye for the rest of my life but in the end it’s like: “OK, let’s fucking do it.”

But then I’m the one who can’t deal with it. I’m the one who once I’ve got a taste of it [revenge] I want more. I start to go a bit insane. I think Dan took a big risk to make a film like this as his first movie. I like the fact that Alice gets a bit of closure but I’m left standing there like an absolute raving lunatic, looking at the camera with one eye, smothered in blood. You think: “Where the fucking hell is he going with this?” I have visions of my character running off in the forest munching squirrels! I love that. It’s quite arty for me this film and something different for me.

Q. Were you at all nervous about working with Gillian Anderson?
Danny Dyer: [Laughs] No, Dan came to me with the script and I read it and thought: “Fuck me, this is the bollocks!” I just coulnd’t think who was going to play Alice. I was wracking my brains. And when Dan said it was Gillian I thought it was a really mad call. He didn’t offer me the job… I just said: “Listen, it’s all about when I get in the room with her and see if there’s any chemistry, or spark. I’ll know as soon as I walk in the room.”

I knew it was between me and a couple of other actors. But it really excited me and I thought it was such a two-hander. I’ve always respected Gillian and I was really intrigued to see how she would deal with this role. We both had to go into this 150% because it’s fucking dark. But we went to some naughty places – in our heads! I love that whole twisted love story; that’s what really appealed to me.

Q. Was there an element of improvisation in your relationship with Gillian Anderson?
Danny Dyer: The only scene that we really had to think about was the final scene – it was the only one that we really had to rehearse more than anything else. It’s a pretty heavy scene and we wanted to get it right.

Q. When you wore the eye patch did you find yourself walking into things?
Danny Dyer: No. But it was hard at lunchtimes eating a bit of dinner. It actually made me quite miserable and snappy but it really helped me, I needed that. I started to feel sorry for myself. I’m really proud of this film and I hope that it will put me on another level.

Read our review of Straightheads

  1. Just watched Straightheads. F**k me it was dark. Danny, you're the man; you and Gill make this film anyone else would of f**ked it right up. The story is good but it lacked something - not your acting or any bollocks like that but something. I know they will slag you off for this film but f**k 'em. Well done.

    Carl Lockyer    May 4    #
  2. I'm a really big fan of Danny's and i'm looking forward to see this film lol. Hope I get to see him one day :<

    kara bruce    May 15    #