True events inspire new film
Cinema-goers love a good heist film, with the in-built suspense of whether or not the robbers will get away with it. Director James Marsh assembles a top-notch cast of screen veterans for King of Thieves.
The film is based on the true-life tale of the infamous British robbery in 2015 when a gang of elderly criminals pulled off one of the largest heists in history, stealing from the Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Company in London. Ray Winstone reunites with his Last
Orders co-stars Michael Caine and Tom Courtenay in the film, which also stars Jim Broadbent and Paul Whitehouse.
Q: What were your thoughts when you heard of the real Hatton Garden robbery?
A: It’s a great old fashioned blag! Physically, no-one got hurt. There might be some (honest) people who actually got mentally hurt because they’ve lost fortunes. But you think people who are hiding their money there... it’s hidden for a reason. You work hard, you play hard. These guys are masters at what they done. Really beautifully thought out, really
beautifully executed. I get the feeling that they probably knew they weren’t going to get away with it.
Q: Are you anything like your character Danny Jones?
A: The real Danny, he’s as fit as a butcher’s dog. Danny Jones, he’s walked across the Antarctic and he’s walked across – I think – the Serengeti. He climbs mountains. The kid is fit as a butcher’s dog and raised a lot of money for charity. I know people who know other people... he’s a nice guy. He just happens to be a robber. I met Bruce Reynolds a few years ago, the Great Train Robber, who was one of the nicest men in the world. Bruce just had this thing... he just wanted to get into places that he wasn’t allowed to get into. They’re intelligent people. They’re not bullies. We’re not making a film about a load of bullies. They don’t go round bashing people up.
Q: The film deals with getting older too. What’s the best thing about getting older and the worst thing?
A: Grandkids! That’s the best. And the worst?
Well, I’ve got the urge when I think I’m 17 sometimes, but the reality of trying to do something... you realise you’re not 17. I’m still stupid enough to think I am. But the worst thing about getting older is time goes quick. I’m 61 and I’m losing friends at 61.
Q: You’re still working, though. Do you still enjoy it?
A: Oh yeah. We’re lucky enough to do something we like doing. In a way, (9-5 workers) are the bravest people in the world.
The man who gets up and gets on a train at 6.30 in the morning to a job he hates doing, but he does it to feed his family... he’s got to be the bravest man in the world. We’re lucky, we love doing what we do.
It don’t take no bravery to do that.
Q: How was working with James Marsh?
A: He’s a diamond. His record speaks for itself. I love that film he done, The
Theory of Everything. Mate, that was a proper bit of work. And Man on Wire. You can see why he’s good. He just comes in... and it’s chilled. The set, it’s lovely. It’s like going and having a coffee at your mate’s house. It’s proper.
He knows his stuff. Does his homework. As all directors should do. He’s alright.
Q: Do you ever feel like directing?
A: I’ve been asked to, but you know what? If you’re lucky it takes three years of your life to do that. Do I really want to listen to a bunch of actors moaning on at 1 o’clock in the morning, ‘I can’t understand the scene!’? I don’t know if I’d have the patience. It’s hard work being a director.
Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay, Paul Whitehouse, and Ray Winstone in a scene from the movie King of Thieves. Supplied by StudioCanal.