Cin­ema-go­ers love a good heist film with the in-built sus­pense over whether 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 Safe 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 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.

King of Thieves opens in cine­mas on Thurs­day.

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