Today: February 28, 2024

Cockney Gangster Legends

Cockneys vs. Zombies comes to UK cinemas on 31st August. This gore-splattered, zom-com

Cockneys vs. Zombies comes to UK cinemas on 31st
This gore-splattered,
focuses on two hapless cockney brothers (Harry Treadaway and Rasmus Hardiker) who are so determined to save
their granddad’s (Alan Ford) care home
that they attempt to rob a bank. Emerging from the heist, they discover that
the East End has been infested by zombies and have to fight and fumble their
way across London to save the plucky pensioners, who have found
inventive ways of their own to stave off the attack! To celebrate the release
of Cockneys vs. Zombies, FilmJuice takes a look at some of those legendary
cockney gangster actors who have proven, that when it comes to bankable films,
crime really does pay.

Michael Caine
Micklewhite, otherwise known as Michael Caine, is arguably one of ‘the great’
British actors – with an accent that’s become almost as well known as his most
iconic films. After his breakout role in the war-epic Zulu (1964), Caine became a household name with roles in chic
sixties flicks such as The Ipcress File
and Alfie (1966). He
later added his name to the long list of classic cockney gangsters playing Charlie
Croker in The
Italian Job (1969)
and Jack Carter in Get Carter (1971).

Lenny McLean
Born in the
East End, Lenny McClean grew up around conmen and criminals such as his
great-uncle, local gangster Jimmy Spinks. Before becoming an actor, he was
known as the best street fighter in Britain, notching up 3,000 undefeated
matches in a career which earned him the nickname ‘The Guv’nor’. He went on to
run a pub of the same name with Charlie Kray, older brother of the notorious
Kray twins. McLean started acting after being introduced to an agent by Mike
Reid, who he was ‘minding’ at the time. Success as an actor came quickly but
was short lived. He died a few weeks before the release of Guy Ritchie‘s Lock, Stock and
Two Smoking Barrels
, in which
he played his most famous role: Barry The Baptist.

Bob Hoskins
Known to be
one of the most brutally frank actors to interview, Bob Hoskins is not one to
hold back in his role choices either, appearing in films as diverse as Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) and Nixon (1995). Hoskin’s breakout role
came with London-based gangster
movie, The Long Good
(1980), followed by
gritty crime drama Mona Lisa (1986).
His respected gangster credentials famously almost gained him a part in The Untouchables (1987) before Robert De Niro took the role. Hoskins
was given £20,000 by director Brian De
for being a “great standby” to which he responded: “If you’ve ever
got any films you don’t want me in son, you just give me a call!”

Ray Winstone
Ray Winstone’s affinity with gangster roles has paved his way to Hollywood in
recent years. After winning plaudits for performances in homegrown gangster
films such as Love, Honour And Obey
and Sexy Beast (2000),
Winstone began playing similar roles in successful American thrillers such as Ripley’s Game (2002) and The Departed (2006). He has since appeared
in big budget movies, such as Cold
Mountain (2002), Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skulls (2008)
and Hugo (2011), yet still finds time to
return to his roots in films like The
Sweeney (2012)
– based on the
British TV series in which a 19-year-old Winstone won one of his first roles.

Alan Ford
Despite not
acting on screen until 1973, Alan Ford has more than made up for lost time by
appearing in some of the most popular movies of recent years. Ford’s memorable
turns in Lock, Stock And Two Smoking
Barrels (1998)
and Snatch (2000)
launched him into the public consciousness as a volatile character actor.
However he has proved to be an excellent comic too, appearing in Knowing Me , Knowing You…With Alan
Partridge (1994).
Ford tied these qualities together perfectly for his
upcoming role in horror comedy Cockneys
Vs. Zombies (2012)
where he plays the leader of a group of foul-mouthed,
plucky pensioners who have to fight off a zombie attack in the East End.

Cockneys vs. Zombies is in cinemas from 31st

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