Categories Interviews The Sweeney

Scotland.com Interview: Damian Lewis, actor and star of The Sweeney


Note: The Sweeney has its London premiere on September 3rd at the Vue West End and Ray Winstone, Plan B, Damian Lewis & Hayley Atwell are expected to attend.

FRESH from the US hit Homeland, which won him fans in high places, Damian Lewis is relishing his role in a great British classic set on his home turf

DAMIAN Lewis is 42, smart, and a bit roguish, and while he has never been enamoured of Hollywood and never chased it hard, even after getting the lead in Band of Brothers, he is currently hotter than steam after torturing audiences with the quietly terrifying TV show Homeland. Obama invites him to dinner and the Clintons are big fans too. Yet this month you’ll find him in cinemas behind a desk, as a by-the-book penpusher in The Sweeney, remonstrating with Ray Winstone for his thuggish police tactics and grumbling about paperwork. It’s like getting Mo Farah to do an egg and spoon race. “I don’t even get to drive a fast car,” he agrees, cheerfully.

Thanks to ITV4, surely no one can forget Regan, Carter and the original Sweeney, with its spirit of drink, violence and dysfunction muscularly embodied by John Thaw and Dennis Waterman. For three years in the 1970s, their Ford Granada raced across London’s derelict and utterly untrendy docklands, chasing birds and nicking villains.

Almost four decades on, the new UK movie has turbo-charged the flying squad; the force is now based in a steel-and-chrome skyscraper, eschew “plain” clothes policework for snazzier threads, and have sex in the City’s hotels, rather than under floral nylon bedspreads in north London. For 2012, Regan and Carter have been recast as Ray Winstone and the rapper Plan B – or Ben Drew, as his mother calls him – while Lewis has a supporting role as Frank Haskins, their long-suffering boss.

Back in the mid-1970s, Haskins was paunchy, balding Garfield Morgan, gulping milk to ease an ulcer inflamed by both Regan and Haskins’ unseen missus, who was forever ringing in to give him grief about some marital faux pas. Lewis had met Morgan a few times at a theatre golfing club (“an august bunch of pissheads”) before his death, but warns that the new Haskins is a changed man. “I’m not a man in his 60s for a start, but I don’t think they quite knew what to do with my character. I’m the most boring character in the whole film. I kept saying to the director ‘It’s all very well, and you can put me in as many nice suits as you like – I’m still strutting around the desks,” he mockingly complains.

“But I was there for a week and it was a right laugh. I’d met Ray once at Ascot quite a few years ago, where we drank a lot of champagne, which is the way you should meet Ray. And last year you couldn’t put on the radio without hearing Ben’s album, so I had fun, and making a film in London doesn’t happen often now.”

The film also leaves the door open for a sequel and the promise of more action for Lewis next time, so maybe he’ll get to use one of the more famous Sweeney phrases notably missing from the current film. “Shuddit it, you slaaag,” offers Lewis amiably.

Read the full interview at Scotland.com.

Categories Gallery The Sweeney Video

‘The Sweeney’ Update


Added 2 HQ stills from The Sweeney and screencaps from the MSN clip to the gallery.

Gallery Link:

Film > The Sweeney (2012) > Promotional Stills

Film > The Sweeney (2012) > Clip #1 Screencaps (HD)

Categories Gallery Screenings The Sweeney Video

2nd ‘The Sweeney’ Trailer + News


I’ve added a few screencaps to the gallery though they’re a bit small as I wasn’t able to find an HD version. Update: I’ve replaced the small caps with HD caps. Here’s a download at the media archive.

And here’s news on the film’s world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival which runs from August 1-11 in Locarno, Switzerland.

The Locarno Film Festival has announced its line-up today, with 13 world premieres included in the 19-film international competition. The world premieres include Jean-Claude Brisseau’s The Girl From Nowhere from France, Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel’s The Shine Of Day from Austria, Swiss documentary Image Problem, Sho Miyake’s debut feature Japan, Jem Coehn’s project Museum Hours and Ilmar Raag’s Une Estonienne A Paris staring Jeanne Moreau.

The popular Piazza Grande selections will open with Nick Love’s The Sweeney [pictured] from the UK, and close with Markus Imhoof’s Swiss co-production documentary More Than Honey. Other selections for the huge open-air screenings (which regularly attract 8,000 viewers) include Pablo Larrain’s Cannes hit No, Steven Soderbergh’s stripper story Magic Mike, the world premiere of Quelques Heures De Printemps by Stéphane Brizé, Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers, and Ruby Sparks, the new film from Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, directors of Little Miss Sunshine (which famously started its success in Locarno’s Piazza Grande.)

Read the full article at Screen Daily.

Categories The Sweeney

‘The Sweeney’ Review


The Sweeney opens in the UK on September 12. Click here at IMDb for more release dates. While there’s no release date for the US yet, according to ScreenDaily.com it does have a US distributor.

A seriously muscular and stylish bit of cops-and-robbers action, British crime drama The Sweeney delivers adrenalin-pumping thrills’n’spills as a tough team of London police take violent measures to try and get crime off the streets. Aimed very much as a solid mainstream release, it also has the humour and cinematic moves to appeal to festivals, especially those with a genre edge.

Picked up by eOne for multiple English-language territories, the film is set to open in the UK on September 12. Based on a hit British television series from the 1970s, The Sweeney will strike a chord in territories where the series (which ran into four seasons and two spin-off feature films) was transmitted, though this new version is non-period and resolutely set in the modern day.

The casting of rugged British actor Ray Winstone as head of the London police’s Flying Squad team (the title derives from ‘Sweeney Todd’, which is Cockney rhyming slang for ‘Flying Squad’) Detective Inspector Jack Regan works well, with him easily stepping into the shoes of acclaimed actor John Thaw who played the character in the original series and films.

Shrewd casting sees important roles for Hayley Atwell (seen in Captain America: The First Avenger) and Damien Lewis (feted recently for TV series Homeland), while British rap star Ben Drew (aka Plan B) takes on the key role of Regan’s sidekick, Detective George Carter (played by Dennis Waterman in the 1970s.)

The film is directed with a good deal of panache – and making the very best of a striking series of London locations, aided by lustrous cinematography by Simon Dennis – by Nick Love (who made impressive crime film The Business, and most recently The Firm), and while there is nothing overly new in terms of the story there is a real awareness of the cop movie genre as well as an underlying sense of affection for the style and format of the original series.

Read the full review at ScreenDaily.com

Categories Download Gallery The Sweeney Video

First trailer for ‘The Sweeney’ released!

<a href='http://video.uk.msn.com/?mkt=en-gb&#038;vid=4266fd17-3ef5-4b1d-9685-51d5c32bc334&#038;from=&#038;src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='The Sweeney: Exclusive Trailer'>Video: The Sweeney: Exclusive Trailer</a>

Click above to watch the first trailer for the film adaptation of The Sweeney! The film starring Ray Winstone and Ben Drew is due for release on September 21. You can download the trailer in mp4 format from our media archive here.

Gallery Link:

Films > The Sweeney (2012) > Trailer Screencaps (HD)