Monday, January 23, 2012


Premiering at Sundance later today 23-1-2012 is director Jon Wright's UK horror comedy Grabbers, a tale of ravenous monsters arising from the deep to feast on any available flesh. Unless, of course, the flesh in question has been drinking, these particular monsters not being fond of alcohol. So, quick, pass another pint. The festival describes the film like this:
Something sinister has come to the shores of Erin Island, unbeknownst to the quaint population of this sleepy fishing village resting somewhere off Ireland's coast. First, some fishermen go missing. Then there is the rash of whale carcasses suddenly washing up on the beach. When the murders start, it's up to two mismatched cops--an irresponsible alcoholic and his new partner, a by-the-book woman from the mainland--to protect the townsfolk from the giant, bloodsucking, tentacled aliens that prey upon them. Their only weapon, they discover, is booze. If they want to survive the creatures' onslaught, everyone will have to get very, very drunk!
Director Jon Wright's whimsical throwback to classic monster flicks relishes in delivering perfectly timed thrills and madcap antics. In true cult fashion, Grabbers imparts the great fun of a spooky old carnival ride with an Irish twist. Don't forget to grab a drink!


Jaime Winstone and Russell Tovey: the start of something beautiful
Jaime Winstone and Russell Tovey
Made in Essex … Jaime Winstone and Russell Tovey

Like all coincidences, it feels both bizarre and perfectly obvious that Russell Tovey and Jaime Winstone have known each other for years. The two actors spent their adolescence in Essex, though they were hardly neighbours: Tovey grew up in Billericay, and Winstone moved from London to Roydon in her early teens. But he happened to go to the same drama club as Winstone's older sister, Lois. "She's been in my parents' house, in the garden," he says, nodding over his teriyaki lunch at Jaime, a dishevelled figure sitting beside him. "She was so cool. I remember I saw you once in a club, you had a pair of snow boots on, and I thought: 'She knows what she's doing.'"
"Oh my God, them really chavvy Diors!" Winstone erupts with a throaty cackle.
"Silver ones, weren't they? Surrounded by gay boys," adds Tovey.
"Nothing's changed," Winstone sighs.
Now the pair have been cast together in Sex with a Stranger, a new play by Stefan Golaszewski, opening at the Trafalgar Studios in London next week. It's the story of a one-night stand: Adam and Grace meet at a club and travel home together, stopping off for a kebab on the way. Gradually, you realise that Adam has a girlfriend, and is not behaving as he ought.
It's a curiously unvarnished play, stripping the one-night stand of any passion or excitement. "That's what Stefan does," says Tovey, enthusiastically. "He celebrates the average. These are average people in their 20s, that dead space where you don't know what you're doing." I suggest to Winstone that she seems to be sidestepping that "dead space", and she splutters. "It's nice that you think that. I only really feel like I've just grown up now, and I'm 26."
Both she and Tovey, who is 32, were settled into acting careers by the time they turned 20 – although Tovey points out that, at that age, it's your personal life that is the most complicating factor. "We all have our own shit to deal with, don't we? Ups and downs and working out who you are and who you want to be with. That's what this play's about." Although, he says, sheepishly, actors have an advantage over other people. "We can use it. A few times I've been upset and in the moment of absolute tragedy, I've gone: 'Remember how this feels.'" He laughs. "Which is really awful, actually."
Tovey is an old hand at Golaszewski's unvarnished realism, having starred in two series of Him & Her, BBC3's "anti-romantic" comedy about an unemployed couple living in lazy bliss. Winstone had in fact read the pilot script with a view to auditioning for the role of Tovey's character's girlfriend, Becky, but found the part resistible. "It was quite hard to get: there was no briefing on how simple and naturalistic it was," she says. This was what Tovey loved about it. "It's just observational comedy; it's not trying to be anything other than real," he says. "So many girls turned it down because they didn't want to be seen having a poo on camera." (Him & Her features a lot of conversations with one person on the toilet, the door open.) When Tovey told his friend James Corden he was auditioning for the show, Corden's reply was: "You can't do that, it's one of the worst things I've ever read."
Like Corden, Tovey got his big break playing one of the eight teenagers in Alan Bennett's play The History Boys. He had been acting since he was 11, and first performed at the National when he was 19, after being expelled from his BTec in performing arts for choosing a McDonald's ad over the Barking College production of Rent. Tovey considers his stint at the National his training: as well as his work on stage, he spent his days in the theatre's Studio, "doing readings and workshops, opening up job opportunities". Not that he got to follow any of those opportunities through: The History Boys kept him busy for three years, what with the West End transfer, the film and the international tour. Does he regret the amount of time spent on one play? "Yeah, I had moments of being like, this has taken over my life. But in retrospect it was the best thing that ever happened to me."
Winstone didn't consider acting when she was younger. "My dad did it, my sister did it, so I guess I was rebelling against that." But she loved being behind the scenes when her father, Ray Winstone, was working, which is how a casting director came to persuade her to play a street kid in the gun-crime drama Bullet Boy, and to audition for a bigger role in Kidulthood. When she got the part of teenage prostitute Becky, "The director said you've got it and I was like, but how? I couldn't get my head around how I got it or what I was doing." The process of making the film convinced her. "I can do this. I can connect to someone other than me at this age."
"Would you still do them roles now?" interrupts Tovey.
"No, definitely not," Winstone says. "I love doing strong British film, but I feel like I've ticked that box."
"You want to earn some money now," quips Tovey.
He's laughing, but Winstone isn't. "I would like to buy a house at some point in my life." She sounds fiercely independent as she says this, and seems determined not to take advantage of her father's name. Tellingly, she says the best piece of advice Ray has given her is: "Always be on your own little surfboard, on your own little wave, and do your own thing."
The trouble is figuring out what her own thing is. "I'm in that weird transition of becoming a woman on film, where I'm starting to get offered toddlers' mums, which is really strange," she says. She wants to be "more experimental", but can't explain how. Her father thinks she should do more theatre, and she's seriously keen. She's been on stage once before, playing a pregnant teenager in The Fastest Clock in the Universe at the Hampstead theatre in 2009, and says that it taught her "everything about what I do, how to get an emotion across to an audience". Over the past four years she has also been co-producing a film for the first time –Elfie Hopkins, a detective-cannibalism-horror story that she says was fun to perform in, but a nightmare to get off the ground. "I don't think I'll be doing it again. You have to be really thick-skinned, and it can strip a lot of the passion out when you know that side of film."
Tovey's sideline is writing; he'd like to get a play produced, but can never be bothered to write the new drafts that theatres invariably demand. What are his plays about? He falters. "Um, I'm obsessed with the dark side of Soho: the dealers and the prostitutes and the rent boys. And I've got a slight obsession with drag queens – not sexually but just, I like the faux glamour of them, the slight tackiness, the attitude that they carry around with them. There's something about them in the gay world, they're kind of like the A-list gay: they're in control. And then when they take everything off, they're just some gay man with no eyebrows."
Tovey himself is gay, which makes his performance in Him & Her all the more intriguing: is it easier to play such an intimate role when there's no risk of a relationship forming? "It's work," he shrugs. "I think Sarah [Solemani, who plays Becky], her fiancé is extremely happy that I'm gay, because she holds my willy at certain points and I'm always titting her up. But for me it's just: get on with it."
Winstone confesses she struggles watching her father kiss other women on screen: "My mum's like, 'Who the fuck's Angelina Jolie?' But I don't like my dad kissing another woman – it really pisses me off." She has no such qualms about herself. Films such as 2008's Donkey Punch required her to perform hardcore sex scenes, and she argues: "It's really important to show that part of people. I've never had a problem with it." And with that, the pair get back to groping one another on their inglorious one-night stand.

Sarah Solemani
Solemani: for the record it wasn't actually your willy it was YOUR INNER THIGH!! @russelltovey

russell tovey
russelltovey: @Solemani hahaha!!! And I'm not fucking 32!! X
ragingoodfella: @russelltovey there were so many mistakes in that article. u werent in west end run of history boys, they'll be claiming ur str8 next. ;-)
Toby Lee
tobiathlee26: @russelltovey @Solemani So are you, like, 37?

russell tovey
russell tovey
russelltovey: RT @BeingHuman3: Sundance 2012: Writer Kevin Lehane on Irish monster movie 'Grabbers' #Grabbers @russelltovey of #BeingHuman
russell tovey
russelltovey: RT @BeingHuman3: WATCH AN EXCLUSIVE CLIP FROM SUNDANCE CREATURE FEATURE GRABBERS @russelltovey (looking so awesome!) of #BeingHuman
Chris Swinburne
Chrispurplhouse: @Tom_In_Oz_ @russelltovey Oh 'e's gawgeous!
russell tovey
russelltovey: RT @ArtsInfinite: Jaime Winstone and Russell Tovey: the start of something beautiful: Jaime Winstone and Russell Tovey are old friends
FreyaSoWhoa: @russelltovey if you could reply it would make my life. I know you probably hear this a lot but you're a great guy and I'm such a fan :')
russell tovey
russelltovey: @FreyaSoWhoa hello :-) x
Gareth Hacker
garethhacker: @russelltovey dont think i ever told you that those shots we did are on my homepage? didyou have a look?
russell tovey
russelltovey: @garethhacker Nice! x
Gareth Hacker photography logo
russell tovey
russelltovey: Trafalgar Studios, London – official theatre tickets – book now!:
Alice Woollard ☮
alice_woollard: @russelltovey hi hi hi notice me, hi. ps. follow me hehehhehehhe
russell tovey
russelltovey: @alice_woollard hey x
Archaic Sunshine
Owen_Thornton: @russelltovey if i could stare longingly at your face all day, i would. But unfortunately, i have to sleep eat and poo.
russell tovey
russelltovey: @Owen_Thornton Haha x
Gay Squirrels
LadyGaydar: @russelltovey ... check this out ;-) 
russell tovey
russelltovey: @LadyGaydar Ridic!!!!!!!! x Thank you! x
Keir Shiels
keirshiels: @russelltovey Old friend of Stefan Golaciew.... Gollache... Gollee... Stefan's. I'll be there.
russelltovey: @keirshiels Great! x
Dan J Sullivan
dansulindstress: @russelltovey do u get naked in it?
russell tovey
russelltovey: @dansulindstress Some x
bekkawain: @russelltovey RUSSEL! please reply, is there gonna be a series 3 him and her on bbc3? I miss watching it :(
russell tovey
russelltovey: @bekkawain Yes! Start shooting spring/summer x
asherly89: @russelltovey well you be coming to Park City for your movie at Sundance?
russell tovey
russelltovey: @asherly89 I wish.. I am currently rehearsing a play in London... Let me know what you think eh? x
Laura Venegas
LauraV26: Got my tickets all booked to see @russelltovey at The Trafalgar Studios in feb with my wifey @lfdoyle87 very happy! :D
russell tovey
russelltovey: @LauraV26  @lfdoyle87  :-) x

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