This week, I was lucky enough to spend some time in the company of the lovely Actor/Director Dexter Fletcher, as he talked to us at the lovely St Ermin’s Hotel in St James’ Park.
Those of you who are over 30 (like me, cough) will probably first remember Dexter from after-school TV, in the fantastic show Press Gang.
However, that was by no means his on-screen debut. Dexter started out way back in 1976 in Bugsy Malone and has been ever-present on our screens since, starring in some of the biggest hits of recent years, including Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Kick-Ass. IMDb shows the whole story, and it’s pretty damn impressive.
Anyway. This particular meeting with Dexter wasn’t to talk about acting (although it came up – of course). We were talking instead about his Directorial debut, Wild Bill, which met with huge critical acclaim when it was released in cinemas in March, and comes out on DVD this month. The film is set in the shadow of the Olympic Park, and follows Bill as he’s released from prison and reunites with his 2 sons, who have been left by their Mother (unbeknownst to Bill) to fend for themselves. It’s a sweet, twisted story that leaves you really caring about the characters and wanting them to make the right decisions – a far cry from many Brit-Flicks – and a film that’s well worth a watch.
Here’s the trailer…
Looks good, doesn’t it?!
Dexter spoke in detail about the scenes he loved best, the difficulties film-makers have in finding funding, the amazing cast and his pride of the finished product. Listening to him explain the film-making process was fascinating – he spoke with such passion about Wild Bill and the team that made it come together so brilliantly and seems to love being behind the camera just as much as in front of it. And rightly so. The transition from Actor to Director has been seamless and his first work? A real gem.
I don’t want to spoil too much of the plot for you as I’d really recommend you get the film for yourselves on DVD. But I will tell you this. While drugs and violence both definitely feature, this isn’t your standard British crime film about life on Estates. It’s well-written, heart-warming, amusing, intelligently done and brilliantly acted. You’ll like it. I’m sure of it.
And of course, we couldn’t let Dexter get back to his normal life without asking him about his London, and what makes this city so special to him…
What’s your favourite area of London?
The West End. It’s got it all going on!
If you had a free day in town, and an unlimited budget what would you do?
A hot air balloon ride high above London.
Favourite bar or pub?
Paramount at Centre Point.
Restaurant you’d recommend?
Union Jacks in Holborn
Hotel you would choose to stay in?
Best place for a first date?
I’ve been married 15 years!
What do you LOVE about London?
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been away, it welcomes you with open arms.
What little hidden gems should we know about?
LIFE sushi restaurant near Old St
What piece of advice would you give to a first time tourist?
Have a go on the Boris bikes.
Favourite memory or story about London?
Roller Skating at Jubilee Hall in Covent Garden as a kid.
Finally: How do you choose to get around town… Tube, Taxi, Foot or Bike?
Huge thanks to the lovely Dexter Fletcher for taking the time to talk to us…and for making Wild Bill!
Wild Bill will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on 23rd July. Pre-order your copy here.