Hollywood's most likeable ginge tells us about flying Daleks, gangster pranks and getting drunk with Heath Ledger
It's mental to think Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels came out 10 years ago. So much has happened since: Jason Statham has
become the new Vin Diesel, Dexter Fletcher is a concierge in Hotel Babylon, and Nick Moran is washing lorries in a Morrisons car park (probably). For us,
though, the biggest success story is Jason Flemyng, who has been chipping away at Hollywood stardom for a while. From roles in Layer Cake, From Hell and, er,
Seed Of Chucky, the dodgy-dealing ginge has now landed himself a role in David Fincher's new film alongside Brad Pitt. He invited us to the pub he owns
in South London for a pint of Stella Artois and a bit of a chinwag.
What's it like being known as 'the ginger one'? Dean, St Neots
When you're ginger you either get tough quick or you get funny quick. And knowing how thin my wrists are, I went with the latter. I've written a sitcom called Being Ginger, which every single ginger actor is committed to being in, all the way from Robert Redford down to Spuggy from Byker Grove. And Chris Evans is going to finance it. Once in their life, every ginger goes to Glasgow, like Muslims go to Mecca. When ginger people go to Glasgow, they know they're home.
What's the scariest fight you've ever witnessed in your pub? Jas, London
I'm a sort of demented figurehead for the pub. I'm only here when I choose to be here, which is for the good bits, and luckily I've never ever seen a row. There was one row, but it was me who started it, so it doesn't really count. I started it and was told that I was barred. So I was barred from my own pub for three days. I needed three days to get over it.
Did you ever get to meet Heath Ledger? Martin, Hull
I spent a few nights out with him when I was doing From Hell and he was shagging Heather Graham. We met up with Heath and his mob at about four in the morning and I didn't know who the fuck he was. He was going, 'I'm playing the lead in this film,' and I'm like, 'Mate, that's fantastic, and if it all goes to shit you can just go back to Australia, what a great life.' We all went back to his apartment and I saw him on the cover of Vanity Fair. I'd spent the whole night patronising him - and he was a massive Hollywood star!
What was Lenny McLean [Barry the Baptist] actually like? Gary, Barnes
On Lock, Stock… we had these things called 'three ways' which is basically a trailer changing room split into three, with two people in each bit. They put me in with Lenny McLean and told him I was gay. At his age and his state of mind, he couldn't get his head round the fact that it wasn't true. Not that there's anything wrong with being gay, but when Lenny McLean thinks you're gay, it's not the most comfortable situation. So, basically, I changed outside in the rain.
Are you going to be the new Dr Who? Andy, Lewisham
My old man directed Dr. Who And The Daleks, [1965 film, starring Peter Cushing as The Doctor], which is my greatest claim to fame. And when he died, I became the only human being alive that could do the noise of the Dalek ship taking off and landing. [Jason demonstrates this with spooky accuracy] When the show started, I phoned up the production office and told them this. They were suitably impressed, then said, 'Jason we've got something tragic to tell you - the Daleks can now fly.' And I was like, 'That is the sickest, weirdest mistake you've ever made.' Daleks flying! I was devastated. So, no, I'm not going to be the new Dr Who.
Which film are you most proud of and which would you most like to destroy with an axe? Sanjay, London
The one I'm most proud of is David Fincher's new film called The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, where I play Brad Pitt's dad. The genetic similarities are obviously there! The film I'm least proud of is Seed Of Chucky, where I'm dressed as Santa and I get killed by a doll in Romania. That was pretty much the lowest point in my life.
Which Lock, Stock… phrase gets shouted at you the most? Oliver, Aldershot
There's not a single day where someone doesn't ask me what I did with them guns at the end of the movie. But because we all love that film so much and it's always done with a modicum of respect, I don't mind at all. But I think I'm asked to say this at least three times a week: 'It's a deal, it's a steal, it's the sale of the fucking century. In fact, fuck it, Nick, I think I'll keep it.'
How scary is Vinnie Jones? Christopher, Wood Green
He's one of the greatest friends a man could have and one of the worst enemies. We were at the Four Seasons and he was playing the piano. It was about one in the morning and Liz Hurley was staying above where the piano was, and she came down absolutely livid. Within a minute-and-a-half she was sitting on Vinnie's knee playing piano with him. The bloke is the most charismatic guy, and I'm lucky to consider him as a mate.