Britflicks (BF) Talks Exclusively With Craig Fairbrass (CF) about his starring role in LONDON HEIST, working with James Cosmo and what British films are coming next.
BF) It seems to have taken an age for LONDON HEIST to finally get released so you must be very excited to see it finally out there?
CF: Too be honest the response has been seriously overwhelming! I’ve had so many positive messages from people and fans really appreciating our film and who found it genuinely entertaining and head and shoulders above other films at this level. And what’s so nice is that fans of this genre really appreciate a well-made one, even if it is low budget, I mean you’re always gonna have ya knockers but that goes with the territory.
But getting back to the first part of the question, yeah it has taken ages, but to be honest it was worth the wait. We had a lot of offers for LONDON HEIST, but my dream was that I always wanted a big classy distributor that matched the quality of the film and could not of wished for a better partner than Lionsgate, to see that Logo in front of our film to me is very special. The only downside was that we had a holdback clause on the film deal as it was for multi-territories including the U.S and Latin America.
BF) Can you tell us a little bit about the film and your role?
CF: Yeah I play Jack Cregan who comes from a family of armed robbers led by his dad Alfie Cregan (played by Steven Berkoff). We pull off a big robbery at the beginning of the film but that night the money is stolen by a rival firm and Jack’s dad is murdered - Jack devastated, makes it his mission to find out who killed his dad and to get the money back. While in Marbella and on the run back to London for revenge, Jack soon realises that there is a lot more to his Dads murder and the stolen money. This forces Jack to do one last robbery while exacting brutal revenge on all involved.
BF) Also starring in LONDON HEIST are two actors you worked with on BREAKDOWN, the brilliant James Cosmo and on screen bad boy Mem Ferda, how was it working with these guys again?
CF: An absolute pleasure! Both are pros and it’s always an enjoyable experience when your work with actors who can act. I’ve been impressed with James as an actor for a long time and so it was a dream come true to work with him on BREAKDOWN as Albert Chapman. James has so many qualities that he brings and when we were filming I said to him there’s a script I’ve written that has your name on it, once again he showed up and absolutely smashed it. He’s a lovely grounded man to have around on set as well, which is so important on low budget fast shooting indie films.
Mem also gave it his all, we wanted to go different with Lenny Moore not typical and Mem has a great look and ability. When we were casting he just popped into my head and the rest is history.
BF) LONDON HEIST director, Mark McQueen was previously a director of the TOP GEAR series, so can we expect some car related chase scenes/action?
CF: Oh YES!!!! Mark McQueen!! This geeza oozes so much style and cinematic quality on film; he is so film literate I love the guy… We met on DEVILS PLAYGROUND a film I’m hugely proud of and just clicked as director and lead actor. He is one of the most talented directors around; I always used to say it’s a matter of time before he gets nicked for a Bond. What this man did on LONDON HEIST with the budget and time is Breathtaking!!! I mean let’s have it right, most of the films made at this level in the UK are un-fuckin watchable shit. But along with Duane McClunie his DOP and James Barker music, i really believe we made a very watchable gripping, slick thriller with a great story and a lot of that is down to Mark McQueen.
BF) You are also the writer of LONDON HEIST; can you tell us how you came up with the idea and a little on the writing process?
CF: I’ve had the script wrapped around me for years (AKA GUNNED DOWN) and I always wanted to make it. But it’s impossible to get a film made and along the way you meet hundreds of time wasters (messers), but once I met Red Rock Entertainment in LA at AFM (American Film Market) and we chatted things through, I realised there was a real opportunity here and once I got Mark on board together we knocked the script into shape to match the budget we had. We were ruthless and both realists of what we could achieve, that’s why I’m so proud of the film, its quality.
BF) Your son Luke is the producer of the film, is this the first time you have worked together?
CF: If someone would have told me all those years ago that the kid waiting for his two front teeth to come through would solely produce my film LONDON HEIST I would have said you’re drunk!! And would never ever have believed it and just laughed it off, but what a job he did.
Luke has great taste and is super smart and very film literate - he came out of university and could see how frustrated I was and he said to me “let me produce the film for you”. The timing was perfect, I had a track record for a certain type of film and the finance was arriving and together with our co-prodcer the never phased Ben Jaques the film became real.
BF) You have worked with some big names in the industry, Denzel Washington and Sylvester Stallone to name but two; is there an actor on the wish list you would really like to work with?
CF: Im a massive Woody Harrelson fan after watching him for years and then in True Detective and Rampart he just blew me away, I love that fucked up intensity he has. I also like Josh Broiln, it’s a funny thing I recently went in for DEADPOOL 2 for Colossus TWICE!! - The director was like i really like Craig get him back. But I’m no mug, it was massive long shot but they did call me back so I must be doing something right and you know what?!! Josh Brolin got the role and I was just so pleased, just to have been on that same list as him.
BF) We are very much looking forward to seeing you in the RISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIER prequel later this year, are there any other films on the horizon?
CF: Yeah I’m gonna be doing a very special film at the end on the month called MUSCLE for another Director I really admire and that is Gerard Johnson who’s film HYENA was very well received. So from Sunday the lonely early morning workouts begin and the diet from hell arrives, but I’m very excited about this project.
FOOTSOLDIER 3 has turned out even more brutal than the first, I’m really pleased with it and I think the hardcore fans will absolutely love it. The Carnaby boys (Carnaby International) really care about the franchise and always give 100% which really rubs off on everyone else.
BF) Going forward what else can we expect from Craig Fairbrass?
CF: I’m in a massive MOTION CAPTURE video game called SQUADRON 42 coming out alongside Gary Oldman and some other big names. And I have just signed on for another big MOTION CAPTURE game which I can’t talk about as all these games are all kept under wraps and very secret now, suppose it’s all the competition. Anyway just trying to keep it alive, carrying on from my Call Of Duty days.
BF) Craig Fairbrass thanks for taking time out to talk with Britflicks.