Sexy Beast: Nick Wall
April 20, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Ditching the diaper and getting in touch with his inner sniper, Kingsley had audiences at the Toronto and Sundance film fests riveted with his darkly comic turn as Don, a steely and terrifying criminal trying to drag a retired ex-con (”The War Zone”’s Winstone) into one last London heist. The day Glazer, a commercial and music video vet (Jamiroquai’s ”Virtual Insanity”), met Kingsley, the first-time feature director kept thinking, ”I can’t believe I’m talking to the guy who did Gandhi? and how could he ever play the absolute antithesis of that? But he got it straightaway.”

Kingsley’s coercion depends on verbal rather than actual bullets, hollowed out, then filled with enough profanity to make David Mamet blush. But, says Glazer, the star ”makes obscenity sound like Shakespeare.” These swearing sonnets were no improv, however: The actors followed the script to the four-letter word. ”The rhythm is so perfect we decided not to mess it up,” says Kingsley. This meant, however, that every minor tweak in his rants entailed major negotiations. Laughs Glaser, ”Early on, there was a lot of ‘I’ll trade you four f—s for a c—.”’

88 minutes
Jonathan Glazer
Ray Winstone,
Robert Atiko,
James Fox,
Julianne White,
Cavan Kendall,
Alvaro Monje,
Amanda Redman
20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Complete Coverage

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