Ray Winstone

  1. PH Moriarty, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, 1998.     Cashing in on (and re-writing) the UK gangster movie genre, director Guy Ritchie obviously called on Winstone for Hatchet Harry Lonsdale. Ray passed.  One gangster too many. (The movie   launched Vinnie Jones, Jason Statham and Ritchie, himself).
  2. Ben Kingsley, Sexy Beast, 1999.    Now this gangster   was different…  Given the choice of Gal or Don, Winstone became ex-con Gal, retired  to Spain where the sociopathic Don finds him.  “I basically had Gandhi beating me up!” Ray was his usual brilliant self and an electrifying Ben relaunched his usual dreary self.  All due to their debuting director Jonathan Glazer. “I’ve worked with about 15-20 first time directors over the years,“ recalled Winstone.  “I quite like that. Because they come with no baggage, they invent, they don’t know the rules. Most of them, I’ve really enjoyed working with.”  But his all-time best director remains Gary Oldman during The War Zone in 1998.  “Gary let me off the leash.”
  3. Ricky Tomlinson,  The 51st State, 2001.   This gangster wasn’t…  even with  Samuel Jackson aboard. Ray split  for a Sam Mendes stage project.  His replacement  was real “scouser” – Liverpudlian – from the BBC TV’s Royle Family.
  4. Dominic West, The Wire, TV, 2002-2008.     The Londoner was keen on  the role but not on moving to Baltimore for the series. And so the BPD detective came from Sheffield! 
  5. Martin Sheen, The Departed,  2005.   The man who said No to Martin Scorsese…  Well, to his offer to play police Captain Queenan.  “I went to see Marty in the Dorchester Hotel. It was Sunday morning, so I thought I’d go in, quickly see Marty and be home for Sunday dinner. But we had a chat for about 45 minutes –  and I was starving! I told him I didn’t want to play a cop. I wanted to play Mr French, and he said, ‘But he doesn’t say anything.’ And I said, ‘But he will.’ And he says, ‘Yeah!’ So he just let me make it up.”  And he was one of the most honest and sincere characters in the movie, said  Chicago critic icon Roger Ebert, adding that the superb Winstone “invests every line with the authority of God dictating to Moses.”
  6. Brendan Gleeson, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005.      Winstoney is not often mentioned in the same breath as… Billy Connolly – but that was Mike Newelll’s thinking for Professor Mad-Eye Moody – the new Hogwarts teacher of Defence Against The Dark Arts – in the fourth of eight movies based fromJK Rowling’s books.. By November 2007, Winstone was so exhausted by Hollywood (The Departed, Beowulf, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull – that the English Depardieu called a halt at age 50. “I’m knackered. I need to recharge my batteries.”


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  6