Discover Britain’s Toughest Fathers in Film and TV with the Home Entertainment Release of My Name Is Lenny ahead of Father’s Day
“I look what I am, a hard bastard” runs the cover quote on the bestselling autobiography of notorious East End hard man Lenny McLean. If you’ve ever seen Lenny, either in his iconic turn as hard-as-nails enforcer Barry ‘the Baptist’ in classic gangster flick Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or in one of his many TV appearances, you might be inclined to agree... Growing up on the tough streets of East London in the fifties and sixties, Lenny became a formidable unlicensed boxer and later a bouncer, bodyguard, best-selling author and finally a movie star. Lenny’s own son, Jamie McLean, documented the trials and tribulations of this colourful life, and his own relationship with his father, in the hit documentary The Guv’nor.
In brand new feature film My Name is Lenny, Jamie acts as Producer to bring the most exciting chapter of his father’s story to life. Taking us back to the East End of the 1970s, the film follows Lenny as he gears up for three brutal fights against fellow boxing legend Roy ‘Pretty Boy’ Shaw as they duke it out to claim the undisputed title of ‘The Guv’nor’. The film stars Josh Helman (Mad Max: Fury Road), current UFC Middleweight champion Michael Bisping (xXx: Return of Xander Cage), Nick Moran (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), BAFTA winner Chanel Cresswell (This is England) and Oscar® nominated John Hurt (V For Vendetta).
With Father’s Day soon upon us we’re celebrating the release of My Name Is Lenny by taking a light-heated look at the best roles of the British actors who have played some of the toughest dads to grace our screens in both film and television...
Vinnie Jones as Big Chris in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
“Big Chris settles debts for Harry, the only thing he cares more about than an unsettled debt is his son and heir little Chris...”
Hard-man footballer Vinnie Jones took his reputation for on-pitch violence and channeled it into a successful acting career playing tough guys and gangsters. It all started with Guy Ritchie’s 1998 London crime classic Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in which he played hard-as-nails debt collector, Big Chris. The worst thing you could do to this committed father is threaten his son, as one foolish henchman makes the mistake of doing... spoiler alert, it doesn’t end well.
Not only launching the career of the former Wimbledon FC player, Lock Stock also featured a major role for the man on which My Name is Lenny is based. Lenny McLean was handpicked for the role of terrifying enforcer Barry The Baptist, impressing audiences worldwide with his characteristic mix of charisma and menace.
Liam Neeson has long been regarded as one of the UK’s finest actors having earned plaudits for heavyweight roles in powerful dramas like The Mission, Michael Collins, and the Oscar winning, Schindlers List. It was something of a surprise when the Northern Irishman turned up in 2008 action hit Taken. In the film, retired CIA agent Bryan Mills travels across Europe to rescue his kidnapped daughter from a vicious gang of Albanian human traffickers, taking out anyone who got in his way. The actor proved so convincing at dispatching of bad guys with clinical precision that it re- launched the veteran thesp as an action star, a position he continues to enjoy to this day.
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead (2010)
“No More kid stuff!”
Londoner Andrew Lincoln was already a familiar face on British TV thanks to roles in classic shows This Life and Teachers when his career hit stratospheric new heights after being cast as the lead in the big-budget live-action adaptation of comic book series The Walking Dead. Picking up a Southern drawl to play the role of small-town American sheriff Rick Grimes, the show opened with the character waking up alone in a hospital bed then battling his way across a zombie ravaged city to reunite himself with his son, Carl. Seven seasons on and The Walking Dead is one of the most popular television shows of all time. The now battle-hardened, father is still fighting to save his mopey teenage son Carl, while audiences often wish he wouldn’t bother...
Yup, we’re claiming the greatest villain in all of cinema history as one of Britain’s toughest dads. The vocals of intergalactic space villain Darth Vader may have been that of baritone-voiced Yank James Earl Jones, but the body was all British. David Prowse, a six-foot-six body builder and former Green Cross Code man, played the part of Vader in all three of the original Star Wars movies, revealing himself to be the father of heroic Jedi Luke Skywalker in the second film of the trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back. By the end of the trilogy, Vader was able to turn against the villainous Emperor and share an emotional reunion with his son. Darth Vader may not pick up any awards for parenting, but he can safely be considered the hardest dad in the galaxy.
Okay, so Jason Statham may not actually be a father in the latest instalment of staggeringly successful action franchise The Fast and the Furious, but he shows dad- level reflexes in a scene where he’s tasked with rescuing Vin Diesel’s infant son from a plummeting plane.
Another actor who got his big-break in Lock, Stock and Two-smoking Barrels, ‘The Stath’ has made a successful Hollywood career as a tough action star in popular film series like The Expendables, The Transporter and in Guy Ritchies’ crime films, Snatch and Revolver. In The Fate of the Furious, the eighth film in the high-octane series, Statham reprises his role as rogue assassin Deckard, a former enemy turned ally who shows Jackie Chan like action-comedy timing as he simultaneously takes on a plane full of terrorists while protecting a baby. Making sure to take time out to check in on the child in between gunshots and fisticuffs, Statham kept the child, and audiences, entertained in the movie’s best scene.
MY NAME IS LENNY IS AVAILABLE NOW ON DVD, BLU-RAY AND DIGITAL DOWNLOAD