What an incredible couple of months I have had, hardly time to catch my breath let alone write a blog, so where to begin.
So I worked on the hilarious Toscar parody of American Hustle called you guessed it British Hustle. What a good time we had which I think it comes across in the film. I played chief inspector Bradley Pooper, a British cop with a flatulence problem. From the mind of writer/director Sandro Monetti. A direct quote from the film, ‘a collection of tits and fart jokes’ brilliant. Just had too much fun acting alongside Sarah Farooqui- Thompson, Wendy Wason and Catherine Siggins especially during the boob cam sequence. Not to forger Michael Enright last years winner of best supporting actor.
As per Toscar rules every element of the film has to be produced by a member of the team. So Sandro asked me if I would sort out the music and write a few songs for the film. I explained to him that it could take some time and that I had an imminent wedding coming up. To which he told me ‘Your doing it” or words to that effect ha ha. He also mentioned that if we released the EP it would be the first official soundtrack in Toscar history. Well the challenge was set so then I just had to do it. I’m no technician so with the help of our brilliant editor and technical wizard Charlie Robinson we managed to write parts of the songs for the film.
Great Britain Flood Warnings!, Britain’s Got More Talent
So I returned to the UK to get married proper in front of all our friends and family on Valentines Day, what can I say was undoubtedly the greatest day of my life but I’m getting ahead of myself. So I arrived in London four days before my wedding at a time when England was apparently experiencing some of the worst floods for 60 years! Chico picked me up from the airport then back to he’s house to catch up with the family. We attempted to drive to the East coast later that night but had to abort the trip as so many roads were closed due to the flooding. The following morning we went to the TV show Britain’s Got More Talent and was fun catching up with some familiar faces in the green room I hadn’t seen for a while including Pat Sharp what a gent and the hilarious Joe Swash.
Top Hat and Tails
From there we went to see my good friend Adrian Gwillym at Academy Textiles to be fitted for our wedding suites. Top hat and tails the only way to do it and fine suits they were too. Adrian is an incredibly talented designer and has been making our clothes for years and costumed a couple of movies I have produced. He’s other credits include, Brave heart, Saving Private Ryan and James Bond to name but a few so believe me when I say we were lucky to get him.
The Stag Night
The next evening was the stag night (or bachelor party for my American friends) that was a riot but I’m happy to say a civilized riot. When ended up rolling around 40 deep, now when half your friends are entertainers, singers, actors etc. you never quite know what to expect add to that the fact that my father in law to be is a stand up comedian it’s fair to say I was a little worried but what a great night catching up with The Boys and reliving funny stories, it was simply great.
I have been asked ‘was it stressful organizing the wedding’ especially from the states. To be honest the wedding was the easiest gig of my life. I just had to turn up and have fun. Now my wife, mother in law, her Godmother, father and all her friends might have a different story to tell. They spent a year working really hard plotting, planning and preparing every last detail. What an incredible job they did, the greatest day of my life with 300 of our closest friends and family under one roof. It was incredible to enjoy the celebration with people from every area and period of my life. I’m sure everyone feels the same way about their wedding day, to be honest it was so special I don’t think I can even put it into words but here’s a few highlights. Amazing turnout even though there was an incredible storm, English village service where my wife’s grandparents were married 50 years ago, so many people helping out from catering to cake making, costumes to cars there really was a lot of love in the room. Chico’s best man speech well let me take a minute.
Chico’s best man speech
Oh my God, it was around 25 minutes and had animations, embarrassing stories, Muppets, his children rapping on screen and singing live, and even wind ups and good luck messages from celebrity friends like Ant and Dec and Ray Quinn to name a couple. It was funny, moving and quite possibly the greatest best man speech in the history of the world ha ha. It’s not every day you get roasted by a Muppet. In a word: incredible. And I can honestly say ‘it was emotional’. In fact here’s a pic to prove it.
British Hustle EP
So during all this wedding madness what I’m leaving out is the story of the British Hustle EP. On my way from the airport to Chico’s house I’m speaking to good my friend and brilliant producer Kevin Leo in his London studio arranging a recording session. Well to cut a long story short we managed to flesh out the whole tracks and then master them for release around all the wedding chaos. Given more time we would have polished them but it was nothing short of a minor miracle what we achieved in the time we had and they are pretty much a live session with musician friends helping out. So for your listening pleasure check them out on iTunes here https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/british-hustle-original-motion/id828097671
Honeymoon? No Music video with Ron Jeremy for Get Down
How was our honeymoon you may well ask? Postponed but to be continued!! Sandro loved the tracks and the countdown began to get them on iTunes before the Toscars awards. We now need a video for the leading track ‘Get Down’ he declared, insane I replied. He had other ideas. I would love to take credit for the video but that was all down to the hard work and vision of Sandro, our brilliant DP Reid Russell and especially Charlie who did 18-hour days trying to get it finished in time. I flew back to LA early after the wedding to shoot some extra footage for the video; you couldn’t make it up, as I said insane. Ron Jeremy what a character, the hardest err… working man in Hollywood ha ha. Really fun guy and a pleasure to be around. I think he surprised a lot of people with his acting ability in the film and his dancing in the video, also he has so many funny stories and anecdotes I think anyone would be hard pressed not to like him. Well where’s the video I hear you say? You can view it on You Tube right here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUbynHnrdks
What a brilliant event Brits in LA put together, I take my hat off to Craig Robert Young and Eileen Lee who must have worked tirelessly. Not only did they stage and sellout the Jaguar sponsored event at the historic Egyptian theater in the middle of Hollywood. But put together a first class evening of entertainment hosted by Alex Newel from Glee. I was nominated for best supporting whactor, when I heard my name called I was totally shocked. I had absolutely no idea I was going to win but had so much fun on the movie with our brilliant cast and crew winning was just the icing on the cake. Sarah also won best supporting whactress. When I got up to receive the Toscar I was almost (only almost ha ha) lost for words. With over 600 people cheering and smiling back at me at the Egyptian theater it was quite surreal. I had a brilliant Toscar experience from start to finish.
So it’s been an incredible start to the year in every way, and I feel it’s just going to get bigger, this year the Toscars next year the Oscars, from my lips to Gods ears. This weeks quote “A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are for what you have.’