In 1998 a little low-budget British movie was released. Costing just under a million pounds to make, it featured a cast of up-and-coming actors – and one footballer: Mr Vinnie Jones.
As the directorial debut for Guy Ritchie, Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels would go onto great critical and commercial acclaim, raking in a box office gross of over £21 million, plus scooping awards and nominations from BAFTA, the London Film Critics Circle and more.
It also launched the careers of its young cast – Jason Statham, Nick Moran, Jason Flemyng and Dexter Fletcher – who went from bit parts on TV to becoming the toast of Hollywood.
Appearing on White Wine Question Time, Flemyng said it was an important movie for the cast and that one person in particular was really instrumental in his future success.
“When I started acting, you know, there's those actors that I watched, and those directors that looked out for me and, and helped me along the way,” he told host Kate Thornton.
“Even though it kills me to say it, Guy Richie was amazing and gave me real confidence.”
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It’s been 22 years since the film was made, and you might think that the stars have lost touch as they’ve moved on with their careers, but according to Flemyng, that’s very much not the case.
“The WhatsApp group from Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrel is still quite active. The WhatsApp group from Seed Of Chucky, not quite so active,” he laughed.
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He continued: “Success is quite bonding, so that kind of family that we had with Guy and [producer] Matthew Vaughn and Stath [Jason Statham] and Nick Moran and Vas Blackwood and all those guys – and Dex [Dexter Fletcher], obviously.”
The Jamestown star stays in touch with all his former co-stars and has recently worked with Nick Moran on his new film Creation Stories, the film about Alan McGee’s famous record label Creation Records.
“I've just done Nick Moran's film, you know. I love Nick!” he declared.
Another Lock, Stock alumni who has become a successful director is Dexter Fletcher, who directed Eddie The Eagle and Rocketman, however Flemyng believes he’s actually the best actor out of their group.
He said: “He was always the best actor and I'll tell you why – and I think I'm quite good at too – we're so used to doing crap that if you give us a crap line, we'll make it work!”
Perhaps one person who wasn’t quite to enamoured with the success that Flemyng found after Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, is his older brother, Gareth. A social worker, he often gets mistaken for his more famous younger brother – but not in the best circumstances.
“He'd be like on an estate in Hackney taking a child away from a very dangerous situation,” the Putney-born star explained.
“He’d be with the police and they’d bang the door down and my brother would be going, ‘Mr. Jenkins. My name is Gareth Flemyng and I'm removing your child from you under the child protection act’. The bloke would go ‘Look Mavis, it's the bloke from Lock, Stock’.”
He continued: My brother would be like ‘J, what’s your hair look like at the moment? Because I’ve got to cut it the other way!’”
Flemyng has currently started pre-production on new prison movie Ire, alongside Craig Fairbrass and Liar star, Zoë Tapper.