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Great article on Bob Hoskins - RIP


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James Delingpole looks at the life and career of Hoskins, and presents the top 9 reasons why we at Breitbart London will miss the old son-of-a-communist:


1. His salty turn of phrase. Here he is describing the process by which he would assess film scripts:

Cold bum test. I take it [the script] to the khazi in the morning and if I end up with a cold arse I think: This has got to be a good script. If you notice you’ve got pins and needles you think: F*ck me, this must be a good one.


2. The expression on his face in the final scene of The Long Good Friday:

Finest acting moment of his career. Finest acting moment of almost anyone's career. [PLOT SPOILER ALERT] We watch as realisation dawns: it's over. All his expectations of how it would be, all the power he spent a lifetime of aggression and hard graft accumulating, all his authority trashed by one stroke of bad luck. His face changes from fear, to horror, to resignation, to sharkish amusement...


'For that last shot,’ he says, '[Director] John Mackenzie said I’m going to put the camera on your face Bob for five minutes and I want you to just think your way through the film. I said “you’re f---ing joking, ain’t you?” So I thought my way through the film and there you see it in the final edit.


3. His refusal to take himself too seriously.

In early 1986, a script arrived in the post at Bob Hoskins’ house for a film called The Untouchables, with a note attached from the director Brian De Palma asking him to read it and then come to Los Angeles to discuss the role of Al Capone.


“I went to meet him at his hotel and he said, ‘Really, I want Robert De Niro to play him,’” recalled Hoskins in an interview, years later. “I thought, ‘Well, great. What am I doing here?’”


He was there, it transpired, because of De Niro’s proposed fee, which was causing much consternation at Paramount. De Palma agreed to sign Hoskins as a back-up for the role on a ‘pay or play’ contract and in the end, De Niro got the part.


“Linda, my missus, was opening the post one morning and said ‘What’s that?’ and it was a cheque for £20,000,” he recalled. “It said, ‘Thanks for your time Bob, love Brian.’ I phoned him up and I said, ‘Brian, if you’ve ever got any other films you don’t want me in, son, you just give me a call.’”


This is a vintage Hoskins anecdote: uproariously self-deprecating and told with such impeccable modesty it borders on fibbing. He tactfully omitted two details from the story. Firstly, that he was Paramount’s first choice for the role, and the studio only caved to De Palma’s demand for De Niro over fears the film lacked sufficient star power. And secondly, the amount he received was closer to £120,000 than £20,000.


4. He was a proper bloke.

One of the things I’ve realised is that I am very simple. My wife asked me once if I loved her. I said: “Look love, I’m a simple man. I love you. End of story.” But I guess you gotta keep saying it with women. I guess she needed reassurance. Blokes are very arrogant, they always assume the woman still loves them.’


5. He wasn't too grand to play opposite an irritating cartoon bunny [Who Framed Roger Rabbit?]

'I think I went a bit mad while working on that. Lost my mind. The voice of the rabbit was there just behind the camera all the time. You had to know where the rabbit would be at every angle. Then there was Jessica Rabbit and all these weasels. The trouble was, I had learnt how to hallucinate. My daughter had an invisible friend called Jeffrey and I played with her and this invisible friend until one day I actually saw the friend.


6. He always looked on the bright side of life.

[This from a 2009 interview, before he was diagnosed with Parkinson's]

'Dementia will be a friend. It will grin at me and say: “How you going son?” I’ll be like my dad. He phoned me up one day and said: “The mafia is laundering money through my bank account.” I shot round there and realised it was the pocket money I was giving him. “You prat,” I said. “It’s the money I’ve been paying into your account.”’


7. He was game for anything.

A friend of mine who was working with a circus group saw me and asked, you know, "Do you want to do a season in the circus?" So I said, "Yeah, I'll try that." I learned to do a fire act; I was a clown and a ringmaster, and I used to do an escape act, as well.


8. He came from nowhere and lived the dream.

Hoskins left school at 15 with one O-level and drifted from job to job: porter, lorry-driver, window cleaner.


He then did a three-year accountancy course but dropped out.


His life changed dramatically in 1968 when he accompanied a friend to an audition and got mistaken for a candidate. He was asked to read for a part and ended up being given the lead. As soon as he started acting he knew it was for him.


9. He may have disliked Margaret Thatcher - as, of course, is de rigueur for all actors - but he never lost sight of who the real enemy was.


Which living person do you most despise, and why? Tony Blair – he's done even more damage than Thatcher.



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I always liked Bob Hoskins because he didn't take himself too seriously and didn't become all Hollywood up upperty himself ....... The kind of guy back in the day you would gladly have a beer with and share a joke with before the whole world went 'you can't say that' crazy


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