Paramount+’s crime drama series ‘Sexy Beast’ is a prequel to Jonathan Glazer’s 2000 film of the same name. Glazer’s feature directorial debut stars Ray Winstone as Gary “Gal” Dove and Ben Kingsley as Don Logan. Kingsley’s performance in the film even earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination. In the series, James McArdle and Emun Elliott portray Gal and Don respectively. Since the show is a prequel rather than a remake, McArdle and Elliott’s characters are just younger versions of Winstone and Kingsley’s Gal and Don in the series. Does that mean the veterans won’t feature in the show?
Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley Are Not in the Sexy Beast Series
As of yet, neither Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, nor the series’ creators have confirmed the two actors’ involvement in the Paramount+ show. Since the narrative of the crime drama series takes place years before the events of the film, it is unlikely that Winstone and Kingsley will feature in the show as their original characters.
James McArdle received Winstone’s blessings to play Gal. “Ray Winstone texted me. He gave me a very encouraging, gracious, good luck text in a really positive way and it really helped me. It was round about that time when we were in Spain and I did start to feel more ownership over it and I thought that was a generous thing to do,” the actor told The Scotsman. Emun Elliott, however, didn’t have any contact with Kingsley regarding the series or their character Don.
“I did not hear from Sir Ben Kingsley and maybe it was for the best, I don’t know. It would be interesting to find out what he thinks about us and kind of terrifying because that performance is so iconic and incredible. But no, I had no contact with him before, during, or after the shoot. I suspect he’s slightly intimidated,” Elliott said in the same interview, joking at the end. The actor’s words seemingly rule out a surprise cameo appearance by Kingsley as well.
McArdle and Elliott highly regard Winstone and Kingsley’s performances in the film. Still, they wanted to deliver a different version of their respective characters. “There are certain images and scenes and characterizations that stay with you. That’s why the film has become such an iconic classic. Our job was to take the elements of those performances and thread them into what we were doing but at the same time form our own version of what that character is,” Elliott added.
As far as McArdle was concerned, having Gal in new circumstances helped him creatively to deliver a portrayal that’s original. “We’re meeting these characters in circumstances we’ve never seen them in before and that’s where our imaginations kicked in,” the actor said in the same The Scotsman interview. Ultimately, McArdle and Elliott let Gal and Don a part of themselves to meet the requirements of an eight-hour TV show. But they didn’t forget to pay homage to the original performances of Winstone and Kingsley.
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