Imagined Conversation: VENDETTA: should Danny Dyer fire his agent?

Posted on at

It’s hard to explain Danny Dyer to an American audience, but I’ll try. Think Steve Austin or Steven Seagal only he can’t fight. Danny Dyer is a stalwart of British gangster thrillers. He did THE BUSINESS with director Nick Love, kennelled himself with Noel Clarke in DOGHOUSE. He was a DEAD MAN RUNNING. DVD after a night out with the lads and he’s your man. But Dyer can only take the roles offered to him. He gets a fair amount of stick from the British critical establishment, who suggest he sounds like a weasel pleading for his life. So what must he thought when his agent said he was up for the British revenge thriller, VENDETTA? Your man Larry was a fly on the wall, well, sort of. [By the way I have no idea who represents Mr Dyer. I’ve used a pseudonym to protect the guilty.]

DD: Thanks for the bell, Sid. What’cha got?

SID: Daniel Darling, you know Julian Fellowes?

DD: I got a part on DOWNTON?

SID: No, he says hello.

DD: Really?

SID: Well, he coughed when I said your name – practically the same thing.

DD: What about Nick Love? He should have ‘ad me for SWEENEY.

SID: I’m afraid he’s still not returning my calls, but then I do owe him.

DD: Are you putting me about?

SID: I’m not your pimp, if that’s what you mean.

DD: Thing is, I want to do something with Judi Dench. Her films always get nominated for awards, BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD WASHING UP GLOVES and that. Could I play her long lost son?

SID: Well, she is making the film PHILOMENA with Frears-y. I’m not sure that’s the sort of son you want to play.

DD: Why’s that?

SID: You want me to spoil the surprise?

DD: What about those ensemble British comedies that Richard Curtis makes?


DD: About time, yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

SID: Well his leading men tend to be hesitant in a charismatic way. With you, I fear audiences think you’ll do them over.

DD: Nah, nah, you got me all wrong. I can do that stumbly, bumble-y stuff.

SID: Yes, when you’re holding a blunt instrument, not when you’re facing Rachel McAdams.

DD: Opinions differ. What about a Victorian crime drama?

SID: Plenty in television.

DD: I don’t wanna do TV, except DOWNTON a course. But most of it is tying David Tennant’s shoelaces. Next you’ll say I’ve been offered CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER.

SID: You wish.

DD: Come again?

SID: Go fish. Anyway, I have got a script for you.

DD: What is it?

SID: A revenge drama.

DD: Blimey, I’ve done enough of those. You saw OUTLAW.

SID: Sadly yes.

DD: Some critics quite liked it.

SID: Bereft of senses.

DD: Sorry?

SID: Moving on, this script – VENDETTA.

DD: Not another gangland thriller!

SID: Actually, no. Your part is that of a Special Forces officer.

DD: Special Forces? They thought of me?

SID: Not immediately. Jason Statham was busy with HUMMINGBIRD. He also thought the role was too similar.

DD: I’m – intrigued – if that is such a word.

SID: Did I say Sean Bean passed on it and David Tennant –

DD: He’s totally wrong for it.

SID: He wasn’t even considered.

DD: I can bulk up.

SID: Sorry?

DD: Two curries a night. Extra naan. Why is it called VENDETTA?

SID: I’m not sure. Maybe they confused it with a brand of ice cream – Viennetta.

DD: You’ve lost me, but in a good way.

SID: So you return from Afghanistan only to discover your mum and dad have been murdered and you want revenge.

DD: Sid, you’re breaking me up? I mean who would do such a thing?

SID: Some drug fuelled youths humiliated by your old man, a cabbie.

DD: My old man is Travis Bickle? That’s brilliant.

SID: No, he’s more a have a go hero.

DD: Wouldn’t the police put him in protective custody?

SID: No, otherwise there would be no story.

DD: So what happens?

SID: So the youths break into your parents’ house. They have your mum. They stick a knife to your dad. Then they burn them alive.

DD: And the neighbourhood watch does what exactly?

SID: No neighbourhood watch. People are scared.

DD: Of some drug fuelled muppets?

SID: Yes.

DD: How do they know to be scared? I mean the police must be onto them.

SID: They’re not.

DD: You’re pooping me.

SID: No, the police don’t do anything. That’s where you come in.

DD: So there’s a like social commentary to this movie.

SID: Yes.

DD: Don’t answer the door after nightfall.

SID: It’s more the youth are out of control. Your character doesn’t know why he is defending a country that’s rotting on the inside but wants to punish those who thought they could get away with it.

DD: Is there a subplot?

SID: Yes, your character gets back with his wife.

DD: Is there like physical intimacy.

SID: The script says it is fully clothed.

DD: So the director respects women?

SID: No, there is nudity, but only women with loose morals are shown with their tops off. It’s a sort of intriguing double standard.

DD: But he gets some.

SID: Oh, yes, otherwise the SE7EN-like ending wouldn’t make any sense.


SID: More like ONE AND A HALF.

DD: So how do I take my revenge? Presumably I round them all up and do them in one fell swoop.

SID: No.

DD: No?

SID: You get them one at a time, killing them off in dramatically interesting ways.

DD: Like SE7EN?

SID: More like ONE AND A HALF.

DD: You said that already.

SID: Indeed.

DD: But by doing so, he maximises the chance of being caught.

SID: Well, otherwise darling there would no movie.

DD: But I’m like a serial killer. That’s not good is it? Unless I play it with a posh accent!

SID: You don’t want to go there.

DD: What.

SID: Chelsea.

DD: That’s right. I’m a Lion [Millwall Football Club fan].

SID: There’s a cop who is after you. But then the military step in.

DD: Hang about.

SID: Your character is a man with very special talents.

DD: That doesn’t sound like me.

SID: Exactly.

DD: But I’m intrigued. If I’m going to do a straight to DVD film, I may as well do one where I show my six-pack – well, hairy chest – and seem like I mean business.

SID: So long as you don’t mean box office business. That would be unexpected.

DD: I could answer my critics, especially that Mark Kermode.

SID: He’s not going to be there.

DD: What?

SID: At the Q and A session organised by the Film Distributors Association next year [2013], he won’t turn up.

DD: So I won’t answer my critics.

SID: The critics will get sandwiches instead.

DD: This could be a turning point for me. I could meet Royalty.

SID: Something about a Queen Vic.

DD: Isn’t that a cake?

VENDETTA was screened to critics on Sunday 24 November 2013 at Vue Piccadilly (15:00). Danny Dyer didn’t turn up for a Q and A – can’t say I blame him

About the author


Independent film critic who just wants to witter on about movies every so often. Very old (by Hollywood standards).

Subscribe 0