We all love Stephen Graham – the man is an Official National Treasure now – so the more of him on screen the better, frankly. 12 Years a Slave and Small Axe director Steve McQueen evidently agrees because he’s just cast him in his new movie.
Deadline reports that the Matilda the Musical actor is joining Saoirse Ronan and Triangle of Sadness star Harris Dickinson in Blitz, a wartime drama that follows the lives of Londoners during the Nazi bombing campaign on the capital.
The film’s cast also includes Kathy Burke, Erin Kellyman from the new Disney+ Willow and – intriguingly – the modfather himself, Paul Weller, in his screen debut.
No word yet on what McQueen’s script will have them all doing when filming kicks off in 2023, but the Apple film is definitely one to look out for: a period piece set during a crucial time in London’s history with a stellar filmmaker behind it and a stacked cast.
Another Graham project that has ‘essential viewing’ written all over is the new TV spinoff of the nerve-sautéing Boiling Point.
Boiling Point was one of the nicest big-screen surprises of 2022: a superlative restaurant thriller that followed Graham’s fraying chef over one fraught Christmas night. As fans of HBO’s brilliant The Bear will attest, the restaurant kitchen is a pretty great crucible for more long-form drama.
‘It’ll be similar to the way This is England went from a film to a TV series,’ Graham tells Time Out of the BBC spin-off. ‘We're getting the chance to look at the other characters and what's going on in their lives.’
Graham confirms that the series won’t replicate the film’s one-shot device and will move locations from London’s Jones & Sons. 'We're not going to be there,’ says Graham, ‘it's different restaurant because it was over there for Andy [at the end of the film]’. But the actor-producer is promising an extra helping of social drama this time.
‘We’re making it extremely real and authentic,’ he says. ‘It's relevant to what's happening today: how difficult it is for restaurants to stay afloat. The restaurant is a microcosm of society where we can experience the trials and tribulations of the characters, both as individuals and a collective. It’s a high-octane, high-energy job.’