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From Badass to Comedy and Respecting the Older Generation: A Conversation with Brad Moore

Golden Years

Fate, the financial crisis and a stubborn refusal to accept the injustices of old age have forced law-abiding, retired couple Arthur and Martha Goode into a life of crime (played by Bernard Hill and Virginia McKenna). Refusing to take the loss of their pensions lying down and simply fade away into their declining years, our characters decide to fight back and take back what’s rightfully theirs. Their plan is simple: hit a series of banks and steal back their pensions along with those of their similarly stricken friends. After all, no one would expect an elderly couple towing a caravan behind their sensible Rover of being a modern-day Bonnie-and Clyde? Pretty soon, their friends are recruited to form a motley band of unusual suspects and they prepare to take down the biggest bank of all.

The Fan Carpet’s Jessen Aroonachellum in association with Acting Hour spoke to Brad Moore ahead of the home entertainment release of Golden Years, he tells us about his character, getting the cast together and what he has coming up…




What did you like or not like with your character?

There was nothing I disliked about the character, I met the director Nick Knowles in Cannes and did the same routine I always do and got him drunk, which is what I normally do for all my parts. He had already sent me the script. I did some improv for the character, Stringer and he cast me, that’s how I’ve been cast the last few years. I liked the character.

The last few roles I’ve played were bad asses, they have been nasty pieces of work, this was a chance to do some comedy, you know? He’s the lead antagonist; he’s the bad guy but not really the bad guy. He’s an ambitious cop who is a bit of a di*k. Half of the police force thinks he’s a sycophant and the other side thinks he is a tw*t. There was nothing really not to like as he was a nicely level character. He’s getting on a bit but he still thinks he’s a kid. He’s a bit metro sexual, who loves himself, vain. Always getting a spray tan, wears glasses and a leather jacket. He’s still hung up on the 80’s cop shows. He wants to be like Don Johnson from ‘Miami Vice’ and Fonzie.

However, he comes across as Simon Cowell and Mr. Brittas from the ‘Brittas Empire’. I executive produce the film, I helped find the money. Nick Knowles took seven years to make the film. They did have to try to make it for £5-6 million but couldn’t get the internal stars they wanted with that budget so we made it into a British affair and got some British actors in the film and made the budget smaller. The original title was ‘Gran Theft Auto’. Then they changed it to ‘Golden Years’. I just done a film with Bernard Hill, ‘North vs. South’ and sent him the script. He said yes. You had Bernard and myself and then everything fell into place. Other actor started to come on board. We got Virginia McKenna on board as well, the we had the likes of Simon Callow and Una Stubbs.


What did you learn from these actors?

I’ve been asked that a lot; the first scene on my first film was with Timothy Spall. What I do is hypnotise myself and think it’s real, I don’t get intimidated by the stars. I don’t research the top actors I’m working with and it doesn’t intimidate me.

When I was doing a read through for ‘Golden Years’ and then I realised the actors I was with, I love Simon Callow from ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ and Bernard Hill from ‘Boys From The Blackstuff’. I sudden got all these great actors like Mark Williams and Alum Armstrong all staring at me and it suddenly dawned on me I was in a comedy and my read through was terrible.

Then, when I got on set it got all real for me and so I hypnotise myself on set to get the job done!




The film is relevant with the current climate of pensions. Can you see Arthur’s motivations?

It was meant to be a comedy first. It was meant to be social-political commentary but it does have a message. If we treat old people how we do, it’s not good and something will have to give. When we went to the Chinese Film Festival with ‘Golden Years’, the Chinese have a different culture and they cherish the older people and respect them for me being on the planet for so long and the youth is incredibly respectable to their grandparents.

They accept that with age comes wisdom, and you can only get it when people have more experience, right? I think that in Europe and England we don’t have the same respect for our older generation. Some people do but some dismiss them. What I think the film does especially with the pensioners, is they still want a life and be useful, at the start of the film, Arthur gets the disrespected but has that Michael Douglas ‘Fallen Down’ moment and starts robbing banks and take back what was taken from him. I don’t think it’s like ‘Full Monty’ about unemployment or ‘East is East’ about second generation Asians in the U.K. It’s about how the banks f-up the pensions for these pensioners, so be careful. Then, around the same time as ‘Golden Years’ came out, you had the Hatton Garden robbery where the robbers were old age pensioners…


Can you talk about your future projects?

I’ve got a horror film coming out where I play one of the main cast. It’s all shot on an island and the film is called ‘Writer’s Retreat’. It should be out by the end of summer, it was a bit of a passion project. It’s about a group of people that go off on an island for twenty four hours.

My next film is a film I co-wrote called ‘Glover Off’. It’s a boxing comedy with me, Denise Van Outen, Ricky Tomlinson and Alexie Sayle.  Alexie is a comedy hero of mine as I did standup comedy for two years.

The film is about a boxing gym that is about to go under and we go to a gypsy underground fight to raise some money. I pitched the idea to Steven Nesbit, who filmed ‘North vs. South’ and he said we should co-write it. I’m not a writer. He wrote the bulk of the story I helped with the arch of the story and the characters.




Golden Years Film Page | Golden Years Review


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