'Bricks' Stone (Adrian Lester)
in a class all of his own. He's had every fraud office in the country
jumping through hoops for twenty years but never been convicted."
Lester has been a busy man lately. For the first few weeks of the
Hustle shoot not only was Lester playing Mickey Stone during the
day, he was also on stage and receiving rave reviews for his role
as Henry V at the National in the evening and playing the role of
comforting dad to his sleepless young child by night.
understandably he felt exhausted for these first few weeks, it certainly
didn't dampen his enthusiasm for any of his projects.
a week of training with a pickpocket and sleight of hand expert
in preparation for this part, he jokes that he now has another potential
line of work.
taught all the tricks of the trade from card-shuffling to stealing
watches. I'd always keep some playing cards in my pocket during
filming and every time I wasn't needed on set I'd get
them out and have a practice. I think I might start my own magic
show; I could be the new David Blaine!," he laughs.
So, does he
think he could make it in the real world of the con artist?
couldn't be a con man in real life because it's a much more dangerous
form of acting. It's life and death at some points and I prefer
to do my acting in the much safer environment of a theatre where
the worst thing that can happen to you is the critics saying you
rather that than lose £100,000 or a limb because I hadn't
managed to pull it off!"
has had a diverse range of roles from musicals, winning the Olivier
award for best actor in a musical for his role in Company, to theatre
and Hollywood films such as Primary Colours.
role of Mickey Stone in Hustle is a departure from his more favoured
roles in theatre and film. In fact, Lester has purposely tried to
avoid television series throughout his acting career.
couldn't imagine playing the same character for years, but Hustle
was completely different. In the very first rehearsal we were doing
a dance routine and then the next thing I know I'm whacking out
several different accents and I just thought, 'I'm in heaven, this
like Lester, is held in high esteem by his peers and recognised
as one of the best in the business. He is respected by law enforcers
and lawbreakers alike. Described by the police as in a class of
his own, he is the prize catch for every fraud squad in the country.
the gang's key player who will offer you what seems to be the deal
of the century. He is the leader elect and protégé
of long con veteran Albert Stroller, who taught him all he knows.
himself takes on the role of mentor when rookie Danny Blue, joins
is fiercely intelligent, a perfectionist but lonely. He leads the
gang, which is like a family to him, and they all have their particular
role within it.
is the big brother, the boss man. He's the guy who says, 'We are
going to do this, now'. He creates the con and instructs everyone
as to what they're doing and makes sure they are doing their job
does have a pushy temperament and he needs to be kept in check by
Stacie. But like most perfectionists, to the outside world he has
everything he could possibly want, apart from the woman he loves."
Stacie and Mickey 'will-they-won't-they' story is quite a powerful
element to the drama," explains Lester. "They have history
together and Stacie is up for getting back together again but Mickey
isn't so sure.
has been badly burned in the past - he wants to be careful. He does
get a lot attention from women but I wouldn't say he was a stud.
the end all the women screw him over in one way or another apart
from Stacie - that's hardly stud material!"
Mickey and his
team are con artists of the highest calibre but they are strictly
major league. They only target the greedy and morally corrupt -
people who thoroughly deserve it.
pickpocket and every con is against someone who takes the general
public's money," says Lester. "There is a bit of the Robin
Hood about them, although they don't share the money out amongst
the poor, they keep it for themselves!
in the same vein as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – you
root for them knowing they are robbing banks.
are criminals but they are criminals on the side of the ordinary
person. Their approach makes you think, 'If I was a criminal what
sort of criminal would I want to be?'.
are people who are against the establishment and a system that keeps
people down. In one instance they actually make a mistake and con
the wrong person so they make sure they give all the money back.
story has its own morality tale - you can't con an honest man, don't
be greedy, don't feel you can cheat your way into lots and lots
of money because we will be there watching you."
TO MAIN RELEASE
the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview,
the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well
as on satellite and cable.
offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services
from BBCi, as well as 11 national BBC radio networks.