The Street - a new drama for BBC ONE
Jim Broadbent plays Stan
When Stan, a dedicated warehouse foreman is forced into retirement three weeks short of his 65th birthday and discovers his pension is worthless, he decides to take drastic action...
"Stan is a fairly vigorous man who reaches retirement age. He enjoyed his work but is made redundant which is bad enough, but he then finds out that his pension, which he has been diligently paying into all those years, is not worth what he is expecting, as so many people are finding really," says the Oscar-winning actor.
"So we find him in rather a bitter mood. Bitter with the world. But there are lots of twists and turns in the plot obviously.
"We've all grown up assuming that there will be this comfort zone approaching where everything is going to be alright," Jim continues. "But when the Mirror pension fund collapsed I suddenly realised that pensions aren't necessarily set in stone and 'you'll just get them when retirement comes along'.
"I suppose now it's becoming a much greater problem, and for millions of people their pensions are not going to be what they are expecting by any means, and I think a lot of people will be angry in different ways.
"The whole idea of The Street was irresistible really because Jimmy McGovern is such a wonderful writer, and David (Blair) is a lovely director. I enjoy working with him a lot. I'd never met or worked with Jimmy before but I have admired his work.
"The script was just so funny, so moving, but entertaining.
There's a great cast - Sue's an icon really, and when you get people
like her drawn to it, the whole projects lifts.
"All my favourite actresses are British, they are all superb and Sue is a fine example of one really. She is just wonderful.
"I've done different jobs with Jane (Horrocks); it's always a delight, she is a good friend," says the 57-year-old actor whose credits include Moulin Rouge, Gangs of New York, Bridget Jones's Diary and the critically-acclaimed Iris.
"I am always surprised when people come up with ideas of things for me to be involved in. I'd never thought about playing Lord Longford, it would never had occurred to me in a million years.
"Peter Morgan had the idea, so that was great," he laughs. "It
was a really exciting job to do. The same with The Street, I'd never
met Jimmy before or done any of his things so I was really pleased to be
able to do that.
"I used to do a lot of Northern working class characters in my youth, but I haven't latterly, so it's wonderful getting back into it again.
"Balancing work and life isn't too bad really," continues the popular actor.
"After filming The Street I took about six weeks off before
filming Longford, I don't mind if I do projects which are for film, television
or theatre really once they are stimulating, but I don't like doing the
same thing back-to-back, I am always looking for something new and different