Acclaimed actor's Suffolk connection
GOLDEN Globe winner Jim Broadbent has another reason to remember Suffolk with pleasure.Not only has the county played a part in him gaining the Best Supporting Actor award for his part in Iris, it was also a stepping stone for him when he was a young thespian.
GOLDEN Globe winner Jim Broadbent has another reason to remember Suffolk with pleasure.
Not only has the county played a part in him gaining the Best Supporting Actor award for his part in Iris, it was also a stepping stone for him when he was a young thespian.
Ipswich Arts Centre was a far cry from the fame and fortune now bestowed upon the 52-year-old actor who plays Iris Murdoch's husband in the acclaimed film.
Back in 1975, a certain James Broadbent was treading the boards at the in Tower Street, in which he appeared in four plays.
Norman Fisher, who worked as Assistant Stage Manager during Jim's stint in Ipswich, said he was recruited from London especially for the shows.
He said: "Jim had applied to different repertory companies for work and was picked up by director John Southworth who saw him performing in London.
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"Back then he showed a lot of promise and potential but he was also a really nice guy. I found him very down to earth, he had a bit of an accent, but he didn't speak posh – he was just really nice."
Twenty-seven years ago, Jim Broadbent appeared as Horatio in Hamlet and as Blackwill the Nightwatchman in Frost At Midnight. He was also a servant in an adaptation of TS Elliot's Family Re-Union and took the role of Sea Captain in Twelfth Night.
Three years later, in 1978, Broadbent made his motion picture debut in horror film, The Shout, which also starred John Hurt and Susannah York
Mr Fisher said that in the 1980s, he met up with Jim again and he not only remembered him, but also helped him to gain a speaking role.
He said: "I remember when I was doing extra work on the Victoria Wood Show. I was just an extra but he got me a speaking role in a scene with him in which I said a couple of words. He was a great person to work with and you could see that all he wanted to be was an actor."
Broadbent, who was born in Lincoln, also played the role of Roy 'The Slag' Slater in Only Fools and Horses having famously turning down the role of Del Boy.
He also went on to appear in Little Voice, The Crying Game and television shows The Borrowers and he will next appear on the big screen in Martin Scorsese's Gangs Of New York which also stars Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio.