Ray Winstone urges British film industry to “sort out the dogs and scumbags”

Sweeney star blasts investors who abuse their power when financing movies

Ray Winstone has criticised the “dogs and scumbags” who he claims are currently blighting the British film industry.


Speaking to Radio Times, the 55-year-old big-screen Sweeney star said: “I think there’s a lot of scumbags in our game, to be honest with you.

“When I first came into it you used to sit down with a man and shake his hand and it was done. Or if it wasn’t done, no-one was screwed over.”

Particularly loathsome to Winstone these days are financial backers who use their money to muscle in on British film projects. 

He said: “Maybe I’m being a bit of a romantic. But now there’s people coming into this game who are using private investors – 30 grand here, 100 grand there – and they all want to be in the film. And that money’s gone before the film’s even made. It’s gone into someone’s pocket.

“It’s almost like that film The Producers, ‘We don’t want a hit, we just want the money’. And it’s happening again and again and again.

“There’s dogs and scumbags in this game and the British film industry’s got to sort it out.”


Read the full interview with Ray Winstone, in which he discusses his aversion to modern technology and his memories of the original 1970s TV version of The Sweeney in this week’s Radio Times, out now priced £1.40.