Thursday 28 January 2010

The first in a series of several... "What Abouts!"
In which we look at a character from the silverscreen, which - where possible will be a lesser known character or a memorable role we feel deserves the right to be highlighted on this here blog.
First up "What about ...Willie Ross as "Sue's Father"

From legendary director Alan Clarke and based on a play from Andrea Dunbar Rita, Sue And Bob Too was a film about working class in the 80s. The quote on the poster summed it up "Thatcher's Britain with her knickers down". A hilarious, yet bleak piece of cinematic gold. Several of the cast could've featured here. There certainly could be a shout out for any of the title cast in particular George Costigan as Bob, but we've plumped for Sue's father as the stand out.

Willie Ross portrayed the role as Sue's father, which is all he's credited as by the way. (Though I believe his name is Kevin) with great aplomb. Never before or since has an on screen alcoholic been so convincing, too often you see someone trying to act in an inebriated state and overdoing it and looking a right bellend. If there was an award for pulling off acting drunk then he'd have nabbed it, he's so spot on here he could actually be blottoed! He's got it down to an artform.
Sadly he parted this world in 2000 after an accident at home. He's not actually been in a great deal, a fair amount of TV stuff, a notable small role in Our Friends in North, The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover and a great turn in Ken Loach's Riff-Raff aside. Oh, and some cigar based TV adverts with Russ Abbott.
This was definitely his stand out.
His performance steals the show and some of his lines are memorable belters. His look is a reliable well worn in dark brown suit, over the top of a dirty, ripped shirt or polo. Pure piss can chic.
A reliably sturdy carrier bag in his pocket, for his 'take outs' and a smashed pool cue under his arm like that of a well decorated army Sergeant.

The stale stench of drunkenness attracts the local mutts. The smells of sweaty loose change, stale smoke and piss from the local estate pub, The Beacon.
Despite his selfish sozzled state, he still maintains good old fashioned family values, ensuring his daughter doesn't stay out all night, and expressing deep concern when she does come home late.

Standing up for his family's honour by putting himself on the frontline...

In his castle, he is king, what he says goes. He's done some things, and is shamelessly unafraid to call a spade a spade, quite literally. Just make sure you're gone when he re-awakes from his drunken, stinking slumber.

Willie Ross Selected Filmography :
Purely Belter (2000)
Riff-Raff (1991)
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989)
Rita, Sue And Bob Too (1986)

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