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Hustle

Marc Warren (Danny Blue)


Marc Warren has a trick up his sleeve. For the last few years he has been studying the art of mind reading with associates of TV illusionist Derren Brown and is becoming quite an expert. So much so, that he even rendered his Hustle co-star Robert Vaughn speechless when he invited him to think of a film and an actor and correctly guessed the answer (Rebel Without A Cause and Natalie Wood, for the record!).

"I'm interested in magic, sleight of hand and mentalism, which is like a mind reading thing," explains Warren. "I've been doing it for about four or five years and the tricks and cons in Hustle are a natural extension to that.

"I think all actors are like con men really - you're conning somebody into believing you're someone you're not. It just needs confidence to do that. I think more people could act if they had the confidence to do it."

For Warren, Hustle was a chance to work with one of his favourite actors, Robert Vaughn, made all the more interesting for Warren due to Vaughn's anecdotal stories from the 1960s. "I've always been a really big fan of that era of film and one of my movie heroes is Steve McQueen. The fact that Robert had worked with him on numerous occasions was amazing for me," enthuses Warren.

"For my leaving card Robert gave me the classic photo of McQueen from The Great Escape when he's got one hand on the bike and there is a 'Halt' sign behind him. Inside he'd written, 'My Dearest Marc, we were very drunk the night before this shot was taken. He had to work. I went to bed. He is no more and as Sondheim said, I'm still here'. It really blew me away."

Warren's character in Hustle, Danny Blue, is also in awe of one of his colleagues. Blue is a young rookie con artist who excels at card tricks and pickpocketing but is eager to learn about the dying art of the long con and holds Mickey Bricks, the master of this art, in the highest regard.

"Danny's a bit like me. He certainly looks and sounds like me," jokes the Northamptonshire actor. "I just try to make him a bit cheeky and relaxed and a bit naughty.

"Although the team are criminals, I hope the audience will sympathise with them because they only con rich and greedy people.

"I like to think that Danny is the kind of everyman out there. He's the one that the audience can relate to, the cheeky chappie and he is quite nice actually."

Danny Blue is a complete departure from the characters Warren has made his name from over the last few years.

His CV reads like a who's who of the dark and debauched. He has been highly praised for his performances in dramas such as the thrilling State Of Play and the disturbing Men Only.

"It is a change for me and I forget that sometimes. I've not made a career out of playing cheeky chappies, I've made a career out of playing nutters. I'd like to think people won't be scared of me in this, I hope they'll like me.

"I've gone from a cross-dressing doctor in Reversals to a cockney con artist in Hustle. I've gone from Lancôme to Long Con!" laughs Warren.

"I think I'd be quite a good con artist as I've got the ability to be quite manipulative. When I was younger it was a trait I didn't like so I didn't encourage that within myself.

"But if I hadn't been an actor I think I could have been a long con artist. I think I would have been the real-life Mickey Bricks!" decides Warren.


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