Robert Glenister, by his own admission, is not the most computer literate of men so when he landed the role of Ash Morgan, technical genius, safe cracker and alarm silencer for the Hustle team, he was a little daunted at having to learn lots of technical jargon and convince people he knew exactly what he was doing.
But as Glenister points out, acting is all about conning people. "I found it quite difficult because some of the time you don't actually know what you're talking about," laughs Glenister. "I'm not particularly computer literate certainly with things like complicated alarms and the like. I think the important thing is making it look and sound convincing so it seems you know exactly what you're talking about, that you're completely on top of your subject.
"Lets face it, that's what the team in Hustle are doing anyway. There is a comparable parallel between me as an actor trying to convince the audience I know what I'm talking about and me as a con man convincing the mark I know what I'm talking about. I never know how people in Holby or Casualty or E.R. do it, how they learn reams of technical stuff. Maybe they write it down and stick it on patients foreheads or something!"
Ash Morgan is known as 'the fixer', he is responsible for doing the initial ground work for the scam and preparing all the props and he's in charge of all things technical. "When they embark on a big con then it's up to Ash to find the locations that they are going to operate from and the gang's accommodation whichever hotel they want to stay in - but they don't pay for it of course.
"Ash is Mr Fix-It, he does all the preparation work. He gets information on various marks and targets and once he's set the whole thing up he takes more of a back seat and lets the others who are more involved with the mark get on with it."
Ash Morgan is certainly something of an enigma. He is mysterious and initially appears to be something of a loner. He has spent the last few years making money from a skull fracture he received through a bar room brawl several years ago. He defrauds insurance companies by means of 'The Flop' - stepping out in front of cars, bouncing off the bonnet and when the hospital x-ray shows the fracture, the insurance company pays out.
However, Glenister admits he was not quite as adventurous as his on-screen persona when it came to being hit by cars. "I got a stunt man who did all the smashing against the windscreen stunts but I did everything else. I walked out into the road whilst the car was coming at me and it only stopped about two inches from me. It wasn't that fast but if it had hit me it would have hurt! The going over the bonnet bit I didn't do.
"We all like doing the stunts involving driving fast because it's boy's-own stuff but when it comes to the dangerous stunts I'm quite happy to leave it to someone else!
"Ash is an itinerant con man, he's been chucking himself in front of cars whilst Mickey's been in prison. He's a bit of a loner I think - he's just as happy operating as an individual as he is in a group - but he likes the whole family thing that's created amongst the five of them."
Having assumed the character of a top fixer and con artist for four months it would appear that Glenister is perfectly placed for a lucrative career change but he is not so sure.
"I read a book called The Big Con which explained all about how the long con came about in America. In the book it said that a lot of out of work actors turned to becoming con artists in the early 1900s, but I don't think that's something I'd be able to do," laughs Glenister.
"I'd never make it as a real con man, I'd give it away within minutes!
"I have been conned before, all be it in a minor way. When I moved into my new house, the garden was a terrible mess.This bloke came along and said he'd clear it up and take it all away for £35. I agreed and he did a good job so I gave him the £35 and he went away.
"Later on, I was crossing the road to go to my car and looked up the road and the whole of my front garden was dumped in the middle of the street! I have to admit I had a grudging respect for him, that he'd had enough bottle to get away with it!"
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