Interview with actor Charles Dance about FATHER'S DAY

Actor Charles Dance talked with us about his involvement in Father's Day, our dark mini-drama about prostate cancer which also starred Neil Stuke, Ray Winstone, Cyril Nri, John Simm, Stuart Laing, and Tamzin Outhwaite.

Charles Dance: "I think the fil1959_SHP64018_230x230m is great. Very cleverly written, right up to the point when the men gather together you don't know if you're watching a thriller, a gangster movie or something else. It's beautifully shot, particularly in the time that we had available. I'm extremely glad to be associated with it.

"I played the oldest character in the film - Don, that could be 'the' Don in gangster parlance, the Godfather; but in fact I'm a rather different sort of Godfather to this circle of guys who are brought together by prostate cancer."

What was it like playing the oldest man, a sick pensioner?

"Well, I don't really play heart throbs these days, and I'll take any part that's well written and this was. In fact I very often play villains these days, so the Don wasn't far out.

"I wanted to do the film because it's a very good cause. I know two or three people, probably more, who have had prostate cancer. We chaps have to know that as we get older the prostate can become a problem. It's a funny little gland and for most of us nothing much will happen, but men need to be aware of the risks.

"I am, so I didn't learn anything particularly new from the film. I am health conscious, an actor has to be. There's no sick pay, it's up to us to look after our bodies, stay healthy and keep working so I have regular check ups. I ride a bike, I swim, if I'm going to have to take my shirt off in a film, increasingly rare, thank goodness, then I pump some iron.

"My own father died when I was four. With my own children, I will talk about health. I say your body is like your home, you need to maintain it, look after it. I did recognise the reluctance of the men in the film to talk about such issues, I think that's true. While men tend to make more of a drama than women over everyday illness, they tend not to open up as much about more difficult matters. I have found that I, and friends of my own age, have begun to open up more as we've got older. Young men will talk about sport or news, nothing too personal."

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