Essex Boys - Former ER star peels off for British gangster film

Last Update: 13 June 2000

11 June 2000

Source: Press Association (UK)

Former ER star peels off for British gangster film

Actress Alex Kingston - Dr Elizabeth Corday from the hospital saga ER - is about to shock her huge army of fans by appearing in full frontal nude scenes in new British gangster movie Essex Boys.

But Kingston, who dared to go where few actresses have gone before playing the ubiquitous heroine Moll Flanders on television, says she had no doubts about peeling off once she had read the script.

"There is a certain amount of nudity in the film," she says. "But I didn't worry about that aspect at all. I really have very little time for actresses who say 'please let me do this role' and then once the contract is signed, refuse to have anything to do with nude scenes.

"They should just have refused to accept the job. Those scenes were part of my character. I think the scenes are definitely valid. Like in Moll Flanders, it showed how somebody can manipulate somebody else through their body."

In the movie, due for UK release on July 14, she plays Lisa Locke, the wife of brutal mobster Jason Locke (Sean Bean) who has just been released from jail expecting a big pay-off from a drugs syndicate.

Though she has been faithful to him during his stretch, he is soon openly playing the field and gives her a terrible beating at a party, hurling her into a pig's trough and pushing her head into the mud.

She confesses to being "really nervous" about the violence in which her head is also thrust under a freezing cold water tap.

She says: "The minute my hair goes under water, it goes all curly again. There was a lot of pressure on that night. People watching were quite shocked by the violence.

"I was fine. But the next day it hit me. I was exhausted and bruised. I went into shock. But I am not one of those actresses who says 'Don't hit me hard.' You can't pretend."

Divorced from actor Ralph Fiennes - he left her for actress Francesca Annis - she married writer Florian Haertel in California almost two years ago.

She made Essex Boys - the film also stars the Full Monty's Tom Wilkinson and Larry Lamb - in a break from filming ER and researched her role as a gangster's moll by cruising restaurants in Brentwood, Essex.

Kingston, actually a Surrey girl herself, laughs: "I found in Essex that they actually like to show off how much they spend."

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