11 July 2000
Source: Evening Echo
Southend: Town gets gangster glitz!
Rettendon murders movie launched in Southend with host of big-name stars
By Carl Eve
Glitz, glamour and gangsters &SHY; the gala premiere of Essex Boys had it all. The film, which prides itself on being inspired by the Rettendon Range Rover Murders, had a host of A-list celebrities to attend the movie launch in Southend. Much of it was filmed in the town.
Sean Bean - the lead baddie - was fashionably late, thanks to traffic on the A13. The long-awaited Essex Boys caused excitement galore outside the Odeon cinema in Southend High Street with paparazzi cameras flashing away into the night. Big-name actors like Ray Winstone sat in the seats of cinema number seven, alongside Oscar contenders Jude Law and Canning Town's Billy Murray of TV series The Bill.
At an after-show party at Yates Wine Lodge, director and co-writer Terry Winsor admitted he was pleased with the audience's response.
He said: "We wanted the premiere to be in Southend as the town was so good to us during filming and they were good again at the screening. We had an unbelievable amount of co-operation from the town. "One of the reviews said we made the place look like Las Vegas and it does. Southend has a special place in my heart as I'm from London and I always used to come here for breaks - especially for Rossi's ice-cream. Every day after filming I would have a Rossi's 99 ice-cream - always vanilla."
The film tells the story of a group of Essex
gangsters who fight to gain control of the drugs trade and nightclub
security contracts. Sharpe star Sean Bean, from Sheffield, admitted
he had a lot of help from a real Essex boy to get his accent right.
Surrounded by men in black leather jackets and broken noses, he
said the gala performance went well. He said: "I've lived
in London for about 20 years and it helped me a lot with the Essex
accent. Also, a guy called Terry Edwards, whose house we used
for filming some scenes, gave me some coaching.
"I do like Southend though - it's got great fish and chips!"
One moviegoer, Clare Wagstaff, from Wickford, was especially pleased with the film. She said: "I started as just an extra but they ended up using me as a double for Alex Kingston, from ER, in some scenes. "It was a great experience."
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