Band of Brothers star Marc Warren may have been busy filming a new drama series, but the thespian still squeezed in time to watch Ronnie O’Sullivan compete in the Rileys Club Masters this week.
20 Feb 2005 13:33:00
By Saxon Cheng
In between learning lines for the BBC drama series Hustle, Warren has been O’Sullivan’s number one supporter in the prestigious invitation event.
Warren was thrilled to see the world No 1 cruise to victory over Crucible runner up Graeme Dott (6-3) Chinese prodigy Ding Junhui (6-2) and Jimmy White (6-1).
“It was great to see him win, but during the week Ronnie has only been playing his B game, which is still better than most players' A game!" said Warren.
Warren follows snooker religiously and has become a close friend of O’Sullivan since they met at a party two years ago.
“Ronnie has an extraordinary personality. What I see in him is the same I see in Alex Higgins," said the actor, who has followed the sport since the days of Pot Black in the early 1980s. “I think Ronnie would be a great actor. He has an amazing presence."
Warren can relate to the two-times Embassy World Champion as he belives that acting and snooker have unique similarities.
“In both professions, you are spurred on by the audience and you need to have a huge amount of self belief.’’
Warren has relished the opportunity to play the role of a cheeky conman, Danny Blue, in the third series of Hustle. He has teamed up with the last of the Magnificent Seven, Robert Vaughn, and has found the filming demanding and the change in role a challenge.
“I enjoy playing a dark character, but sometimes it can be a bit too one-dimensional. It’s a nice change to play a cocky little ladies man,’’ said Warren, who has 20 years of acting experience under his belt.
Warren’s cocksure grin and sneering lip curl have ensured that he has been cast in some particularly gritty roles. The Northampton-born actor played a football hooligan in The Yank (starring Elijah Wood), a gang-rapist in Men Only and a violent skinhead in Boston Kickout.
He is best known for his dramatic role as Private Albert Blythe in Stephen Spielberg’s Band of Brothers, filmed at the same location as Saving Private Ryan. Two days after D-Day, Private Blythe suffers from “hysterical blindness” and is then shot in the neck by a sniper.
“To prepare for the role, most of the actors were put through boot camp. It was an extremely gruelling shoot, as I felt like a real soldier,’’ said Warren.