Actor Joe Cole, best known for his role as John Shelby in Peaky Blinders, looks seriously hench as he swaps his flat cap for a pair of boxing gloves in new flick A Prayer Before Dawn.
The British actor stars in the new film, which is based on the true life story of Billy Moore (played by Cole), an English boxer who landed himself in one of Thailand’s most notorious prisons, where he quickly finds himself caught up in the scary world of drugs and violence.
However, when prison authorities allow Billy to take part in Muay Thai tournaments, he realises it might be his chance to get out.
The movie, which is released in the US on April 13 and is already out in the UK, has a solid 7/10 on IMDB and an impressive 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Variety’s Guy Lodge gives this impressive review, saying: “A big, bleeding feat of extreme cinema, given elevating human dimension by rising star Joe Cole’s ferociously physical lead performance.”
The film was shot on location, at a Thai prison, and the inmates in the movie are played by real ex-cons who have all been incarcerated at Thai jails.
Cole underwent months of extensive training to pick up boxing and also spent time with the real Billy Moore in Liverpool.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter about training, he said: “They put me in these grassroots-style training camps that didn’t have the luxuries of, say, an Equinox. It was a little more rough and ready,”
A Prayer Before Dawn’s director Jean-Stephane Sauvair told Hollywood Reporter he knew he had found the right man for the part as soon as he met Cole.
“He had the violence I needed for playing this guy,” he said. “But he also has the kind of sensibility which was important for this character.
Joe Cole as John Shelby in Peaky Blinders. Credit: BBC/Peaky Blinders
“Billy has two sides – the violent and dark side and also the vulnerable.”
Cole called Moore a ‘fascinating guy’, adding: “He’s an addict. He’s clean now, but, as they say, once an addict, always an addict. He’s a great guy. He’s a lot more complex than you might think on the surface.”
Speaking ahead of the film’s Cannes’ Film Festival debut, Cole said: “Billy knows how hard I worked on it. He knows how hard Jean-Stephane worked on it. I think Billy will be very happy.
“But if he doesn’t like it, then we’ll have to get in the ring, won’t we?”
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Featured Image Credit: A24