‘There were two from America that really hit home to me; James Stewart and Henry Fonda. They show a weakness, they had a frailty and a strength and they weren’t afraid to show it and you have to remember that in them times it was a little bit different how you put yourself across. The way they played it was fabulous.’ You can’t help but agree with Winstone as he explains his respect for his old school idols.
Undoubtedly though it is now Winstone who is an idol for many an aspiring actor. There are not many people out there who can say that there were approached with a script that was specifically written for them, as was the case when Gary Oldman came to Winstone with the script for Nil By Mouth. ‘He said, “I wrote it for you. You’re the only one who can play this”.’ After reading the script Winstone describes it as the best thing he had ever read and he did indeed go on to make the film, though it was far from a walk in the park.
When it comes to clothes, Winstone is your man. ‘I’ve got some great Dolce & Gabbana shoes, great big long ones with the points on them. I think they’re blinding because I’ve only got little feet and they make your feet look bigger.’ He reasons that it was his grandfather’s style and an innate East End trait that gave him a love for the dapper.
‘If I walk into a room in a suit, I feel different. You think “Bang! Have that”.’