TV

Stephen Graham and Shane Meadows on friendship after 'This Is England'

The Line of Duty actor said he and Meadows love each other

Shane Meadows and Stephen Graham. Photo: Rory Mulvey for The Big Issue

Stephen Graham is an actor in demand. Following up a starring role in Line of Duty with the lead in The Virtues, he was reunited with This Is England writer-director Shane Meadows.

The duo talked to The Big Issue about their remarkable working collaborations and deep friendship in the week’s mag.

“It is love,” Graham said. “I love the man. If I was ever in a situation and needed to reach out to somebody, he would be on the end of a phone.

“He does amazingly complex, emotive stories of people hitting rock bottom, but he is also one of the funniest fuckers I have ever met.”

Meadows agreed that there is much more to their friendship than work. Something as simple as being the same school year means they understand each other’s obscure pop culture references, which helps.

The actor adds: “He just goes, ‘It’s fucking Bungle’ or ‘Oh no, Zippy’, and I’m gone. I’m in bits.”

The pair grew up in the late Eighties “together but separately”, coming up through the same club scene and attending the same open-field raves in Mansfield.

Now their families meet up. “I’ve been for barbecues at his and vice versa,” the director said. “And my dad and Stephen became close filming The Virtues because my dad was his driver.

“Even when he is on the other side of the world, we keep in touch. During The Irishman he sent pictures with De Niro and Scorsese – it is kind of mindblowing.”

Read the rest of the in-depth interview only in this week’s Big Issue.

Main image: Rory Mulvey for The Big Issue

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Rebus star Richard Rankin on TV reboots, defying his late dad's advice and getting his arse out
TV

Rebus star Richard Rankin on TV reboots, defying his late dad's advice and getting his arse out

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith on friendship, TV and saying goodbye to Inside No 9
TV

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith on friendship, TV and saying goodbye to Inside No 9

Doctor Who star Millie Gibson on hope for Ruby Sunday and lessons learned from 'magical' Ncuti Gatwa
TV

Doctor Who star Millie Gibson on hope for Ruby Sunday and lessons learned from 'magical' Ncuti Gatwa

Marge starts a union and fights for workers' rights in powerful new episode of The Simpsons
TV

Marge starts a union and fights for workers' rights in powerful new episode of The Simpsons

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know