Eastender Larry Lamb says he can relate to his role as an "old crim" in new film The Hatton Garden Job.
The 69-year-old actor plays Brian Reader, the 77-year-old mastermind behind the heist which saw a group of robbers break in to a bank vault during Easter weekend in 2015.
Lamb says he can understand why Reader wanted to do the job.
It’s what actors do, you keep going till the phone stops ringing and I guess it’s the same thing with old crims. If there’s one last chance you think seriously about it and maybe decide it’s worth it, he explained.
I mean that certainly comes up in the film because there is that element of ‘this sounds very promising, what should we do?’
Lamb’s co-star Phil Daniels, who plays one of Reader’s accomplices Danny Jones, says he knew as soon as the robbery was reported that it would lead to work for him one day.
I did yeah, I thought they’re a bit old, ooh that one’s quite good. He’s a bit younger. I thought: they’ll make a film of this and I bet you I can get involved.
Daniels also referenced another film about the heist which is in the works.
It’s not really Tom Courtney and Michael Caine it’s more Larry Lamb and Phil Daniels, he said.
Both Daniels and Lamb agree that there was a good atmosphere on set while making the film, and that the older cast brought experience that allowed them to get on with the job in hand.
We all got on pretty well. We’d all kind of worked sort of around each other over the years, and kind of new each other because we’re all about the same age, so it wasn’t hard to get on. We all know what it’s about so we had a good time really, Daniels said.
It was all very, very non-luxe that’s for sure. One caravan, one catering tent and everybody was being driven in in the back of people’s cars. It literally was throw it all together as quick as you can and get on with it, so no time for airs and graces.
Both agree that they now find themselves categorised as actors by their age.
I’ve gone from riding a scooter and wearing a parka to being an old boy in six months, Daniels said.
That’s what it’s like, the business. I think probably youth is looked at much more favourably. Women’s parts aren’t great for older women either.
And Lamb said he’s noticed a difference in the people he’s competing for parts with.
As you come up the line as a young actor, you’re always up a group of people who are rather similar to you. The same sort of height, the same sort of size, the same sort of character, he said.
Once you cross the line to 60/65 you suddenly find you’re up against people you’ve never been up against before, and you think why is that? And it’s purely and simply because age becomes the line. A 65-year-old person, it doesn’t matter whether he’s tall, or short, or whatever.
Both insist they’ll continue to keep working though, with Daniels joking that he would like to follow Lamb in to the jungle for the next series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
I want to go in the jungle like Larry, but I wouldn’t be as good as him, Daniels said.
He’d be a little bit more outspoken than me. There would be a lot of tongue biting, Lamb agreed.
The Hatton Garden Job is out in cinemas on Friday 14 April.