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I’M CHUFFED TO BE HERE

PUBLISHED: 18:24 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:42 23 August 2010

Dart/Gravs
21-04-08
Odeon, Leicester Square
Three and Out film premier
MacKenzie Crook

Dart/Gravs 21-04-08 Odeon, Leicester Square Three and Out film premier MacKenzie Crook

A HOST of celebrities walked the red carpet at the glitzy premiere of comedy Three and Out this week. Stars Mackenzie Crook and Gemma Arterton were joined by Hollywood great Imelda Staunton and Colm Meaney in Leicester Square. Mackenzie, who was a membe

A HOST of celebrities walked the red carpet at the glitzy premiere of comedy Three and Out this week.

Stars Mackenzie Crook and Gemma Arterton were joined by Hollywood great Imelda Staunton and Colm Meaney in Leicester Square.

Mackenzie, who was a member of Dartford Youth Theatre, told the Reporter "It was fantastic sharing a love scene with the future Bond girl - Gemma's great.

"The most surreal thing of all is my massive face on the posters - I'm sure my eyes aren't that blue!"

In Three and Out Mackenzie, who plays Paul, finds a depressed Tommy Cassidy (Colm Meaney) at a 'suicide spot' who agrees to jump in front of his train.

In return Paul promises Tommy enough money for his last weekend and goes with him to the Lake District to see Tommy's wife (Imelda Staunton) and daughter Frankie (Gemma). Speaking about the role Mackenzie said: "I had to drive a train in a couple of scenes so I had to have training.

"As a movie it's a lot more poignant than the poster suggests.

I hope that people don't go along expecting a zany comedy, because it's quite moving at some points."

His co-star Gemma, 22, who went to Gravesend Grammar School, was delighted with the premiere.

As soon as she finished training at RADA she won great applause for her role as Kelly in the St Trinian's movie remake and was snapped up as Bond girl in the forthcoming blockbuster Quantum of Solace. She is tipped to become the next best young female actress, following in the footsteps of other stars such as Keira Knightley.

Gemma told the Reporter: "It was great working with a fellow north Kent actor because we could reminisce about where we used to go out. He knew all my old haunts.

"It's quite mad being here, I'm more nervous than anything, it's quite overwhelming. But I think the Bond premier is going to be even madder!"

In the film Three and Out her character, Frankie, falls in love with Paul and they share a love scene. She said: "The love scenes were pretty scary but I think they came out OK. They were all great actors to work with, especially Imelda Staunton - she is just fantastic."

Imelda, who has an OBE and three Olivier Awards, plays Tommy's ex-wife Rosemary Cassidy who, for eight years, had thought he was dead.

"I haven't seen the film yet, so I don't have a clue what it's like. I did all my filming in a week or so, it was quite hard work!

"Gemma was great to work with - she went to my old drama school [RADA]. She's a very talented actress. She's gorgeous and hopefully she'll have a very long career.

"Working with Mackenzie was fantastic - he was a lot of fun - infact the whole film was a lot of fun to make," she said. Colm (Tommy) joked: "Those north Kent actors are no good," before adding: "No. . . the script was so strong - it made me laugh out loud and it was just a very moving movie. Imelda Staunton is just an amazing actress. I'm looking forward to seeing it!"

Stars, including former Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker, from Ightham near Sevenoaks, was joined by former Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati and models Danielle Lloyd and Jodie Marsh.

Mackenzie now lives in Peter Sellers' former home in Highgate, north London, with his wife, Lindsay, his son, Jude, five, and daughter Scout, nearly one.

It is a world apart from his time growing up in Dartford, where he attended Wilmington Grammar School and worked in Pizza Hut, Halfords, a chicken factory and as a chimney sweep.

The 36-year-old always beenoutspoken about his grievances with Dartford and his school years, which he says were dogged by bullying.

"I probably won't be invited back to my school reunion after what I said on The Jonathan Ross Show!" he joked on the red carpet.

During the show screened last Friday he claimed his school life was not very pleasant and said he had learnt little from his time there. He also spent a lot of his childhood in Zimbabwe with his family and speaks fondly of the troubled country.

"It was my favourite place on earth. It's heartbreaking what's happening in the country, and I'd like to be more vocal about it, to speak up about it. But I've still got family there and I don't want to stir anything up."

The star's rise to fame was meteoritic after being cast as Gareth in Ricky Gervais's hugely successful The Office. He went on to land the role of hapless Ragetti, the one-eyed pirate, in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, starring alongside Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley.

He said: "I am sure that there will be more Pirates of the Caribbean films. It would be difficult to turn it down! The next thing I've got lined up is going to Broadway, hopefully."

Although Mackenzie Crook has a bitter taste left from his schooling in Dartford he was invited back this week.

A spokesperson for the school said: "I would extend a welcome to Mr Crook to visit the school at his convenience so that we can challenge his perceptions 20years on from his school days.

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