PUBLISHED: 18:28 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:42 23 August 2010
TWO Hollywood stars have defended their new comedy film about suicidal people who jump in front of trains. This week tube train drivers protested at the premiere of Three and Out, handing out leaflets to fans outside the Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square. N
TWO Hollywood stars have defended their new comedy film about suicidal people who jump in front of trains.
This week tube train drivers protested at the premiere of Three and Out, handing out leaflets to fans outside the Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square. New Bond girl, Gemma Arterton, 22, from Gravesend, and Pirates of the Caribbean and The Office star MacKenzie Crook, 36, from Dartford, star in the film. But the new picture has infuriated train drivers' union ASLEF for portraying the devastating acts of suicide in a comedy.
They also blasted London Underground for allowing the movie to be filmed at stations without considering the feelings of their employees from south London and Kent.
Star Mackenzie, father-of-two, and a former Wilmington Grammar pupil, said: "I sympathise with the train unions, I really do. I understand that they need to speak out about how distressing it is when people jump on the tracks. But I don't think they should judge the film before they have even seen it."
The actor, who shot to fame as Gareth in the Office, was heckled by a protestor in the crowd who shouted: "Is there any comedy in dying under a train?"
He kept calm and replied: "You should go and see the movie for yourself and then you would see that we are not making light of suicides on railways. Go and see it."
In the film, tube driver Paul Callow, played by Mackenzie, tries to find someone willing to kill themselves by jumping in front of his train, so he can claim compensation. He is told by colleagues in the film that because he has already experienced two suicides while driving if he gets a third he will be retired with a massive payout - hence the name Three and Out.
Gemma, who stormed to fame in the re-make of St Trinian's and has landed a dream role in the new 007 movie Quantum of Solace, plays Paul's love interest Frankie.
She said: "It is a shame that they are protesting. The film has been made sensitively but it is not just about suicides. I don't even use the tube that much usually!"
Ex-train driver Steve Grant, ASLEF's London district organiser, handed out the leaflets with union members.
He said: "We don't find it funny. I have had to deal with people who are immensely unhappy, who get nightmares, palpations and who turn into nervous wrecks.
"The insensitivity of the London underground is something else. The saddest thing of all is for the families of the people who have lost someone.
"We were more annoyed that the London Underground allowed them to film on the tube than anything. And they then made more money by allowing them to advertise on the station. Drivers arriving into a station seeing Mackenzie Crook's face is just not the best thing for someone who has had someone under their train."
The leaflet handed out at the premier of the film reads: "We hope you enjoy the movie tonight but please remember that for train drivers like ourselves deaths on the railway are never funny."
ASLEF General Secretary Keith Norman said: "I can't find anything amusing about people so distressed that they are driven to suicide. Of all the subjects in the world to make into a light entertainment film, there can be few more insensitive than a death at work.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Gravesend Reporter. Click the link in the orange box below for details.