Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Bob Hoskins 1942 - 2014: "I apologise for f*cking nothing"

Sad news last week that the great British actor Bob Hoskins has passed away at 71-years-old. What I loved most about him was his lack of seriousness, about himself or his profession, signified by his comments in interviews (the quote in the title is when he talked about filming Hook. Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams were all apologising for bad movies they'd made. Needless to say Hoskins refused to do the same, in his own eloquent way). It's genuinely difficult not to love the guy, and that's before considering what a fantastic actor he was. He's played criminals, cops, plumbers and a host of other characters and below I've listed my favourite Bob Hoskins roles.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

It's actually hard to imagine how challenging this role must have been for Hoskins; actors now have at least some tennis balls on a stick to direct their eye level at, but back in 1988 there was nothing. At best they had rubber mannequins to do rehearsals with but during actual filming it was all up to the actor's imagination. Hoskins' performance is fantastic and his ability to channel the required brooding noir detective Eddie Valiant, while talking to a cartoon rabbit with attention deficit disorder, is a must-see.


I can hardly remember Mermaids but I do recall three things: (1) I loved it, (2) Bob Hoskins was great in it and (3) Cher's face is fascinating. Hoskins plays the good hearted shop keeper who eventually wins over Cher. What's best about it is that ol' Hoskins was hardy what you would call traditional love interest material but his performance is spot on and totally convincing.

The Long Good Friday

Hoskins plays a gangster trying to become a legitimate business man, and in the process stars in one of the best British gangster movies of all time. Controversially I am not a fan of "geezer gang" films, (Guy Ritchie films leave me cold, except for a few moments) but I really liked The Long Good Friday. Maybe it's because of how incredibly seventies it is...


"I've just had an apostrophe." "I think you mean epiphany." This will forever be the film that defined not just the titular character for me but of his bumbling first mate and friend, Smee. Hoskins makes the perfect Smee, trying to keep up with Hook's ideas and mood swings. Yes, the film has some truly atrocious child acting going on but then so did Harry Potter; if you've never seen this, then you really must. *Interesting fact!* Hoskins played Smee again in the TV series Neverland, though sadly Dustin Hoffman did not return as Hook. Haven't seen Neverland but now I kind of want to...

Super Mario Brothers

I should probably be embarrassed to say this but I'm not; I really liked this film as a kid. I watched it a lot. It had dinosaurs and a princess and... I don't know it just clicked for me. It's an awful film with very few redeeming features (which is why I have only watched it once as an adult) but has a place in my heart nonetheless. A lot of that is also to do with Hoskins playing the perfect Mario Mario (not a typo). Which is all the better when you consider how much he hated the film; "It was a f*ckin' nightmare!"

Snow White and the Huntsman

Yeah, yeah I know - Hoskins has been in loads of great stuff and I include this? But it was fantastic seeing him on the big screen again, and as it's his last film I think it has to get a mention. He also plays a dwarf with my last name as his first name, so wise old dwarf gets my vote. I also really like the film, and not just because of Chris Hemsworth. Visually stunning, I'm a sucker for a fairy tale retelling and this film ticked all the boxes for me.

Rest in peace Bob - hope you're having a pint or two in the after.

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