Sacha Baron Cohen’s new comedy GRIMSBY boasts a welter of hefty acting names, from Mark Strong and Ian McShane to David Harewood and Gabourey Sidibe. But he has now cast a heavyweight from the comedy circuit in the unmistakable form of Johnny Vegas. Relatively unknown in the movie world, potter-turned-comedian-turned actor Vegas starred in the disastrous SEX LIVES OF THE POTATO MEN (2004) and also provided his own unique commentary on why he didn’t get a role in THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy:
I actually went to a casting for Sam Gamgee and got a call back with the director. But I did a gig the night before and the mike broke so I ended up shouting and lost my voice. They probably thought I was rubbish anyway. I went through a few months of getting drunk and e-mailing the official site saying it should have been me.
He’s fared better on TV with sitcoms Ideal and Benidorm, though sharing the screen with fellow risk-taker Baron Cohen could propel him to a whole new and unwitting audience. GRIMSBY tells the story of a covert operative (Strong) who has to work alongside his football hooligan brother (Cohen), presumably with hilarious consequences. Cohen is writing the script with Phil Johnston (WRECK-IT RALPH) and according to the source Johnston has “been visiting locations in the north east of the UK to get inspiration”. He may want to visit a train station as Grimsby is in Lincolnshire.