Eddie Marsan is starring as a dwarf with fellow dwarfs Ray Winstone and Bob Hoskins in Snow White and the Huntsman.
The film, starring Twilight's Kristen Stewart as Snow White, has a cast of eight dwarves, with Marsan playing Duir. "We are like a three-and-a-half-inch-tall Lavender Hill Mob," says Marsan. "The creation of each dwarf is the culmination of a whole group of people, of which each actor is only one. I had a little person double called Jemma, whose physicality I studied and who in turn studied my characterisation of Duir. We then had a whole team of animators, crew and technicians performing the illusion of our smallness with a combination of CGI and platforms and ditches."
Some may question why the film didn't cast real dwarves instead of shrinking these stars to fit. Duir is one of a band of sole survivors of a "once noble but now decimated race". "They are living feral – trying to find other survivors," he says.
Marsan played Olivia Colman's abusive husband in Tyrannasaur last year; the bank robber in 2008 superhero film Hancock with Will Smith; the intolerant driving instructor Scott in Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky in 2008. He reunites with Leigh for A Running Jump, a short film for the Cultural Olympiad, starring as a dodgy car dealer, and with Emma Thompson in Walking the Dogs, a drama for Sky Arts, about the Buckingham Palace intruder.
'Snow White and the Huntsman' is released on 1 June; 'Walking the Dogs' is on Sky Arts 1 on 31 May.