'Someone had to do it' - Steve Coogan admits to strip club research for The Look Of Love

 

Steve Coogan tonight admitted he visited a lot of strip clubs to research his latest role as porn baron Paul Raymond.

The Alan Partridge star attended the premiere of his new film The Look Of Love with co-stars Anna Friel and Tamsin Egerton at the Curzon cinema in London's Soho.

The film, directed by Coogan's long-time collaborator Michael Winterbottom, is based on the real-life story of strip club owner Raymond, dubbed the King of Soho.

Coogan said of his research: "What you do is you talk to people who knew him, and you watch old footage of him and then you go to strip clubs to do a lot of research, which I obviously had to do. Someone had to do it, I volunteered. It was very difficult but eventually I felt I got the handle on the character."

The comedian admitted he had tired of playboy life by the time filming was over.

He said: "It's a bit grubby. At the end of it I was ready to ... it became exhausting playing him.

"He didn't see much daylight. He seemed to live the life of a vampire, he hardly ever ventured out into the day, and at the end of it I just wanted to see some daylight."

Friel plays his wife Jean, Egerton plays his mistress, porn star Fiona Richmond, and Imogen Poots plays his daughter Debbie, who battled addiction and breast cancer before dying of a heroin overdose.

Egerton had to ride topless through Soho on a horse for one scene in the film, as Richmond did to promote one of Raymond's ventures.

She revealed: "I had pants on. They CGIed the bum because I would never have done that.

"But yes, it was pretty daunting still, even going out with a wig and no top on. I was petrified, absolutely petrified, that day. But it has to be done, and she did it incredibly confidently, and so I had to just feign it and do it properly.

"Doing a job like this, you have to do it justice. I'm not one to be shy or make excuses. I took the role, I have to do it well.

"Obviously, there's a certain amount I will not do, but within the realms we pushed those boundaries, and it was for a good cause. And it was a dream working with Steve and Michael."

The film was written by Matt Grenhalgh, whose previous work includes award-winning biopics Nowhere Boy and Control, and based on Paul Willetts' biography Members Only: The Life And Times Of Paul Raymond.

The film is packed with cameos from famous faces of British comedy, including David Walliams, Matt Lucas, Chris Addison, Simon Bird, Stephen Fry and Miles Jupp.

Addison plays Tony Power, the editor of Raymond's porn magazine Men Only.

James Lance - who worked with Coogan on I'm Alan Partridge - plays Carl Snitcher, the chief executive of Paul Raymond Publications.

The Look Of Love is out in cinemas on Friday April 26.

PA

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