Danny Dyer: Hero or Villain?


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The Independent Online

Geez, what has they done to you now? Poor old Danny Dyer's taking some right stick after his latest film, an adaptation of Ray Cooney's farce Run for Your Wife, took a similarly farcical £747 on its opening weekend.

Let's be clear here: even if the film's failings might be traceable to Cooney's 30-year-old "jokes", the actor has made it easy to have a go at him throughout his career. There's his faux-hardman persona, shown up for what it was when he actually met some brutes in Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men. Then there was his ill‑fated Zoo "face-cutting" episode – the one the magazine attributed to a production error and which Dyer put down to "a really bad joke that should never have been printed". And, of course, there's been his relentlessly poor choice of roles.

But the one thing you can say about the boy is that he's always been honest. In Deadliest Men, he never looked less than terrified. Of the offensive Zoo article, he has since said he felt "disgusted" by the very idea that he would advise anyone to cut the face of a girl; and further claimed that he felt pressured into saying things he didn't think, suggesting that "the mistake I made was getting involved with a magazine like Zoo in the first place". A sign of growing maturity, perhaps?

As for the roles he takes … "My agent wants me to do more period dramas and different roles, but maybe I've come too far now," he has said of the barrow-boy ghetto into which he's been cornered. Though famously championed by Harold Pinter early in his career, he has rarely been allowed to display his full range – possibly because of a certain snobbery within the film industry.

Not that Dyer's letting any of that get to him. "Smug pricks," he tweeted about the response to Run for Your Wife's failure. "FYI the film was on 4 screens shown once at 11 in the morning. I always new it wasn't gonna be Apocalypse Bow. Still smiling."

Chin up, son. God loves a trier – even if you can't spell.