PHOTOGRAPHER Nabil Elderkin
WRITER Tom Conlon
And the rest is cinematic history?
The British public just absolutely loved it. The timing was superb for that sort of a movie to come out. I won Best British Newcomer and I was still a full-time professional soccer player. But now you’re a full-time movie star. The move from England to Hollywood must have been a shock to the system. I think it’s all fucking overrated. If you want to be like Paris Hilton or someone like that, it must be exhausting to have to go out every night. I’d rather sit at home in a T-shirt and shorts, have a beer, and watch the soccer on TV, or spend time with the family. I can’t think of anything worse than going out and fl aunting yourself at all of these clubs and red carpets. You know? I’m here to go to the meetings. There’s nothing glamorous about driving from one side of town to the other, going to meetings and being treated like a nobody sometimes. Vinnie Jones gets treated like a nobody? You go in for a meeting and these girls at reception haven’t a clue who you are. My favorite when I go in is:
“No, Vinnie, love. Vinnie Jones.”
“OK, Billy, take a seat.”
It keeps your feet firmly on the ground. You go into these casting meetings with producers and they’re like, “Oh, I love your work, man. I’m a big fan.” Then you never hear from the fuckers again. That’s the reality of Hollywood—it’s a big facade. To me, it’s a factory. I’m there because I’m going to work.
Which has the bigger bastards: Hollywood or English football?
I think they’re very similar, to be honest. The guys you’re working with—the actors or teammates—they’re great. Sure, you get a few wankers, but you do in everything. Then there are the people who run it and sit in their high chairs looking after their money. They’re the same whether it’s soccer, Hollywood, or a big company. The people I made all of that money for in soccer, I never get them phoning me saying, “Hey, how you doing, Vin? Let me take you to dinner.” And it’s the same thing in Hollywood. You do movies for people and you earn them a hell of a lot of money and then they move on. They don’t give a shit about you. While you’re earning money for them, you’re family. But as soon as the gig is over and they’ve got their money in the bank, it’s basically like, “Who are you?”