These days, Ray Winstone is preparing to become an overnight success after nearly thirty years in the business, thanks to the double-barreled blockbuster power of this week's "Beowulf" and next summer's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Now, to capitalize on his fifteen minutes, he's also aiming to become one of the "Minutemen."
"[I might do] a film called 'The Minutemen,'" the 50-year-old actor told us recently, revealing that he's in talks to star in the sure-to-be-controversial film about an attack on America. "It's an American indie film by the Nee Brothers. It's really good."
For those not scouring the trades on a daily basis, the so-called "Brothers Nee" are Adam and Aaron, two young writer/directors whose debut film "The Last Romantic" earned them film festival buzz last year. Written by Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson ("Dragonfly") and overseen by mega-producer Neal H. Moritz ("The Fast and the Furious" franchise), "Minutemen" will serve as a significant leap for the Brothers Nee, telling the tale of a small quarry town suddenly forced to defend the nation's command center against foreign invaders.
Winstone also revealed that he'll star in the second film written by rock legend Nick Cave. "I'm doing a film called 'Death of a Ladies' Man,'" the actor explained, emphatically. "Nick Cave wrote that, who wrote 'The Proposition.' And Johnny Hillcoat's directing it."
The Australian-born Hillcoat directed "The Proposition," a festival-darling 18th Century western that marked an impressive debut for both himself and Bad Seeds lead singer Cave. "Death of a Ladies' Man" will tell the story of a traveling salesman (Winstone) addicted to sex, using his door-to-door beauty products as a means to meet women.
Rumors had been swirling around Winstone recently that he'd star alongside Kevin Spacey in the heist film "King's X," but it now seems safe to write him off that project. "'King's X'?" he asked. "What's that?"
Finally, the actor will soon join heavyweights Ian McShane, John Hurt and Tim Roth in a film from the men behind his most high-profile U.S. performance so far - although he's quick to caution that it isn't a sequel. "I'm going to do a film called '44 Inch Chest,' it's by the same guys that wrote 'Sexy Beast,'" he said, remembering the 2000 heist flick that earned Ben Kingsley an Oscar nomination. "But this is a different thing. It's about a man who loves his wife too much. You can love someone and then you can smother them, you know?"
In the film, Winstone's character teams with his gangster buddies to kidnap his wife's Italian lover.
Thinking back on those "Sexy" days, Winstone was happy to reveal that he won't be spending most of "Chest" in a bad tan and a Speedo. "I don't think so, because it's set in England," he laughed.