Meet the ex-boxer making a name for himself on the big screen

Despite being a late starter in the movie industry, Brad Moore has quickly built an impressive catalogue of roles. From the BAFTA winning film The Rise (alongside Timothy Spall and Luke Treadaway) to Montana (alongside Ashley Walters and Lars Mikkelsen), the former boxer has been delivering eye-catching performances alongside some of the most established names in the business.

In his latest movie, Gloves Off, he stars alongside some of Britain's most esteemed comedy talent including Ricky Tomlinson, Denise Van Outen and Alexei Sayle. Gloves Off (which Moore also co-wrote) is a feel-good, British comedy about a group of friends risking life and limb to save their beloved boxing gym - a story that mirror's many of Brad's own life struggles.

We sat down with Brad to discuss 'Gloves Off", the journey from the boxing ring to the big screen and plans for the future.

Brad Moore

Tell us about 'Gloves Off'. How would you describe the movie?

It's a British comedy drama and press have said its very much in the vein of 'The Full Monty' with a bit of 'Snatch' thrown in. I play an ex-boxer 'Doug' who was an amazing fighter but is a rubbish businessman! The night of his title eliminator his coach 'Taffy' ( the name of my real life coach back in the eighties who sadly passed away) dies of a heart attack and leaves him the gym that's saddled with Taffy gambling debts. We join the story when the banks are about to repossess the gym and Doug needs to find 47k fast or they are gonna turn it into a modern pilates parlour! Doug and a crazy bunch of basket cases (played brilliantly by Ricky Tomlinson, Paul Barber and Alexei Sayle) love the gym and use it as a daily escape from there otherwise drab lives. So they all have to pull together and with the help of Vera ( played by Denise Van Outen who is fantastic in the role) they travel north to Appleby Horse fair for a big gypsy prize fight. The films a comedy of course but there's a lot of pride present and some quite emotional scenes. It's a good unpretentious romp really.

What was the best thing about making this movie?

The fun we had on set was easily the best thing about making this movie. Ricky and Denise kept everyone constantly entertained. They are proper 'Mickey' takers. Ricky never stops telling funny stories and I had to avoid him before any of the more dramatic scenes otherwise I would turn up laughing!!

Gloves Off Movie

You used to be a boxer. How does that compare to being an actor?

They are both forms of entertainment so very similar in that respect and both can have enormous adrenalin rushes. I only boxed as an amateur so I can't imagine how overwhelming it is to be in a big fight. The ring is a stage really and the most entertaining fighters tend to be the most successful as people love watching them. Mike Tyson had his incredible menace and was hypnotising just to watch his ring walk. Ali was a pure pantomime with his poems and tomfoolery in the ring. Then you have British fighters like Nigel Benn, Tony Bellew, and even AJ are all vulnerable and therefore exciting to watch as they often wear their heart on their sleeve in the same way an actor does. My boxing experience definitely helped us get some tight fight scenes that people often comment on when the watch Gloves Off. Its all performance but the nice thing about acting is you don't get punched on the nose!

What inspired you to take up acting?

It's a weird one as I started performing very late in life at 40 and initially, I did two years of stand up comedy. So it was very tricky at first convincing my family that I wasn’t going completely nuts!! The decision is a little bit nuts of course and I guess it was some kind of mid-life panic for sure but deep down I always knew I was eventually going to act so I tried to hold off as long as I could and earn some cash first! A few things clicked that triggered the decision, I was approaching 40 and I realised if I don't give it a try I may get past the point of no return. The Germans call it "torschlusspanic" ( translates as doors closing behind you) but they have a word for everything over there. The other big motivation was my son. I wanted him to be proud of me and it hit me that I didn't feel any pride in the job I had at the time. He was around 5 and like all parents, I read him bedtime stories. We used to get really into them and then we started making up our own stories that had regular characters and re-occurring storylines. We used to get really carried away and he would literally be ecstatic when bedtime came around. I realised I was enjoying this far too much and was clearly a frustrated thesp!!

Brad Moore

What has been the highlight of your journey so far?

Strangely the first real scene I performed in a feature film was with Tim Spall in a film called The Rise. Tim knew I was a rookie but he was so supportive and made me feel so comfortable. We nailed the scene and he was very complimentary to the point that the producers were even surprised! I grew up watching him so this was huge praise to me. We were on a night shoot and wrapped at 4 am so I can still remember the feeling I had driving home in the middle of the night. I was buzzing!!

What is your favourite things about being an actor?

I love behaviour. I've always been fascinated by it. When acting you have to use your imagination and create something. I love being creative, Its a form of therapy for me. I feel incredibly normal and productive when I'm acting or preparing a character and I feel at odds with the world when I'm not. I probably have huge identity issues...along with a clear-cut case of Napoleon syndrome..

If you could change one thing about the movie industry, what would it be?

Clearly, #metoo and the focus on diversity is changing everything for the better. Other than that I think I should be awarded an Oscar every year or at least a BAFTA.

Gloves Off Movie

If you could choose a dream actor/actress to work with, who would it be?

I would have loved to have met Paul Newman let alone work with him. I can remember watching 'The Sting' with my mother and father aged 7 at Odeon Leicester Square. What an amazing man. If I had run lines with Paul Newman or Gene Wilder In their trailer that would have been five times the size of mine I think I would have died happy. A dream actor to work with now would be Jack Nicholson or Matthew McConaughey.

Any advice for anyone trying to get into the movie industry?

The best advice I can give to anyone starting out is to work at all costs. Before any feature film roles came my way I performed in 24 short films. You barely get paid but you learn and grow. For me, acting is similar to a sport in that you can't really read a book about it then walk on set and be amazing. You have to play the game to learn. The other thing is to try to not take things personally. It's a fickle world and acting is at the sharp end of that for sure. Easier said than done of course as actors are often emotional people and I've just realised I need to practice what I'm preaching here!!

What does the future hold for you. Any upcoming projects to keep an eye out for?

I’m writing a TV comedy for the character I played in Golden Years called Kieth Stringer. He is like a cross between Simon Cowell, David Brent and Fonzie but in his head, he thinks he’s Don Johnson from Miami Vice. He a proper knob and was such a wonderful character to play. Many people said he would suit his own TV show so I’ve written a treatment for one called ” Stringer” it's gonna need TV writers far more talented than myself to bring it all together though. I've also just shot a cameo with Steve Guttenburg (Police Academy) for a British Indie horror film called "Heckle" written by Anthony Hayles and directed by Martin Pick. Other than that I'm very available!!

Gloves Off is available on DVD and On Demand. Check out the trailer here:

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