BELOW IS A SIX PART VIDEO FEATURING SOME OF HIS EXPLOITS .
HERE IS A FILM TRAILER FOR HOWARD MARK’S …. MR NICE FILM STARRING RHYS IFANS .AS WELL AS A FILM CAST LIST OF OTHERS WHO ALSO STAR IN THE FILM .
|Cast overview, first billed only:|
Rhys Ifans looks very relaxed. He’s sitting by the pool just down the coast from Malaga, on the Costa del Sol, in his shorts and an open shirt, tall drink in one hand, long blazing reefer in the other. He’s not, contrary to first impressions, indulging in a hedonistic holiday. The 42-year-old Welsh actor is, believe it or not, hard at work; he’s midway through production on the big-screen adaptation of Mr Nice, the autobiography of fellow Welshman Howard Marks, the Oxbridge-educated valley boy, one-time cannabis smuggler and now full-time folk hero.
‘This feels kind of right, sitting here, playing Howard,’ begins Ifans, once his sitting-in-the-sun scene is done, drink and spliff put aside as hair and make-up people fuss around him. ‘I met Howard 13 years ago when he came out of prison, at a Super Furry Animals gig in Pontypridd.’
This was after Ifans’s active involvement in the band and before the publication of Marks’s best-selling 1996 book (Super Furry Animals put Marks’s image on the cover of their debut album, Fuzzy Logic, which was released in the same year as Marks’s autobiography). ‘We kind of made a verbal agreement there and then,’ continues Ifans, ‘that if ever there was a film to be made of Howard‘s life, I’d play him. At the time, I hadn’t really acted all that much, so it was a bit of a pipe dream.’ He pauses. ‘If you’ll excuse the expression.’
More than a decade later and that film is unfolding in southern Spain, with Ifans in situ as the lead and Chloë Sevigny and David Thewlis providing able support. The little-known Bernard Rose, who released Candyman 18 years ago, directs, telling a story that sifts through the key moments in Marks’s life, skittering through his early years – bad at sport, good at lessons, bullied – to his arrival at Oxford University.
Once enrolled, his education does indeed become ‘higher’, as he’s seduced into the world of marijuana and acid, and then into smuggling. He becomes bolder, falling in with IRA man Jim McCann (played by a delightfully frenetic Thewlis) and together they import copious amounts of resin into Britain. As the money floods in, Marks becomes bolder still and the authorities become suspicious, tracking the smuggler, his young wife (Sevigny) and their family. Once the US DEA becomes involved, his card is marked.
Forty-three aliases, 89 phone lines and 25 registered companies later, Marks has spent seven years behind bars in the US and is now a hero to many liberally minded folk. ‘Yeah, he’s been a hero of mine,’ notes Ifans, once his band of polishers and preeners finally moves away. ‘Actually, he turned up on set a couple of weeks ago and he had video footage of our actual first meeting. You can see us talking away and shaking hands, like doing the deal! He’s a really good friend of mine.’
Is it difficult playing a close friend, I wonder. ‘On paper, you’d think it would be,’ says Ifans. ‘If it was another mate it might be different but with Howard, I wanted him on set. He brings such joy and energy. There’s no vanity to Howard, so he’s not an intimidating presence. Everyone on the crew has fallen in love with him.’
While Marks is no longer a wanted man, and his smuggling days are over, he’s not changed his outlook. He remains as quick-witted as ever, according to Ifans: ‘He’s stoned. He’s still smoking.
He comes along and seems really amused by the film. It’s a real stoney thing watching your whole life pass before you… without drowning.’
The actor recalls a moment when shooting a scene in which Marks fakes his own kidnapping from his parents’ house in Wales. ‘He came down on set and the actors who were playing his mum and dad were there,’ says Ifans. ‘I said to Howard: “Was that a bit weird?” and he said: “Oh yeah, watching your own kidnapping, it’s really f***ing weird. But it’s even weirder when you fancy your mum.”’
As Ifans is called back to set, he picks up his drink and reefer. Has he ever smoked with Marks, I ask as he saunters off – after all, when in Rome? ‘You might think it would be rude not to,’ smiles Ifans. ‘Although, of course, I didn’t inhale.’
Mr Nice is in cinemas from Friday.
BROTHEL QUEEN CYNTHIA IN HER PRIME
Sad to hear the news of one of our truly “Great British icons” … Cynthia Payne’s death on Sunday 15 November 2015, whom we have long featured here at Littledean Jail.
For a more in depth insight into the life and times of Cynthia please click HERE
TITILLATION , A BIT OF FETISH & THE TABOO HERE AT THE JAIL
As an allegedly … self proclaimed – politically incorrect tourist attraction , we of course touch upon this industry .
On display we have personal exhibit items & signed ephemera from brothel madame … Cynthia Payne including one of her personal & well used whips , luncheon vouchers etc
DO NOT FORGET … IF EASILY OFFENDED STAY AWAY FROM LITTLEDEAN JAIL.
1987: Mrs Payne is no brothel Madam
Party planner Cynthia Payne has been acquitted of nine charges of controlling prostitutes at her home in south west London.The courtroom burst into applause after decision of the jury – of eight men and four women – was announced after just over five hours of deliberation.
Mrs Payne, 53, said: “This is a victory for common sense. But I have to admit all this has put me off having parties for a bit.”
Mrs Payne first hit the headlines in 1978 when police raided her home to find a sex party in full swing, attended by middle-aged and elderly men exchanging luncheon vouchers for sexual entertainment.
After a trial in 1980 she was sentenced to 18 months which was then reduced to six months and a fine on appeal.
This time she ended up in court after holding an “end of film” party following the production of the movie Personal Services, starring Julie Walters.
Author of a book about Mrs Payne’s life, Paul Bailey, described her as “a chirpy little Cockney woman going round telling people to behave themselves.”
After the 13-day trial she sent Judge Brian Pryor QC a copy of the book, An English Madam, with the inscription: “I hope this book will broaden your rather sheltered life”.
Legal costs reimbursed
During proceedings at the Inner London Crown Court Judge Pryor told the court: “You must be sure that the particular woman was acting as a prostitute and that that particular girl’s movements were influenced one way or another by Mrs Payne.”
He ordered defence costs – in a trial costing £117,000 – to be paid from central funds and Mrs Payne’ s £5,000 legal aid costs to be reimbursed.
The prosecution said Mrs Payne provided facilities for prostitutes in her home in Ambleside Avenue, Streatham including, food, drink, condoms and bedrooms.
Mrs Payne emerged from the court beaming with smiles as she was mobbed by a crowd of 100 media and well-wishers.
Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens said: “It seems astounding that all this public money should be poured into bringing these charges.”
Police said they would not be reviewing their policy over the prosecution of brothel madams.
Cynthia Payne is due to face further charges of brothel keeping at magistrates’ court.
SEE BELOW A FEW SIGNED ITEMS FROM OUR MADAMME CYNTHIA PAYNE DISPLAY HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
Cynthia Payne (born 24 December 1932, in Bognor Regis, West Sussex) is a retired English party hostess who made the headlines in the 1970s and 1980s when she was accused of being a madam and of running her brothel at 32 Ambleside Avenue, in Streatham, in the south-west of London, England.
Payne first came to national attention in 1978 when police raided her home and found a sex party was in progress. Elderly men paid in Luncheon Vouchersto dress up in lingerie and be spanked by young women. When the case came to trial in 1980, she was sentenced to eighteen months in prison, reduced to a fine and six months on appeal. She served four months in Holloway prison.
In 1986, the police raided her home again, this time during a “special party” she was hosting after shooting the film of her life had been completed. Although she was acquitted on this occasion, the resulting court case in 1987 made headlines for several weeks with lurid tales, some details of which she aired onThe Dame Edna Experience in 1988, with co-guests Sir John Mills and Rudolf Nureyev, where she also launched her book, Entertaining at Home. The court case ended her career as a party giver.
On this programme, she expressed an interest in becoming an MP, in order to change Britain’s anti sex laws, which she followed through with by standing for Parliament as a candidate for the Payne and Pleasure Party in the Kensington by-election in July 1988, followed by her standing in her own area ofStreatham in the 1992 UK General Election. She did not gain a parliamentary seat.
There have been two films made that are loosely based on her life. Wish You Were Here (1987), about her adolescence with Emily Lloyd in the lead role, and Personal Services (also 1987) about her adult life starred Julie Walters. Both were written (and Wish You Were Here was directed) by David Leland, but are vague in their similarities.
Cynthia Payne has made appearances as an after-dinner speaker and launched a new range of adult services and products in 2006.