(Local TV presenter and co-founder of Factory Records and the Hacienda)


“Because you have to improvise it’s very difficult.  You have to try and think the way Tony thinks.  The way I used physicalities, the way he gestures and talks – there is a slight campyness, a slight foppishness to the way I play Tony.  But I feel very comfortable playing him.  The only thing that bothers me is I feel too comfortable playing him.”


Multi-award winning comedian Steve Coogan recently made his move into cinema, having written and starred in the forthcoming film The Parole Officer.  He also appeared as Mole in Terry Jones’ Wind In The Willows alongside Eric Idle and John Cleese.  Making his name on the small screen as creator of comic characters (including Alan Partridge and Pauline Calf), Coogan co-wrote and starred in the award winning TV series’ The Day Today, Knowing Me Knowing You and I’m Alan Partridge (BBC2), among others.  His live show The Man Who Thinks He’s It, co-written by Coogan and Henry Normal, sold out a 130 plus date tour of the UK before breaking box office records with a 3-month sold out run in London’s West End.  In 1998 Coogan and Normal set up their own production company, Baby Cow, and are currently shooting a new Hammer Horror spoof comedy series, Dr. Terrible’s House Of Horrible (BBC2), in which Coogan stars.  That will be followed next year by a new series of I’m Alan Partridge.


CHRIS COGHILL as BEZ (Freaky dancer with Happy Mondays)


“It was weird playing someone who is not only still alive, but someone you bump into in your home town.  Bez is such a massive cultural icon.  I grew up in Manchester, and this is like the soundtrack to my growing up, the Mondays and the Roses.  Going out at the weekend and losing yourself in the music was the best escape you could get, and I think Bez embodied having a good time.”


As a founder member of The Fink On Theatre Company in Manchester, Chris Coghill co-wrote and co-produced Crying In The Chapel, an inside account of the Strangeways Riots, at the Yard Theatre in Manchester last year.  He later went on to perform in the play at the city’s Contact Theatre.  As a writer, director and actor, Coghill’s additional theatre credits include Somewhat Ropey, The Big Weight, Somewhat Porky and Heart Attack.  Coghill’s television appearances include Cold Feet, Emmerdale, My Wonderful Life and Coronation Street (all for ITV).  Coghill recently starred in the film Slide and is due to star in the upcoming Molly’s Idle Ways for the Manchester Film Consortium, for whom he is currently filming the lead in Tatty Kex and Charity.



(Manager of Joy Division and New Order and co-founder of Factory Records and the Hacienda)


“What’s interesting about this film is that, unless you were involved in the scene or a fan of the music or whatever, you wouldn’t know about guys like Rob and Alan Erasmus.  In this film, their stories are covered also, and they’re quite prominent characters.  I found that whole thing quite interesting – they were just as rock-and-roll as actual artists.”


Paddy Considine made his startling film debut as the disturbing Morrell in Shane Meadow’s A Room For Romeo Brass.  Since then he has notched up a string of film roles, including the broken, lovesick Alfie in Pavel Pawlilkowski’s critically acclaimed tale of an asylum-seeker, The Last Resort, for which he was awarded Best Actor at the 2000 Thessaloniki Film Festival.  He also played a supporting role in Born Romantic (dir. David Kane).  Last year he shot a leading role opposite Ioan Grufford and Susan Lynch in the black comedy Happy Now (dir. Philippa Cousins) and a cameo appearance in The Martins (dir. Tony Grounds).  He recently completed filming the psychological thriller Doctor Sleep (dir. Nick Willing).


DANNY CUNNINGHAM as SHAUN RYDER (Lead singer/songwriter with Happy Mondays)


“It’s weird playing people who are not just alive, but are prolific characters as well.  It’s really hard.  The last thing we want to do is an impression of them.  Without turning into a caricature, we want to make it as real as possible.  I’ve never known a job like it.”


A regular face on television screens, Danny Cunningham is probably best known for his role as Fusilier Andy Butcher in the long running drama series Soldier Soldier (ITV).  Lead television roles include A Little Bit Of Lippy, Pig Boy and Scandal Of Crookham Court (all for BBC), in addition to performances in Holby City (BBC), Coronation Street, Heatbeat, Kavanagh QC and Peak Practice (all for ITV).  Cunningham made his feature film debut playing Lance opposite Thandie Newton in the psychological thriller Loaded (dir. Anna Campion).


SEAN HARRIS as IAN CURTIS (Late lead singer/songwriter with Joy Division)


“There is this thing about Ian and his being a sort of dark grey, miserable thing, but he wasn’t.  Everyone you talk to that knew him stresses the fact that he was an intellectual guy with a good sense of humor – just a young lad.  He was 23 when he killed himself, married when he was 19, had a daughter – he was just an ordinary person until he stepped onto the stage.  That’s when people went ‘Fuck, where does that come from?’ because they knew Ian and couldn’t connect the two.”


Sean Harris’ film credits include the forthcoming The Discovery Of Heaven (dir. Jeroen Krabbe) opposite Stephen Fry as well as Nicotine Yellow (dir. Charlie Fleet), Wet Work (dir. John Hardwicke), Hothouse (dir. Cilla Ware) and Two Halftimes To Hell (dir. Guy Myhill).  A regular face on the small screen, Harris’ television appearances include The Hunt and Kavanagh QC (both for Carlton); A Mug’s Game, The Vet, and Signs And Wonders (all for BBC); and Jesus (Andromeda Productions).  Harris’ theatre credits include Chatsky at the Almeida, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Leicester Haymarket, and Don Juan, The Pleasure Man and Romeo And Juliet all at the Citizens in Glasgow.


SHIRLEY HENDERSON as LINDSEY WILSON (Anthony Wilson’s first wife)


“The script was very sketchy on Lindsey, and Michael let me bring things I thought were important and add things and improvise.  I knew that would happen with Michael, so I was quite happy to enter into the project.  Michael just lets the camera run and then he’ll take the bit that’s important to him.  That’s great from an acting point of view.”


Shirley Henderson reunited with Michael Winterbottom on 24 Hour Party People, having previously worked with him on both Wonderland and The Claim.  Other film credits include Villa des Roses (dir. Frank van Passel), Topsy Turvy (dir. Mike Leigh) and Trainspotting (dir. Danny Boyle).  More recently she appeared as Bridget Jones's sidekick, Jude, in the film adaptation of Bridget Jones's Diary (dir. Sharon Maguire).  Henderson is perhaps most widely known for her role as Isobel in the popular television series Hamish Macbeth (BBC1), in which she starred alongside Robert Carlyle.  She recently completed filming The Way We Live Now (dir. David Yates) for the BBC and the feature film Doctor Sleep (dir. Nick Willing) alongside E.R's Goran Visnjic.


LENNIE JAMES as ALAN ERASMUS (Co-founder of Factory Records and the Hacienda)


“I liked the way Michael was planning to work, because he gave a lot of power to the actors.  It was flexing and working on muscles you haven’t worked before.  On this one you were working flat out, constantly in character.  And you have a bigger responsibility than actors usually have to the final product.”


Probably best known for his role as porn shop owner Sol in Guy Ritchie’s diamond heist movie Snatch, Lennie James’ more recent film credits include The Martins (dir. Tony Grounds) and Lucky Break (dir. Peter Cattaneo).  Having enjoyed a varied acting career, James’ television credits include the RTS award-winning drama Storm Damage (BBC) in which he starred and wrote, Cold Feet (ITV), Undercover Heart (BBC), Out Of The Blue (BBC) and Déja Vu (C4).   James recently worked with award-winning director Stephen Daldry in This Is A Chair at the Royal Court and is currently in rehearsals for David Lan’s A Raisin In The Sun at The Young Vic.


RALF LITTLE as PETER HOOK (Bassist with Joy Division and New Order)


Ralf Little is best known for his role as teenager Antony Royle in the hit comedy series The Royle Family (BBC), which has run for three series.  In addition, Little starred in the TV drama Bostock’s Cup (ITV), Flint Street Nativity (ITV) Always And Everyone (ITV), as well as the recent sitcom Two Pints Of Lager & A Packet Of Crisps (BBC) and Aladdin (ITV) alongside Patsy Kensit and Julian Clary.  Little’s previous film credits include Al’s Lads (dir. Richard Standeven) and Harry On The Boat (dir. Menhaj Huda).  Little is currently rehearsing Presence at The Royal Court.


PAUL POPPLEWELL as PAUL RYDER (Bassist with Happy Mondays)


“I grew up with all this.  It’s the soundtrack to my life.  They were heroes to me.  I know how it made me feel then, and that’s how I have to make people feel now – that’s what’s really important to me.  There’s a whole generation of people that will remember images of these bands, then there’s a younger generation who have heard about it and are probably a bit fascinated.”


Paul Popplewell’s film credits include Michael Winterbottom’s I Want You, the romantic comedy If Only (dir. Maria Ripoll) and the forthcoming films Club le Monde (dir. Simon Rumley) and Movern Coollar (dir. Lynne Ramsey).  In 1995 Popplewell was nominated for Best Actor at the Royal Television Society Awards for his role as Simon in the BBC drama Criminal.  His other television performances include The League Of Gentlemen, Out Of The Blue and Casualty (all for BBC), Heartbeat and Peak Practice (for ITV).  Popplewell’s theatre credits include Bad Weather, The Tempest  and Bartholomew Fair for the RSC and Romeo And Juliet, Torch Song Trilogy and the title role in Bugsy Malone, all for the Northern Theatre Company.


ANDY SERKIS as MARTIN HANNETT (Joy Division and New Order record producer)


“Everybody you talk to has very fond memories of Hannett, and yet they were terrified of him.  He’s got that very sardonic, left-field, anarchic streak in him, and he relishes winding people up.  In real life it’s a very tragic story, but he’s one of life’s great experimenters.  It’s a fantastic role to play.  He’s constantly in the script needling Tony and doesn’t stand for any of his  pomposity.”


Andy Serkis stars as Gollum in the hotly anticipated film adaptation of Tolkien’s classic epic Lord Of The Rings (dir. Peter Jackson).  Previously he starred as an eccentric choreographer in Topsy Turvy (dir. Mike Leigh) and a coked-up yuppie in Leigh’s Career Girls.   Other major film roles include Mojo (dir. Jez Butterworth), Among Giants (dir. Sam Miller), Stella Does Tricks (dir. Coky Giedroyc), Five Seconds To Spare (dir. Tom Connolly), Pandemonium (dir. Julien Temple) and the forthcoming Shiner (dir. John Irvine) in which he stars opposite Michael Caine.  Serkis’ other acting credits include, among others, Oliver Twist, The Jump and Finney for television, and extensive work in theatre, including Mojo and King Lear at the Royal Court and Hurlyburly at The Old Vic.  Serkis recently completed filming The Escapist (dir. Gillies Mackinnon).



(Guitarist with Joy Division, guitarist/singer/songwriter with New Order)


“I’ve talked to a lot of people who know him and they all say he’s really nice, a really personal, quiet kind of guy.  I just hope I do him justice, because I’m a big fan of his music.  The Joy Division gigs we did, they were so real.  And the Apollo gigs I did with New Order, it was just a dream come true.  It was unbelievable.”


Having made his film debut in the black comedy Boston Kickout (dir. Paul Mills), John Simm more recently starred as sensitive young dad-to-be Eddie in Michael Winterbottom’s Wonderland and as Jip in Human Traffic, Justin Kerrigan’s tale of a weekend lost in music, clubbing and ecstasy.  Other film roles include Diana & Me (dir. David Parker) and Understanding Jane (dir. Caleb Lindsay).   Having made his mark on the small screen as Danny Cavanagh in The Lakes (BBC), Simm also starred in Never Never (C4), Forgive and Forget (ITV), Clocking Off (ITV) and Cracker (ITV).  Simm is currently shooting the romantic comedy Miranda (dir. Mark Munden) opposite Christina Ricci.