270 - Harry Potter and the Ugly Modelling AG.

Speak Up features an interview with Marc French, who runs the Ugly Modelling Agency in London. The agency specialises in finding “ugly” people for advertising campaigns but, as Marc French explains, it is also doing plenty of work for the film industry:

Marc French (Standard English/London accent):
Harry Potter’s been a huge part of our sort of lives, really. I mean, we’ve worked on all the Harry Potter films and I hear it going on constantly and they’re always looking for different kinds of peoples (sic), from sort of giants, dwarfs to sexy girls, I mean, every kind of look you can think of, Harry Potter will pick them and they always come to us because ours are most unique. I think they tried to do some street casts and that before, but the people weren’t real and weren’t... they’re trying to be someone else and… and our people, if you book a giant, or like a dwarf, them guys are going to walk in a room and they’re comfortable with the way they are, they’re going to do a great job. So Harry Potter’s been a great film for us.
All of the Guy Ritchie films we worked on, all Lock, Stock and all that, every single one of them thugs was ours, I mean, all of the thugs come to us, they all think… ‘cause they all want to be in movies, and all these guys, they all come in and, you know, they’ve got these different lives, where they’re these big tough characters, we give them a job, they’re going off to a casting and they’re, you know, they’re petrified, they’re like little, shaking… we’ve had the toughest of men go up for castings, they say, “Oh, we’re so scared, I’m standing in front of a camera,” and, you know, and it’s incredible, it really is and they come in and they’re like babies, you know, they go outside and they’re bare-knuckled fighters and stuff, and then they come in here and they’re like little babies and they’re great because it really gives them a chance to be themselves and no-one’s looking at them thinking they’re a thug or whatever and they’re just being wonderful characters.
(Marc French was talking to Martin Simmonds. For more on the Ugly Agency, visit: http://www.ugly.org)