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gives Irish Gypsy image a makeover...
He's made being an Irish Gypsy trendy and where a
genuine Irish man failed (i.e. Gabriel Byrne
as his role as a tinker) in Into the West.
Now Hollywood heart-throb Brad Pitt is also
being penned with the title of succeeding for the
fist time in history with making the Irish traveler
sexy. In his latest movie Snatch, Brad plays
Mickey the Irish Gipsy and is tipped to win
his first Oscar for his role.
shows his Last Supper tattoo as Mickey the bare knuckle
Mickey is a volatile Irish Gipsy who is hired by a
group of aspiring boxing promoters to take a dive
in the fourth round of an illegal bare-knuckle match.
To get the part, Jennifer Aniston's hubby was
whisked off to a traveler campsite to get the feel
for the character.
he plays a violent mumbling fighter, Pitt's character
is sexier than the first ever Irish traveler to appear
on our screens - The Riordan's Eamonn Maher.
Joe Pilkington, who died last year, played
the lovable, tousle-haired, donkey-coated Eamonn
and paved the way for the introduction of other travelers
a far sexier image of the traveler was introduced
by real-life couple Gabriel Byrne and Ellen Barkin
who teamed up as husband and wife in Into the West.
The Irish Travelers Movement has said that
although there was nothing wrong with an American
playing the part, they were disappointed with the
image of a bare-knuckled fighter.
some films, particularly gangster-type films, focus
on violent and criminal travelers which is very negative.
While some travelers are involved with bare-knuckle
fighting, the idea that this is all travelers are
about is not very welcome, said spokesman David
Joyce to the Irish Independent newspaper
recently. He added that there was a long history of
travelers in both film and television with some portrayals
accurate and some not.
Ritchie's first film Lock Stock and two
smoking barrels he used former world supermiddleweight
champion Steve Collins, briefly. Now, in Snatch
he's got Mickey Cantwell (London flyweight,
used to be British champ) and Scott Welsh,
who used to be the British heavyweight champion. Also,
the Commonwealth welterweight champion Scott Dixon
was Brad Pitt's body double for the bare knuckle punching
close up shots, and Brad was given some advice on
gypsy style street fighting by former pro Bobby
Frankham, who is a Gipsy as they come.
some indept information about the fighters Ritchie
has used in his last two flicks supplied by a reader:
- Thanks Jim
big guy who Brad Pitt fights bare knuckle style at
the climax is Scott Welsh, the former UK heavyweight
champion. He lives in Hove, N. Brighton, and unlike
most boxers, he is pretty loaded from owning and running
a string of nursing homes, so he didn't even need
the money from boxing ! He won the amateur (ABA) heavyweight
title before turning pro, and eventually won the UK
professional championship from six foot nine James
Oyebola. Scott went on to beat an aged Joe
Bugner (he was 46 at the time!) in Germany, before
challenging for the WBO version of the world title;
he went the distance, but lost clearly on points in
America. After that he had a few fights, but could
not get the motivation, so he packed boxing in and
I never heard anything about him until he showed up
in Snatch ! Great part.....
Scott Harrison, the Commonwealth welterweight champion,
was Brad Pitt's body double for the close ups, I read
that in last Sunday's News of The World, and
it mentions things like how he taught Brad Pitt to
box for the part of Mickey, basically I think Scott
taught him the boxing skills, and banned ex-pro Bobby
Frankham, a true gypsy bare knuckle fighter (he was
on the recent channel five program about bare knuckle
boxing) taught Brad some of the dirty tricks that
unlicensed fighters use, obviously pro boxers have
a limited range of punches and target areas, but anything
goes in street fighting !
In Lock Stock, Irish ex-world champion Steve Collins
appeared briefly as a doorman.
second guy to get killed by Bricktop in the
boxing gym (the smaller guy, who get's a plastic bag
put over his head by some heavies) is Mickey Cantwell,
who like Scott Welsh and Steve Collins has no previous
acting experience. Cantwell has fought for a few versions
of world flyweight titles, I think he did hold a world
title for a while, he held the UK title too, he was
a very successful amateur, many feel he turned pro
too late. He regularly pops up on Sky TV's boxing
coverage as a studio pundit. Nice guy actually.
guy who plays Gorgeous George in Snatch is
an ex professional boxer as well, his name is Adam
Fogerty and he had one hell of a future in front
of him when he packed in boxing about ten years ago.
He boxed out of Halifax, West Yorkshire, and built
up a great record. He was the classic big punching,
white rugged heavyweight and could have made a lot
of money, but for some reason he quit and went into
professional rugby for a few years, and then he turned
up on the odd TV program, playing bit parts, so it's
quite an achievement to get that decent part in Snatch.