Only Fools and Horses

Jim Broadbent bemoans cancel culture

Jim Broadbent has slammed the idea of cancel culture.

The 72-year-old actor claimed that while the early days of his own career were filled with “lots of nudity and swearing”, he thinks it is “horrible” that stars now have to be much more “cautious” about doing anything that may be used against them in the future.

He said: “[There was] lots of nudity and swearing. The theatre was dangerous — and offensive. But an awful lot of people are now cautious. If they say something inadvisable, it might crop up later. That’s horrible.”

The ‘Notting Hill’ star went on to pay tribute to late director Roger Michell, describing him as “very special” but admitted he can “hardly speak” about him without getting emotional after he died at the age of 65 in September 2021.

He said: “I can hardly speak [about him] without welling up. But he was very special.”

Jim – who had previously worked with the acclaimed director on hit films ‘Notting Hill’ and ‘Endless Love’ – teamed up with Roger one last time for comedy-drama movie ‘The Duke’, which was filmed in 2020 but delayed several times because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on a true story, the film focuses on Jim’s character Kempton Bunton, who is accused of stealing the famous Duke of Wellington portrait from the National Gallery.

And Jim – who stars in the comedy-drama alongside Dame Helen Mirren – admitted it is a “real sadness” that Roger will not be here to see what became his final film when it is released later this month.

He told The Sunday Times Culture magazine: “It’s a real sadness that he is not around to see people enjoy it.”

The Oscar-winning actor – who also starred in the ‘Harry Potter’ film series, played DCI Roy Slater in classic sitcom ‘Only Fools and Horses’ and worked on numerous films with veteran director Mike Leigh – went on to joke that Roger’s death had left him predicting how British tabloids would cover his own death.

He said: “I was thinking what different newspapers will say when I die, The Sun will have, ‘Slater — dead’.” The Mail will say, ‘Harry Potter actor dies. And The Guardian will say, ‘Mike Leigh stalwart dies.’”

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