Line of Duty star Stephen Graham reveals he "couldn't get a job" after This Is England role

Kyle Macneill
Photo credit: Jeff Spicer - Getty Images

From Digital Spy

From Pirates of the Caribbean to Gangs of New York, Line of Duty star Stephen Graham has been in a number of huge franchises.

However, he's now revealed to The Sun that he struggled to get an audition - let alone land a role - following his performance in 2006 movie This is England.

Graham played racist ex-prisoner Combo in the film, a skinhead with erratic, violent tendencies. Near the ending, Graham beats-up Milky, the only black skinhead in leader Woody's gang.

Photo credit: Optimum Releasing/Warp Films/Film4 Productions

"It was life-changing. I lost myself quite a bit within that character," he said.

The role was so powerful that it affected him after each day of filming had ended. "I had moments of getting back to my apartment (...) and crying my eyes out, and I drank."

The themes of racism and violence have also affected Graham's personal life. "I'm mixed race. As a kid I was called ­horrible words that I don't even want to say, and little monkey boy," he said.

Him, his wife and his dad were also attacked by a gang in 2002, leaving them with severe injuries. "It was a ­completely ­unprovoked attack - there were about nine of them," he recounted.

Photo credit: ITV

Following the movie, he nearly gave up with acting altogether. "After This Is England I could not get a job. For about eight months I couldn't get an audition."

"I almost packed it all in. I was going to be a youth worker."

Fortunately for us Line of Duty fans, he didn't. Graham plays DS John Corbett in the newest series.

Photo credit: World Productions/Aiden Monaghan - BBC

Line of Duty continues tonight (April 21) at 9pm on BBC One.

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