Jude Law explodes as hot-headed safecracker in 'Dom Hemingway'

Tue Apr 1, 2014 10:39am EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - With an extra 20 pounds, an impressive paunch and bad teeth, actor Jude Law, best known for his golden boy roles, transforms himself into a sleazy, ranting southeast London safecracker in the film "Dom Hemingway."

It is Law, Oscar nominated for "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Cold Mountain," as he hasn't been seen before - unfit, unkempt and with a penchant for delivering expletive-filled speeches.

In the film, which opens in select U.S. theaters on Wednesday, Law plays Dom Hemingway, a damaged, hot-headed crook released from prison after a 12-year stint for not ratting on his crime boss.

He paid a high price for his loyalty in lost years, missed opportunities and estrangement from his daughter and is hell-bent on collecting his money and making up for lost time.

The role enabled Law, 41, to mine the southeast London streets of his childhood for the character and to discard any lingering remnants of his matinee idol image.

"The golden boy thing was never a mantle I went out looking for. That was something I was told I was," said Law, adding that for him it was always about the work.

"To me it was like who cares if it's about the work? And now, having walked those minefields and survived, and having worked for 20-odd years, it feels like at last having gone over that hump we can maybe just talk about the work," he added.

From the opening scene when he pontificates about his manhood, through drinking binges and brawls, Law holds nothing back as Hemingway, who is the complete opposite of the tightly coiled Russian aristocrat Karenin he played in the 2012 drama "Anna Karenina," based on Leo Tolstoy's 1877 novel.   Continued...

Actors Jude Law and actor Richard E. Grant attend a news conference for the film "Dom Hemingway" at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival September 9, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill