How David Beckham should bend it on screen

They’re accustomed to obeying orders, gruelling preparations and faking emotion for the cameras, but the odds are very much stacked against the ex-footballer trying to make it in the movies.

News that David Beckham is about to enter the thespian arena, via a cameo as a “grumpy knight” in Guy Ritchie’s forthcoming King Arthur movie, fills one with trepidation, given the England hero’s celebrity and distinct lack of achievement in things that don’t involve kicking a ball.

It’s a 10-man-wall, stoppage-time free-kick of a challenge for Beckham, but here’s a few things he could learn from those who’ve attempted the transfer before.

Don’t speak too much
Movie directors want deep, velvety voices: George Clooney, say, or José Mourinho. If your voice is more like a Thames Estuary castrato, best not to expose audiences to it all at once.

Beckham’s voice has reportedly been getting deeper and posher over the years, in preparation for his screen career perhaps, but less is still more.

Don’t be sexy
Stan Collymore’s movie career took an earlier bath than his footballing one, following his excruciating cameo in Basic Instinct 2, which saw him and Sharon Stone supposedly pleasuring each other in a fast car (and winding up at the bottom of the Thames as a result). If a script based on Calvin Klein underwear is pitched at you, Dave, don’t even read it.

Be French
Eric Cantona: the footballer who actually pulled it off. But your former team-mate already had a penchant for philosophy, poetry and other cerebral pursuits, which paved the way for his casting in Elizabeth, Looking for Eric, Salvation and so on. Other Frenchmen who made the leap include Frank Leboeuf, who played a doctor in last year’s The Theory of Everything, and Zinedine Zidane, who got his own art film.

Play yourself
Successful non-French footballers in movies have generally excelled at one role and one role only: themselves. Pelé and Bobby Moore even held their own against thespian heavyweights such as Sylvester Stallone in Escape to Victory. Admittedly, even the role of “David Beckham” looks to have been a challenge at times, but with enough preparation and a script involving a well-groomed Arthurian central midfielder, Hollywood won’t know what’s hit them. – © Guardian News & Media 2015

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Reinstated Ingonyama Trust managers hit with retrenchment notices

The effect of Covid-19 and the land reform department’s freeze of R23-million because the ITB didn’t comply with budget submissions are cited as some of the reasons for the staff cuts

Battle over R6bn workers’ retirement fund

Allegations from both sides tumble out in court papers

Nigeria’s anti-corruption boss arrested for corruption

Ibrahim Magu’s arrest by the secret police was a surprise — but also not surprising

Eskom refers employees suspected of contracts graft for criminal investigations

The struggling power utility has updated Parliament on investigations into contracts where more than R4-billion was lost in overpayments

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday