Nick Moran, born in the East End, has an impressive repertoire of appearances in film, TV and stage going back some 40 years.
As a Londoner, it’s perhaps unsurprising that his filmography is full of British films, including a whole host of gangster and crime films that make good use of that authentic East-End accent.
Right at the top of this filmography lies Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, sawn-off to just “Lock Stock” by its loving fans, still going strong after more than 20 years.
Moran is one of many talented British actors to have appeared in shed loads of independent films for smaller studios while also claiming roles in box office hits.
Here, we’ll be taking a look at some of Moran’s best and most famous acting roles.
1: Eddie in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
The Guy Ritchie comedy-crime caper - heavier on the crime than the comedy - has secured legendary status. It’s a treasured film for crime-genre fans and any and all fans of rugged and authentic British cinema.
Lock Stock inspired countless London-based crime films and was where footballer Vinnie Jones and then diving instructor Jason Statham made searing debuts.
It’s incredible to think that Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was first shown in 1998. Does it feel like a 90s film? Maybe, but only because the 90s was a golden decade for cinema.
In Lock Stock, Moran played Eddie, the brazen card shark who lost £500,000 to a powerful crime lord in a rigged game of three-card brag.
The scene where the cards go down and The Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog” starts beating in the background is one of the most memorable of the film.
You can feel Eddie's nausea of being indebted to the tune of £500,000 in the space of just minutes. That's how it all began - and how it all spiralled out of control in Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels.
Moran shared the screen with Statham, Jones, Dexter Fletcher, Jason Flemyng and even Sting, who put in a couple of scenes as Eddie’s dad, JD.
Remarkably, Lock Stock had a budget of just $1.35 million and turned in $28 million at the box office, which made it a worldwide hit and a true gem of British crime cinema.
2: Scabior in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows 1 & 2 (2010 and 2011)
A mammoth effort in all-time filmmaking, the Harry Potter film series provided ample opportunities for British acting talent, past and present, to be involved in cinematic history.
Moran got a slice of the Harry Potter pie in The Deathly Hallows 1 & 2, where he played a 'Snatcher' called Scabior.
For those who don’t know their Harry Potter fandom, a Snatcher is an evil type of wizard that has sworn allegiance to Lord Voldermort. They capture the Dark Lord’s opposition and trade them for gold. Harry, Ron and Hermione were found and captured by six Snatchers, including Fenrir Greyback and Scabior.
Moran said of his role in Harry Potter; "It's all very reminiscent of Germany in the 1930s. I give Ron Weasley a proper kicking and call him Ginger. Then I sniff Hermione and say: "You're going to be my favourite".
It was a quality role in two important films, and Moran duly obliged with a rock-solid performance.
3. Mike in Buddy’s Song (1991)
Moran’s first feature film appearance was in 1990 alongside Roger Daltrey and Chesney Hawkes in Buddy's Song. This British comedy-drama centres around Buddy Clark (Hawkes), who is determined to make it as a pop star.
The film follows Buddy’s journey through the sleazy music industry. Buddy joins Moran, Glenn the milkman, Mike, and Jason, and this is their rag-tag band for a portion of the film.
We don’t have a clip of Moran in the movie, but who needs an excuse enjoy one of the best four-minute one-hit wonders you'll find anywhere!
4: Spike in Inside No. 9 (2018)
Inside No. 9 is a unique and original British black comedy anthology best-known for its short, sharp episodes with twists, horror and tons of creativity.
The cast is different every time with shed loads of guest appearances, including Moran in Season 4, episode 3; Once Removed. In this episode, Moran plays a removal man Spike who turns up to help May (Monica Dolan) move house.
This leads to strange situations, which are told through reverse chronology. It’s a typically twisted but funny episode of Inside No. 9, which has become highly regarded by critics despite its at-times esoteric scripts.
5: Leonard Kent in Accident Man (2018)
Accident Man is one of two films Moran appeared in alongside martial artist-turned-film star Scott Adkins.
Scott Adkins films have built quite the following in recent years. Though these fighting flicks don’t usually turn out to be anything too out-of-the-ordinary, there have certainly been a few gems amongst them.
In Accident Man, Moran plays Leonard Kent. It’s a brutal film full of fast-paced action, and it definitely satisfies fans of the genre.
Leonard Kent is the man that ordered a hit on Mike (Scott Adkins) ex-girlfriend Beth. Does it end well for him? You’ll have to watch to find out!
6: Hyde in Avengement (2019)
Another Scott Adkins crime-action flick directed by the same director; Jesse V. Johnson, who often collaborates with Adkins.
This one is a cracker that highlights Adkins’ genuine ability as an actor. It’s mostly serious but has some British crime humour infused in its bloody sequences that occur almost solely in a one dingy London bar.
The film received plenty of excellent reviews. It's a really solid piece of budget cinema for those that enjoy a sharp dose of pain, intensity and geezers from London getting the stuffing kicked out of them.
Here, Moran plays Hyde, who dares to mock Cain (Adkins). Does he have better luck here than he might in Accident Man?
7: Roy Dixon in Age of Kill (2015)
Here’s a blip on the old copybook. This film could be worse, but its rather crass storyline didn’t earn it much more than 4.5/10 on IMDB.
That said, it did also receive some solid reviews from genre-aficionados who enjoy a British action-fuelled flick that doesn’t take much heed of its dodgy script.
Age of Kill follows an unidentified terrorist that blackmails a disgraced sniper to kill six seemingly random targets on the streets of London.
Matt Glasby from Total Film gave a bad review but did say ‘co-stars Moran and Patrick Bergin add some undeserved class’. There’s some serious merit to that in the context of this film.
8: Illing in Terminal (2018)
Terminal, not to be confused with the Tom Hanks hit that ranked in a different parish The Terminal, is a neo-noir thriller. Margot Robbie heads the lineup here, and the star-studded cast features Dexter Fletcher, Simon Pegg and Mike Myers.
A lot of effort went into Terminal; it was a collaboration between Ireland, the UK, Hungary, Hong Kong and the US. Unfortunately, despite the evident effort put into the film, it hit all the wrong notes with critics, ranking at just 21% on Rotten Tomatoes and holding an average rating of 4.26/10 at IMDB.
One critic described it as "a turgid, pretentious, and incomprehensible existential joke."
Moran plays as a hitman Illing, and he has a pretty considerable role. This one just didn’t go to plan - it looked really promising, too.
9: John Newton in The Amazing Grace (2006)
From a series of action-oriented, blood splattering, crime-centric flicks to a romantic historical drama, and a successful one at that.
The Amazing Grace is a 2006 British-Nigerian historical drama film written by Jeta Amata and Moran, who also played a British slave trader John Newton. Remarkably, another film named Amazing Grace was released in the same year, and that too is a historical drama based around a similar story set in the same historical era.
John Newton in The Amazing Grace becomes increasingly horrified by the brutality of the slave trade. He later becomes an Anglican priest and abolitionist and writes the well-known hymn Amazing Grace. The story is actually true, as is the character of John Newton.
This is a sensitively handled film that scored some excellent reviews from both viewers and critics. It was nominated for several awards in African filmmaking.
10: Pete Thunders in Death in Paradise (2015)
From the theme tune to the delectable tropical setting, Death in Paradise has become somewhat of a Midsomer Murders of the tropics - an island with a seemingly endless supply of murder victims and murderers.
Moran played Pete Thunders in season 4, episode 5, aptly named Swimming in Murder.
The plot follows a reunited band, who, due to a feud, begin to get murdered.
Moran himself wrote this fantastic article for The Guardian about his experience filming in the French Antilles. This is where he proposed to his girlfriend Jasmin, having been formerly married to actor Sienna Guillory.
Perhaps falling in love with paradise led Moran to accept a recent role in Bali movie Kupu Kupu.
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Image Credit: GroupEditor