Entertainment

Steve Coogan Defends New Jimmy Savile Biopic As He Recalls Other Actors Don’t Have Much ‘Revulsion’


Steve Coogan has once again come to the defense of Jimmy Savile’s new biopic, noting that the other actors haven’t received as much “revulsion” for playing “monsters” onscreen.

The actor, 56, stars as the disgraced former star in upcoming drama The Reckoning, which will chart the disgraced Jimmy’s upbringing, early career and prolific child sex offences.

And speaking in Wednesday’s Lorraine, Steve compared his role to those of David Tennant, who played Muswell Hill murderer Dennis Nilsen and Dominic West, who played serial killer and rapist Fred West on screen, as he said they hadn’t had as much backlash.

Speaking out: Steve Coogan has once again come to the defense of Jimmy Savile’s new biopic by noting that the other actors haven’t received as much ‘revulsion’ for playing ‘monsters’ on screen

Asked if he was hesitant to take on the role, Steve said: “I certainly understand the revulsion people have for it, a natural revulsion, but I think with all the difficult subject matter it’s better talking about it than not talking about it.”

He added: ‘People like Dominic West have played Fred West. Dennis Nilsen has been played recently by David Tennant. People are playing these monsters, and there wasn’t the same revulsion.’

David took on the role of serial killer Nilsen in a three-part ITV miniseries called Des in 2020.

While Dominic starred as rapist West in ITV’s real-life drama Appropriate Adult in 2011.

Role: The actor, 56, plays the role of the disgraced former star [pictured in 1970] in upcoming drama The Reckoning, which will chronicle Jimmy's disgraced upbringing, early career and prolific child sex offenses

Role: The actor, 56, plays the role of the disgraced former star [pictured in 1970] in upcoming drama The Reckoning, which will chronicle Jimmy’s disgraced upbringing, early career and prolific child sex offenses

Meanwhile, Steve continued on the Jimmy Savile drama: “I think it’s because it’s someone who cheated a nation and healed a nation, or if you’re a little less charitable, the nation allowed him.”

“And that’s why people are uncomfortable about it. As with all of these things, you have to start the boil by contemplating and looking back and thinking about why he may have done it and learning from it, and then you can move on.

The Alan Partridge star went on to say, “The victims cooperated and many visited the set, and many of them understood the need to watch it.

Defence: Speaking during Wednesday's Lorraine, Steve compared his role to those of David Tennant, who played Muswell Hill murderer Dennis Nilsen and Dominic West, who portrayed serial killer and rapist Fred West on screen , as he said they hadn't had as much backlash

Defence: Speaking during Wednesday’s Lorraine, Steve compared his role to those of David Tennant, who played Muswell Hill murderer Dennis Nilsen and Dominic West, who portrayed serial killer and rapist Fred West on screen , as he said they hadn’t had as much backlash

Representation: David took on the role of serial killer Nilsen in a three-part ITV miniseries called Des in 2020

Killer: Dennis, known as Muswell Hill Murderer Nilsen killed 12 men between 1978 and 1983

Representation: David took on the role of serial killer Nilsen in a three-part ITV miniseries called Des in 2020

Actor: While Dominic starred as rapist West in ITV's real-life drama Appropriate Adult in 2011

Monster: Fred West and his wife Rose tortured, raped and murdered 12 young women and girls in their house of horrors at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester and buried many victims under the house or in the garden

Actor: While Dominic starred as rapist West in ITV’s real-life drama Appropriate Adult in 2011

“People are held accountable, including the TSWT, and it’s informative, educational and entertaining? well this is a fascinating subject. It is important.’

Last month, Steve detailed the importance of discussing Jimmy Savile’s horrific sex crimes in order to see how his pedophile behavior was facilitated.

Speaking on TSWT Breakfast, he stressed that Jimmy’s sexual offenses must not be ‘swept under the rug’ if we are to prevent it from happening again.

Jimmy abused a total of 177 patients, ages five to 75, at 41 hospitals. Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire was where his abuse was most prolific.

Thoughts: Meanwhile, Steve continued on the Jimmy Savile drama:

Thoughts: Meanwhile, Steve continued on the Jimmy Savile drama: ‘I think it’s because he’s someone who cheated a nation and healed a nation, or if you’re a little less charitable , the nation allowed him

Changes: Coogan previously explained in a statement that the decision to play Savile was not one I took lightly (shown in character)

Vile: Savile is pictured presenting Thank Your Lucky Stars in the 1960s

Changes: Changes: Coogan previously explained in a statement that the decision to play Savile was not a decision “I took lightly” (pictured left in character, Savile is seen in the 60s)

Speaking up: “That's why people are uncomfortable.  As with all of these things, you have to start the boil by contemplating and looking back and thinking about why he may have done it and learning from it, and then you can move on.

Speaking up: “That’s why people are uncomfortable. As with all of these things, you have to start the boil by contemplating and looking back and thinking about why he may have done it and learning from it, and then you can move on.

Disgraced: Savile is pictured in 1984

Controversy: The Reckoning will trace the disgraced former star’s upbringing, early career and numerous child sex offenses (Savile pictured in 1984)

Steve explained: “People personally feel like they’ve been cheated, the nation craves it, so there’s this feeling of wanting to put it behind us and not talk about it.”

“As a rule, I think it’s better to talk about it. There are short-term gains to sweeping things under the rug because you don’t want to look back.

He added: “But you have to look at the whole person to see why it happened and how it was activated and how people facilitated its behavior.”

“By not talking about it, you’re missing the point. If you don’t watch it, you’re destined for these things to happen again.

Speaking about the upcoming series, he explained, “The drama answers the question, which many people have asked, how are you doing?”

“The drama answers that question, which is a very important question.”

Chat: Last month Steve detailed the importance of discussing the horrific sex crimes of Jimmy Savile in order to see how his pedophile behavior was facilitated

Chat: Last month Steve detailed the importance of discussing the horrific sex crimes of Jimmy Savile in order to see how his pedophile behavior was facilitated

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