They’re back… for a TV sequel 25 years after they bared all in The Full Monty – but thank goodness this time they’ve kept their clothes on
- The cast of the 1997 BAFTA-winning film have reunited for Disney+ series
- READ MORE: The Full Monty gang reunites 25 years after the beloved film as trailer for new Disney+ is released
A quarter of a century has passed since six unemployed Sheffield blokes stripped off to cheers in The Full Monty.
Robert Carlyle played the leader of the troupe of Chippendale wannabes who were desperate to make a buck after falling on hard times following steel mill closures in Yorkshire.
The BAFTA-winning film celebrating the value of community was a global hit, earning £208 million on a budget of £2.8 million.
Now the ragtag band of brothers is back, sporting greyer hair and a few more wrinkles, because the movie’s writer, Simon Beaufoy, has rounded them up for an eight-part TV series for Disney+ that catches up with the men 25 years later.
Alongside Robert as ne’er-do-well Gaz, Game Of Thrones star Mark Addy reprises his role as Dave, the ex-steelworker with weight issues who’s married to Jean (Lesley Sharp, also returning).
The original cast of The Full Monty are returning for the new television series (pictured L-R: Steve Huison as Lomper; Mark Addy as Dave; Robert Carlyle as Gaz; Hugo Speer as Guy; and Paul Barber as Horse)
Steve Huison’s back as Lomper, who now runs a café with husband Dennis (Paul Clayton), Tom Wilkinson returns briefly as former foreman Gerald, with Paul Barber as Horse, the only dancer among them, and Hugo Speer is also back briefly as Guy, who couldn’t dance – but was very well-endowed.
Speer’s contribution is brief because he was fired last July for inappropriate behaviour on set, allegedly answering the door of his trailer naked and exposing himself to a female crew member. Were the cast shocked?
‘That’s a question for Disney,’ says Mark Addy, 58, diplomatically. But surely it was sad to lose him (Speer does appear in scenes filmed before his exit)? ‘Yeah,’ concedes Mark.
And hang on – what about the stripping? The men’s striptease was the saucy climax of the movie. Will they whip off their undergarments once more to a rousing rendition of Tom Jones’s You Can Leave Your Hat On?
‘No one wants to see that, let’s be honest,’ chuckles Robert Carlyle, 62. ‘But it’s kind of addressed in the final episode. There’s a lovely moment when all the guys are together and You Can Leave Your Hat On starts to play.
‘Honestly, it was a very emotional moment for us all, because that track is synonymous with the film and it just took us right back to that moment. And what was lovely was that after the scene, the crew all started clapping. Everyone was smiling. I’m hopeful it has the same effect on the audience emotionally.’
Robert, who’s been a busy leading man since then in TV hits including Once Upon A Time and Cobra, was easily persuaded to reprise his role.
‘It’s not a reboot,’ he insists over Zoom from his home in Vancouver. ‘It would be insane to try to redo the film – it was so well-loved. I knew Simon had been asked to make a Full Monty 2 movie, but it was never something he or I were interested in, because the end of that film is so triumphant.’
Celebrating the importance of community, the original 1997 BAFTA-winning film was a global hit, earning £208 million on a budget of just £2.8 million
Instead, Beaufoy suggested ‘revisiting these characters, seeing where they are, how they’re doing as circumstances change’, continues Robert. ‘Halfway through that conversation I was like, “Yeah, I’ll do it.”’
Wim Snape, a boy in the original film, reprises his role as Gaz’s son Nathan. And charming chancer Gaz, who now works as a porter in a mental facility, tries to redeem himself with his daughter Destiny, a bright girl who’s going off the rails, joyriding and skipping school.
‘Gaz hasn’t changed,’ muses Robert. ‘He’s just on his own path, but that’s not always a good thing because his relationship with his daughter is difficult. He hasn’t been present as a father.’
Gaz’s relationship with the adult Nathan is also strained. ‘He’s rebelled by becoming a policeman!’ laughs Robert.
A native Glaswegian, Robert found his biggest hurdle in returning to the role was getting Gaz’s voice right. ‘It’s not just an accent, it’s getting the same accent as back then,’ he says.
He took lessons from the same friend who’d helped him last time, an actor pal called Andrew Stanson, who plays a psychiatrist in the new series.
Back in the day, the actors needed a slug of whisky ahead of filming their daring striptease scene, but there was little wild carousing among the reunited cast, reports Mark.
‘We were still being tested for Covid every day,’ he recalls. ‘So you weren’t minded to be partying every night. Plus, we’re all old now!
‘One of the things I really enjoyed was sitting down at the end of a day’s shoot with Paul or Steve, whoever you’d been working with, with a glass of wine and chatting. It was like Last Of The Summer Wine – three old farts!’
- The Full Monty arrives on Disney+ on 14 June.
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