Many still remember Tony Pitts as Emmerdale’s Archie Brooks, who lived in the Dales from 1983 until he was killed during the famous plane crash in 1993 but now he is better known as a screenwriter with his latest film Funny Cow already getting rave reviews.
Actor Tony Pitts has also become a successful screen write with his latest film on UK release from 20th April, which he also stars in alongside Maxine Peake – and has a cameo by fellow Dales actor Dominic Brunt, who plays Paddy Kirk.
‘Funny Cow’ charts the rise to stardom of a female comedienne through the 1970s and 1980s. It is set against the backdrop of working men’s clubs and the stand-up comedy circuit of the North of England.
From her troubled childhood to her turbulent adult relationships, the Funny Cow uses the raw material of her life experiences to bring her unique style of comedy to the stage. A stand-up comedienne in an all-male world, ‘Funny Cow’ delivers tragedy and comedy in equal measure.
Maxine Peake plays the role of a lifetime as ‘Funny Cow’ with Tony Pitts also starring as her violent soul mate ‘Bob’, Paddy Considine acts as her middle class lover ‘Angus’ and Stephen Graham plays her brother ‘Mike’.
Tony, who has also appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Steven Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’, ‘Red Riding’, ‘Peaky Blinders’ and ‘Line of Duty’ and the co-lead in Paddy Considine’s ‘Journeyman’, has also written a disco musical set in a British seaside town.
Disco Pier, which has echoes of The Full Monty, tells the story of the rejuvenation of a down-at-heel seaside pier into a disco mecca, transforming the lives of the townsfolk. A cast has yet to be announced ready for filming.
Tony said: “Disco Pier is about music’s power to bring us together. Its transformative magic. We live in very divisive times with people separating into groups, their differences constantly emphasised. Disco isn’t about gender, race or politics. This film is the remedy to the prevailing narrative, it’s a big daft poem to disco. A defiance.”
Plucked from obscurity by Ken Loach, Tony became a TV soap favourite on Emmerdale and recently played in a Steven Spielberg blockbuster. But, as he tells Tony Earnshaw of the Yorkshire Post writing is overtaking acting.
“I’ve got a bit of gravitas, that Yorkshire thing and a bit of size so I invariably play hard or corrupt – or hard and corrupt – people,” Tony explains. “That’s the nature of it – what I tend to get. I’ve never made the mistake of complaining because that’s what pays the bills. I’ve not been troubled to give my priest yet, let’s put it that way. I could do it! But they’re not kicking down the doors to see that.”
Funny Cow opens in the UK on Friday 20th April 2018.