Photo: Daniel Smith (Getty Images)
Guy Ritchie is today one of the most recognizable British directors who became famous for his unique, gritty, fast-paced style and intricate storylines. His first movie was Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and, though it was quite difficult to make with a meager budget of 800,000 pounds, it quite achieved worldwide success and put Richie on the world’s map. Two years after, in 2000, he wrote and directed yet another film, similar in style, but now with a little bigger budget and more famous stars. The Snatch movie is still considered one of the finest representatives of Guy’s unique filming style that influenced a lot of young directors across the globe. To honor more than a decade and a half since the release of this movie, here are some facts you probably didn’t know about it. Take a look.
Brad Pitt and Accents
Photo: Daniel Smith (Getty Images)
Probably the biggest star in the film, Brad Pitt, called up Guy Ritchie himself and asked for a role in some of his new films because he was such a fan of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Ritchie promised him a role, although he didn’t have any to give. Instead, he decided to rewrite the entire script and include a special character for Pitt. As good of an actor as he was, Pitt simply couldn’t get the London accent quite right, which is why he was offered the role of a gypsy boxer by the name of Mickey. At first, Pitt was a bit worried he would be typecast because he’d just finished the Fight Club, but soon realized it’s an entirely different project. The thick accent Pitt uses was also Ritchie’s sly revenge to all the critics of his first movie that claimed the dialogues were mainly incomprehensible. To spite them, Ritchie made Mickey’s accent so thick that neither the audience nor the characters in the film could understand him.
Lennie James’ Nether Problems
One of the main groups in the film consisted of three rather incapable robbers, Sol, Vinnie and their amazing getaway driver Tyrone. The three got into a number of problems along the way, but it is the actor Lennie James who played Sol that really couldn’t catch a break. During the robbery scene in the film, the shotgun he fires actually had a very strong recoil and punched him powerfully in the groin. Somehow he managed to get it together and finish the scene that eventually got into the final cut and worked perfectly. As if that wasn’t enough, the dog that the three of them carried around wouldn’t stop attacking James. At one point, he also bit him, again in the groin. By the way, fun fact – Lennie James also plays one of the main characters in the popular AMC show The Walking Dead. He is that peace-loving Morgan that has no real resemblance to the Snatch’s Sol.
Vinnie Jones’ Troubled Characters
As for Vinnie Jones‘ aggressive character Bullettooth Tony, it’s quite obvious that he is very similar to the Big Chris he played in the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Both of them are hired gunmen who have a natural tendency towards excessive violence. In fact, Snatch seems to tie the two characters together, as the moment we’re introduced to the Bullettooth Tony, he’s in the process of slamming someone’s head on the car door, as Big Chris did at the end of Lock, Stock… Of course, Vinnie Jones’ aggression wasn’t just on the screen. For at least one of the scenes in the movie, Tony had to be played by a look-alike, because Vinnie Jones was in jail for fighting.
Guy Ritchie’s Fines
Through the budget for the Snatch movie was much bigger than it was for his first film, it was still quite modest considering everything that needed to be paid. Because of that, Ritchie had to stick to a tight schedule and introduced a fine system to keep everyone in order. Namely, for every interruption or mistake by the crew (for example phone ringing, being late, complaining, etc.) Guy charged fines, which made everyone much more careful and efficient. Furthermore, because of the modest budget, some of the scenes demanded a lot more creativity. For example, during the boxing scenes, they couldn’t afford enough extras, which is why they would just shift the same people from one shot to the next to make it seem like it was a crowded hall. It worked brilliantly, though, and the movie-goers were none the wiser.
The Mighty Winchester
One of the pivotal scenes in the film takes place in a bar, where Vinnie Jones’ character is trying to have a peaceful pint when two guys threaten him with their replica guns. This bar is actually one of the most iconic locations in London where another British cult film was filmed, four years later – Shaun of the Dead. In this comedy film, a group of survivors struggles to escape the zombie apocalypse by going to their favorite haven – The Winchester Bar.
Did you know all of these Snatch movie facts? Is this your favorite Guy Ritchie movie?