Powerful inspiration behind Stephen Graham’s original Boiling Point role
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The new follow-up series to the brilliant one-shot feature-film Boiling Point premiered on BBC last night.
It followed him struggling to wrangle his restaurant team on the last Friday before Christmas – the busiest shift of the year - as they all reach their 'boiling point'.
But we’re still getting over Graham’s brilliant performance in the first film – which, it turns out, had a powerful inspiration behind it.
Graham's own past was the driving force behind the project, with the 50-year-old Liverpudlian telling GQ about his desire to tell more stories of working-class communities, regional voices and marginalised people.
He said: "As a young mixed-raced kid growing up in Liverpool, I understand the need for diversity. It's integral and our ethos is to try and create opportunities to those who normally wouldn't."
Already battling debts, addiction and an imploding personal life in the film, the chef's world grows even more complicated when health and safety services unexpectedly show up for an inspection.
The result is what viewers described as 'one of the most stressful films' they've ever seen - but also one of the best.
Alongside Graham's amazing performance are heartfelt and authentic portrayals from the entire cast, which GQ points out is made up of diverse and relatively unknown actors, something that is important to the ethos of Matriarch Productions.
Graham highlighted how the film was made without call sheets in order to ensure there was no hierarchy among the cast, and while he's earned a great reputation for making film sets feel comfortable and welcoming, he handed the credit for this over to director Philip Barantini.
"Phil has a wonderful presence on set. He treats everybody as an equal," Graham said.
"He's been an actor so he knows what they're going through and just has a remarkable empathy for everyone."
And just in case you didn't love the actor enough, he even took a moment to offer praise to his wife Hannah Walters, who delivers an equally powerful performance as the empathetic pastry chef.
He told the outlet: "I've been blessed to work with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Brad Pitt, Vicky McClure, all these wonderful people and for me, Hannah is right up there, she's a really wonderful actress."
Discussing a particularly heartfelt scene in which Walters' character Emily discovers a young chef has been self-harming, Graham added: "She can tap into an emotion in a single second."
You can now watch the new Boiling Point series on BBC iPlayer.