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Free Fire cast bond over 1970s outfits

Ben Wheatley’s new thriller closes BFI London Film Festival

Sharlto Copley posing for a photograph with a fan as he arrives for the gala screening of the Free Fire, during the 60th British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival at Leicester Square in London, the UK. Photos: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Sharlto Copley posing for a photograph with a fan as he arrives for the gala screening of the Free Fire, during the 60th British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival at Leicester Square in London, the UK. Photos: Hannah McKay/Reuters

South African actor Sharlto Copley said the cast of Free Fire revelled in the chance to wear 1970s outfits and don chest and facial hair for director Ben Wheatley’s new action comedy film.

Copley, who played an arms dealer in Wheatley’s follow-up to High Rise, said the “70s man” look had proved a hit with his wife, adding: “I think that certain men can carry a ‘tache.”

Cillian Murphy at the gala screening.Cillian Murphy at the gala screening.

But co-star Cillian Murphy joked that the 1970s handlebar moustache he grew for his role was a “woman-repellent”.

Actor Michael Smiley, who also stars in the film, concurred, saying the “moustache-fest” made them look like porn stars.

Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson and Control star Sam Riley also feature in the film.

The cast members posed for selfies with fans as they walked the red carpet in Leicester Square alongside Wheatley to mark the end of the 60th London Film Festival.

The film pays ode to the great cinema achievements of someone like Sam Peckinpah

Wheatley said he felt “overwhelmed” to have his film premiering on the closing night.

London Film Festival head Clare Stewart said she was thrilled to be ending it with a film by a rising British director.

Of Wheatley’s Free Fire, she said: “This shows him in really liberated form, it’s kind of ballsy, shoot ’em up, pays ode to the great cinema achievements of someone like Sam Peckinpah and it’s a lot of fun.”

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