Backstage With… Guy Ritchie on his latest movie Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre | Ents & Arts News

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Guy Ritchie’s first feature film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels came out in 1998 – a whopping quarter of a century ago.

Now, 25 years later and with a canon of work including more crime capers, Sherlock Holmes movies and even a Disney live-action remake he’s told Backstage – the film and TV podcast from Sky News – that he’s enjoying his craft more than ever.

Guy Richie on set with Josh Hartnett
Image:
Guy Richie on set with Josh Hartnett

“The older I get, the more I enjoy filmmaking, so you know, long may it last.

“Experience has helped and I’ve been quite promiscuous with my genres, which has led to a sort of degree of confidence too, so I feel as though I can sort of play around a bit and enjoy the experience.

“I’m not particularly stressed by the whole filmmaking business and I just really honestly enjoy being on set.”

Ritchie’s latest film, Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre, sees a superspy trying to stop an arms broker from selling a deadly modern technology.

The crime comedy has had a tricky route to release – shot in early 2021 it had been due to come out a year later, but was held back.

Ritchie admits the wait has been frustrating.

“Once you make something, you sort of want to get on with it… So, it’s good that it’s coming out [now].”

Hugh Grant and Lourdes Faberes (R-L)  in Operation Fortune. Pic: Prime Video
Image:
Hugh Grant and Lourdes Faberes (R-L). Pic: Prime Video

The Operation Fortune cast includes Jason Statham, Josh Hartnett and Hugh Grant – all of whom Ritchie has worked with before.

He says there are good reasons he chooses to work with the same actors across different projects.

“You choose them because you like them, and then I suspect what I like in them is what everyone else likes in them – I don’t think it’s any more complicated than that.

“And the other thing is, you just want to choose people that you enjoy working with for a couple of months because you do end up spending a lot of time with them.

“So I’m prejudiced in wanting to like my actors also.”

And it seems the feeling is mutual.

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Grant – best known for playing foppish English gents in rom-coms – seems to be having a lot of fun playing the billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds, and it’s his third film with Richie.

“I’m particularly keen on his performance in this, actually,” Ritchie said of Grant.

“I think his performance in this is actually better than it was in [their previous film] The Gentlemen.

“I’ve made three films with him now, and I’ve enjoyed all of them – I think he’s been very good in all of them, and I think if he keeps coming back, I hope I’m doing something right.”

Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre is streaming now on Prime Video.

Hear more about the film in the latest episode of Backstage – the film and TV podcast from Sky News.

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