Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Considine, Paddy (1974-)


Main image of Considine, Paddy (1974-)

Shane Meadows' third feature film, A Room for Romeo Brass (1999), tells of the precarious friendship between two 12-year-old boys and the older man, Morell, who disrupts it. Set in Meadows' home-ground of Nottingham, it's full of the director's wry, slightly off-centre naturalism. But it's most notable for the actor playing Morell: Paddy Considine, making his screen debut. At first he seems like a vulnerable innocent, and the boys play tricks on him. But gradually he reveals himself as something more dangerous, an unstable obsessive with a potential for violence. Right from the start of his career, Considine showed a knack for playing complex, enigmatic characters with an unpredictable edge.

Born in Burton-on-Trent, Considine met Meadows when they were both studying drama at Burton College. Together they formed a band, She Talks To Angels, with Considine as drummer and Meadows on vocals. Considine went on to take a degree in photography at Sussex University before returning to acting in Romeo Brass. He's made two other films with Meadows: playing the implacable, possibly supernatural avenger in the 'Midlands western' Dead Man's Shoes (2004), which he also co-scripted; and as the delusional, bullshitting rock-roadie Le Donk in Meadow's zero-budget improvised comedy, Le Donk and Scor-zay-zee (2009).

Considine's performance in Romeo Brass brought him to the attention of Pawel Pawlikowski, who cast him as Alfie, a seaside arcade worker who befriends a young Russian asylum seeker and her son in Last Resort (2000); though the character appears benign, Considine's nervous energy keeps the viewer guessing at possible ulterior motives. He was more openly conflicted in Pawlikowski's My Summer of Love (2004), where he played an ex-con turned rabid Jesus freak who banishes alcohol from the pub he owns and tries to turn it into a worship centre. Considine succeeded in making the character at once ludicrous and deeply disturbing.

Considine's rock music background stood him good stead in playing Rob Gretton, manager of Joy Division, in Michael Winterbottom's account of the rise and fall of the Manchester scene, 24 Hour Party People (2002). It also fed into his satiric portrayal of Graham, a pretentious, mullet-haired rock 'n roll mystic, in actor Richard Ayoade's indie directorial debut Submarine (2010). He took a supporting role as a policeman in Edgar Wright's cop-movie spoof, Hot Fuzz (US/UK/France, 2007), and a more serious one as the doomed, principled veteran cop Peter Hunter in the second of the Red Riding trilogy (Channel 4, tx. 12/3/2009), adapted from David Peace's lacerating quartet of crime novels. Another substantial TV role came as a recovering alcoholic in My Zinc Bed (BBC, tx. 27/8/2008), adapted from David Hare's play.

Selective about his roles, Considine seems in no hurry to break Hollywood. He played an Irish immigrant searching for work in New York in Jim Sheridan's In America (US/Ireland/UK, 2002), took a small though key role in Ron Howard's Cinderella Man (US, 2005) and another as a Guardian reporter in the third of the Bourne trilogy, The Bourne Ultimatum (US/Germany, 2007). His first feature as writer/director, Tyrannosaur (after the short Dog Altogether, 2007), about an abusive relationship, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Festival.

Philip Kemp

More information


From the BFI's filmographic database

Related media

Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Last Resort (2000)Last Resort (2000)

Bleak, compelling drama about a young Russian refugee and her child

Related collections

Related people and organisations