By David Hennessy
The countdown to the premiere of Tax City continues. Written and produced by Andy Nolan, accordion player with the Celtic rock band and Irish World Award winners The Biblecode Sundays, Tax City tells the story of Johnny Costa, a rock star who has it all until he is stabbed through the throat in a brutal mugging, which effectively ends his singing career. Jon Campling (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2) plays the lead while it is former Super Middleweight Champion of the world Steve Collins who plays the attacker. Directed by Tom Begley, Tax City is not Collins’ first acting role but one that will announce his serious intention to move into the world of acting as he plays the leader of the vicious Taxing Squad who prey on homeless people and, responsible for Costa losing everything, are there once again to intimidate him when he is at his lowest.
“I’m looking forward to it (the premiere),” Steve Collins said when The Irish World caught up with him. “It was good fun. It was the first short I’ve ever done. I enjoyed it, gained a lot of knowledge and experience from it and I’m looking forward to more of the same.”
A long term friend of writer and producer, Andy Nolan, Steve was coached through the process by award winning director, Tom Begley: “Tom was the man. Tom put together this whole piece and guided me through it. He was very helpful and a guy who is going to help me in the future hopefully.
“It was through Andy Nolan it came about and through Andy Nolan, I got to know Tom. You know what we’re like over there (London), we all meet each other and rub shoulders and you don’t know who you met first or how you know them, you just all know each other. I probably knew Andy first though.”
Tax City is also a bit of a family affair with Steve’s children, Luke and Enya also getting involved: “Yeah, he (Tom) said he wanted to put some kids in it and I just said: ‘My kids would be perfect for it. They’ve done a few little bits before, they’re not bad little actors’ and then they came along and they just fit right in perfect.”
Since appearing in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Vinnie Jones has gone on to a career as a Hollywood hard man. Steve, who also appeared in the Guy Ritchie film, could be set to do the very same now: “I’ve done half a dozen shorts since that one. I’ve done two feature films. There’s a few things coming along. There’s a few things in the works. It’s a very slow process. You agree to do a film and it doesn’t happen for a year or so.”
Steve can be seen sharing the screen with Mickey Rourke in The BibleCode Sundays’ forthcoming video, Count Your Blessings which will also be premiered next week along with Tax City.
A year ago on the set of Tax City, Steve Collins told The Irish World just how thespianism was similar to pugilism: “I’ve been playing a role for 25 years: As a boxer. They don’t realise that’s not what you are.
That’s not the person you are at home. You’re performing in a different arena.
“I enjoy playing nasty characters because I always believe, when you think of films or soaps, people remember the bad guys more. You think of Dallas, who’s the first person who comes tomind? JR.”
And Steve may soon be seen back in the ring. Nicknamed The Celtic Warrior, Collins was undoubtedly the best Middleweight boxer of the 1990s, beating both Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn twice and has recently announced his plans to get back in the ring to fight Roy Jones Junior: “Well, I’m ticking over to see if this fight is going to happen. We’re very, very close to making it a reality. If the agreements aren’t signed within the next month, I don’t think it will happen but we are very close to a final contract of agreement which should be ready in two or three weeks. If it doesn’t happen within the next month, it’s not gonna happen. That’s my gut feeling.”
Collins was speaking of his desire to fight Roy Jones Junior back in 1997 before his retirement from the sport: “It would (be great to get back in the ring) just for this one-off, just this one particular fight. It’s not a comeback. I’ve no interest in coming back but this is a fight that should have happened fifteen years ago and it’s taken fifteen years to get to this stage. It was the one fight that I wanted before my career ended. I had no intention of getting back in the ring. It’s not a comeback, it’s a fifteen year grudge match.”
Tax City and Count Your Blessings video premiere at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly on April 5. To purchase tickets, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To see Tax City’s trailer, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3he4aBfCU4&sns=em.
There will also be a memorabilia auction, presided over by Steve Collins, with all proceeds going to a homeless charity chosen by the film’s makers, and live music from The BibleCode Sundays.