Danny Dyer has become part of the mainstream TV landscape since he – and the rest of the Carter family – moved into the Queen Vic on Boxing Day 2013.
This Christmas sees Mick Carter marry his longtime sweetheart Linda. Obviously, this being Albert Square at Christmas, it’s not looking as straightforward as all that. Dean Wicks is still at large and winding up everyone, and the rapist looks like he’ll be served his comeuppance at last. Mick losing his rag and knocking several shades of shit out of him would cheer viewers.
And you know the minute anyone wishes for a “A nice quiet faaamly Christmas”, divorce papers or a paternity reveal will turn up and spoil festivities. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
It’s all a long way from the days when Dyer was in danger of being typecast as a thug, both on and off-screen. But he’s deservedly moved away from fronting BBC3 documentaries about football hooligans to remind people that (a) he can act and (b) he’s killingly funny in real life too.
Dyer first opened up to Loaded in 1999, when he made his film debut in 1999 drug-munch marathon Human Traffic, appearing as Star Wars-mad stoner Moff.
Danny Dyer on masturbation and Moff by Rowan Chernin
“The Emperor wants to control outer space. Yoda wants to explore inner space. That’s the fundamental difference between the good and the bad sides of the force… I just don’t know where it comes from sometimes. I mean, it frightens me.”
That’s Danny Dyer speaking as the character Moff in Human Traffic. A truly great moment in method-ecstasy acting, where the Londoner’s bug-eyed soliloquy of after-hours bong-talk leaves the audience howling.
How do you prepare for such as drugged-up mentalist role?
I’ve lived the scene and know the score, so it’s easy for me to get into Moff’s head. It was hard though, because of the energy Moff had to have. Sometimes you’d wake up and think: “I’m not up for this today.” But if you’ve ever been paranoid, you’ll never forget it. So it clicks back in.
That must have been one of the longest imaginary ecstasy experiences ever…
It fucking was, mate. One long comedown afterwards, too. It was a fucking laugh – you can’t get a better film than being out of your nut for six weeks being a mad canehead.
How has Human Traffic changed things for you?
It’s made me a lot more confident. I’ve got loads more offers coming in now.
Are you trying to get things going in Hollywood?
I’d like to, but I’m a London boy at heart. I start this film called Wildflowers in a couple of weeks and the directors and producers are all American. I went out for dinner the other night and they couldn’t understand a word I was fucking saying.
Have you been to any casting out in LA?
Never. I haven’t been to America. I’d love to. I wouldn’t just go out there cold and try and crack it that way, but it’s got to be the place to be, innit?
How would you fancy a house in Malibu, a big yacht, your own palm trees to swing your hammock from?
I’d love it, mate. That’s the dream, that’s why we’re in the game. Whether I get there or not is another thing.
There’s a hilarious comedown wank scene in Human Traffic. I don’t think I’ve seen any of Hollywood’s greatest canons banging one out on screen – you’re lengths ahead. How do you feel about that?
That’s heavy, mate, really heavy. Originally I was meant to be reading a porn mag and it was going to cut to a dream sequence of these two beautiful women rising out of the mag. It was going to be my greatest scene. They were going to get two models to take their bras off and kiss me. Get to the day and Justin (Kerrigan, director) goes: “They’ve pulled out, Dan. You’re just going to have to wank.” So I just had to wank for fucking six hours. Long scene, mate, and not even coming at the end of it.
I didn’t actually have my cock in my hand. I pulled my pants down and bashed away. There were 40 people in that room. It’s horrible for me to sit there now in the cinema, because that is me wanking.
I don’t think I need to know any more, or do I?
It’s a difficult one to tackle, a personal thing. Me wanking and my mum comes upstairs – it’s everyone’s worst fucking nightmare. But it goes down well with the audiences, so I’m happy.
Loaded freelance reporter Ian Wade writes about music and TV for newspapers and websites. He is also a music publicist. Follow him on Twitter at @WadeyWade