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Highlights on Off The Ball


Joe Cole on his 'ruthless' Gangs of London character | OTB Culture Hall of Fame

We've been inducting extraordinary works of movie and television into our NOW TV OTB Culture Ha...

We've been inducting extraordinary works of movie and television into our NOW TV OTB Culture Hall of Fame, and this weeks' very special guest was Gangs of London star Joe Cole!

The 31-year-old, who has also had notable roles as Luke in Skins and John Shelby in Peaky Blinders, joined Ger and Eoin on OTB AM, and discussed the passion for the new crime drama among fans.

And while some actors find it difficult to watch themselves back, Cole says that is a vital part of his preparation for his craft.

"I guess for me... I'll watch something and I have my own things I like about it. I'm extremely critical and analytical as well.

"You generally pick up stuff, [but] you're never going to please everyone. It's a very divisive show and quite a divisive performance if I'm honest. That's what the guys at Sky and what Gareth Evans wanted.

"You're never going to please everyone, but you do listen. But also I just critique my own performance, I watch it so that I can learn and improve and do different things the next time."

Cole added that his Gangs of London character, Sean Wallace, is not your usual gangster-type when you first see him on screen.

"It's funny because people immediately see a gang show and they want a Tony Soprano or a Tommy Shelby right? And this character is not that!

"On the page he's not that, and he kind of learns and grows as the show goes on. But he's essentially cut from the same cloth. What I found most interesting about Sean is he's a fish out of water in all walks of life.

"He's probably too emotional and too messed up in the early stages to be this completely ruthless, cut-throat individual. He does do some very shocking things but he's also quite emotional with it.

"He was sent to the most expensive private school in the country, so he's a fish out of water there because he comes from this very troubled gangster family.

"For me he doesn't fit into any kind of category, and I almost feel kind of sorry for him, because he's a bit of a loser in some ways.

"That's what I found kind of interesting. Especially in the Episode Four flashback with Colm Meaney. You get a sense of this guy who's trying to live up to his Dad and he's trying to be this person, but he's been sent to this very expensive school.

"He's just trying to prove himself and he doesn't really know what to do! His building blocks, which is his childhood, is non-existent. It's crumbling away, and I think only by the end of this season there's almost an enlightenment to Sean and a comfortability that he starts to get.

"There's almost a Buddhist feeling where he actually grows into himself, but it almost takes a whole season to do that."

Catch up on previous episodes of The OTB Culture Hall of Fame:

Episode One - Andy Lee on the magic of Rocky III.

Episode Two - Dermot Kennedy on his obsession with Gladiator.

Episode Three - Stefanie Preissner on The US Office.

Episode Four - Kenny Cunningham on his love of classic British comedies.

Episode Five - Derry Girls star Louisa Harland on Italian mafia series Gomorrah.

The OTB Culture Hall of Fame is brought to you by NOW TV, where you can stream classic Box Sets, the latest award-winning TV shows and unmissable movies with a new premier every day. Visit to check out the wide variety of great entertainment and movie options.

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Eoin Sheahan Gangs Of London Ger Gilroy Joe Cole NOW TV Ireland Now TV OTBCHOF OTB Culture Hall Of Fame Off The Ball Otb Am Peaky Blinders Skins