Actor and author Ian Ogilvy became a household name in TV show Return of the Saint in 1978. Ahead of the release of his new film, We Still Steal the Old Way, we had a chat about his career, stage fright, ageism in Hollywood and the advice he’d offer to his younger self.
Your new movie is a sequel. Was it like putting on a comfy pair of slippers playing Richie again in We Still Steal the Old Way?
Yes it was rather (laughs).
What was it that attracted you to the first film, We Still Kill the Old Way?
Well, it was something that I’ve never done before to be honest with you Roger. I was always playing the guy who beat up the character I played in the first film.
I’d never played a gangster before. And to play an ageing, elderly retired gangster was terribly appealing to me. I just thought ’I wonder if anyone will accept me in this?’ And I looked in the mirror and I thought ’Well you’re fat enough now and we can get away with it.
You seem very comfortable in the role.
Yeah, once I sussed out how I was going to do it, being laid-back and trying to be humorous about it, I thought that’s the way to do it.
You’ve lived in America for the past 27 years, so how was it working back in the UK?
It’s lovely. Well I don’t work much in America any more. I used to work here all the time but then I just got old, and ageism here is pretty severe. So when I got too old to do any acting in America I started writing. I became an author, a book writer, all of which paid the bills as well as if not better than my acting. So I was quite happy with that, but I’ve always taken jobs if anybody ever offered them to me. And to this day most of the offers still come from the UK. So I’m over there every (the UK) often doing something in the UK, but I don’t do much here (the US) any more.