The Bognor Regis film star running a community food bank
With appearances in Hollywood hits like ‘Legend’ and B-Movie darlings like ‘Looters, Tooters and Sawn-off Shooters’, Bognor Regis man Steve Brunton has more than 100 film credits to his name.
Onscreen, Bognor Regis man Steve Brunton plays an archetype: bald-headed, rusty-voiced gangsters with cannonball physiques and cockney accents.
But in real life, guiding clients through the shelves of his Linden Road foodbank with his beginner-level Bulgarian, he couldn’t be more different: Smart, eclectic and never far from telling a joke: he’s a natural entertainer
“I’ve always been the class clown,” he said. “I’ve always been the person mucking about and being stupid and, I suppose that was a release for me, a way of getting it out.
“I had ADHD. I didn’t know it, the school didn’t know it and, though I was very intelligent, I left school with very little but, as I grew up, I found my own way of teaching myself stuff and learned how to behave myself,”
When he did leave school, Mr Brunton also left Bognor, moving to Brighton for university.
It turned out to be the right decision. Mr Brunton had friends on 620 Soul Train, the UK version of the classic American dance show, and soon found himself dancing onscreen himself.
“Me and my friends were regulars on there for a while. That’s how I first got into being on film sets and I found I kind of liked it,” Mr Brunton said.
Mr Brunton now runs a community food bank in the Jeneses Community Centre on Linden Road, where he distributes food to members of the community as part of his work with Knights Templar Great Britain. It’s hard work, but it’s just one chapter in a long- and often colourful- life story.
40 years after starting out, Mr Brunton has played gangsters, zombies, British soldiers, football fans and more. He’s worked alongside Tom Hardy in ‘Legend’, Sacha Baron Cohen in ‘Grimsby’ and worked on TV hits like Holby City. But he hasn’t stopped yet. Later this year, he will appear onscreen again alongside MMA fighter Michael Bisping in Never Back Down: Revolt, a martial arts film about a woman who is kidnapped and forced to compete in an underground fighting tournament.
Asked why he likes working in the industry, Mr Brunton said: “It’s not being on set, because that’s boring. I like being the loop and I like seeing my friends, I like constantly working.
But its not all glitz and glamour, for all the fun and all the camaraderie of a film set, being in the industry means long hours and hard work: “I remember standing in The Thames at five in the morning for one film, pretending to throw a body in there. We were still there at midnight the next evening. We smelled horrible and we were getting bitten by mosquitos. So it’s not always good.”
“But it’s one of those things that everyone wants to do,” he said “And I did it.”