John Darwin actor Eddie Marsan’s controversial role as EastEnders forgotten

The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe star Eddie Marsan, who believes John Darwin is a ‘narcissistic dreamer’, is now a Hollywood star but he previously had a nasty role on EastEnders in 1996

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Trailer for the series The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe from ITV

Decades before playing con man John Darwin, actor Eddie Marsan had another controversial role.

The Hollywood star, who recently joined Ryan Reynolds and Jason Statham, is starring in the new ITV series The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe.

Darwin faked his own death in 2002 by sailing out to sea near his home at Seaton Carew in County Durham, after which his wife Anne Darwin played the grieving widow and collected a life insurance policy. His £250,000.

The former couple hid their secret for five years, until John returned to the UK claiming he had amnesia and a photo from a real estate agent in Panama revealed it to them.

Two decades later, the Darwins’ twisting scheme is still rocking the nation – with Eddie’s performance as the critically acclaimed “imaginary” John.

“I don’t know why they keep asking me to play these roles,” Eddie joked. “The producers are clearly saying, ‘we want a middle-aged man going through a midlife crisis with a near-healthy narcissism. Look for Eddie Marsan.” Thanks very much!”

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Raised in Bethnal Green, London by a lorry driver father and a school dinner woman mother, Eddie first began working in a printing press before beginning his career in theatre,

“We’re all fantasy people to some degree. I must have been a fantasy to think that I could leave school at 15, become an apprentice printer and then become a printer again. become an actor. I must be out of age,” he confessed.

One of his earliest roles was in The Bill before he landed roles in Casualty, Grange Hill and a brief but notable appearance in an episode of EastEnders.

In 1996, he played racist gang leader Roddy, a thug who controversially attacked fan favorite Sanjay Kapoor in sick scenes.

Eddie is still talking about his role back in 2013 when he made fun of bosses for casting him as a nasty bully.

“Not fair. When I was Eastenders, I was the top of the BNP and beat Sanjay,” he tweeted. “Danny Dyer has a backstory with Timothy West as his dad. WTF”

Eddie in the BBC TV series RIver


Daily Post Wales)

Since then, Eddie has continued to appear in the American television series Ray Donovan as the brother of the protagonist Terry and most recently in the BBC television series Ridley Road.

But it’s his incredible cinematic roles that really matter – and often he plays the villain.

He has appeared in big budget films such as Gangs of New York, V for Vendetta, Hancock, Sherlock Holmes, Snow White and the Huntsman, Mission Impossible III, Deadpool 2 and The Gentlemen.

But now he’s back on the small screen as a real-life character whose story seems so confusing it’s impossible to write.

John was sentenced to six years and three months in prison for admitting fraud by faking her own death, while Anne received six and a half years behind bars for fraud.

He was released in 2011 after serving half of his sentence and wanted to mend his marriage, but when Anne refused, he divorced her on the grounds of inappropriate behavior. physical.

The photo exposes John and Anne Darwin


Unknown Internet)

John played by Eddie in the ITV drama


PA Archive / Press Association Images)

“Yes. John is a fantasy man, but his story appeals to the fanatic,” explains Eddie, who speaks with a northeastern accent for the role.

“I’ve always played characters with psychological delusions, narcissism or abuse. In the past, they were often on the periphery of stories.

“Society is the norm, and they’re outside of it. But I recently played these characters and now they’re among us. The idea of ​​a middle-aged man suffering from self-delusion and selfishness. quite prominent.”

When asked to describe John, Eddie said he had “delusional grandeur” and displayed a form of poison. masculinity which is sadly quite common in today’s society.

“In a narcissistic way, he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else,” says Eddie. “That’s why he got the phone to try this. He thought he might be smarter than everyone else.

“He views others as only two-dimensional and thinks he is the only three-dimensional person in the world. But he underestimates people’s ability to see through.”

Monica Dolan as Anne Darwin, Eddie Marsan as John Darwin in The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe



But the actor admits that he can see a bit of himself in John as he can identify with the canoeer’s “arrogance”.

“As an actor, I went from thinking I was going to win an Oscar one week to thinking I was going to be driving a taxi the next day,” he said. “My self-esteem fluctuated up and down.

“So I can totally understand that in John. He refuses to face reality and thinks he’s going to win. We all do, especially when it comes to money. silver.”

John and Anne were both contacted about the ITV drama but did not wish to contribute.

When asked what he would say to John if they met, Eddie replied: “I would say, ‘What are you thinking? That’s crazy!’ But I don’t know if I want to meet him.

“He’s probably attacked that it’s not Brad Pitt playing him. When he hears it’s me, he might think, ‘great. Thanks very much! “.”

* The Thief, His Wife and the CAnoe airs on ITV at 9pm from Easter Sunday to Wednesday April 20

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