October 1, 2020

1990-02-04 – Chicago Tribune

1990 02 04 Chicago_Tribune_Sun__Feb_4__1990_

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Roger Dattray plays a washed-up boxer‘ln hls new. made-In-Chicago fllm.-'Father,Jlm.”

Mom

Beating the odds

The Who’s Daltrey- bets he can jump to acting

By Clifford Terry
Entertainment writer

oger Daltrey was tak-
ing a beating—a big-
. ger beating than his

wmdmdling Who ool-
Ieague, Pete Tonmshend, ever
dealt out to any itar. As
those old-time ra IO boxing
announcers would havetold
their listeners on Friday
ni ts, the claret was flowmg.
altrey had taken an early
lead in the fight, but now the
tide had turned, and his oppo-
nent was bnitally ummeling
him_. To get per ectly. dis-
gusting about it all, if Roger
Daltiey’s face were a side dish.
it would be linguini with red
clam sauce. _

The curly-haired, m_icro-
phone-swmgm lead Singer
with one of t 6 music in-
dustry’s most popular _rock
groops has now turned his at-
tention to building an acting
(meet, which was why he was
in town to film “Father Jim,”
the story of a shadowy bloke
(veteran British actor Dennis
Waterman) who segues from
England to Chicago’s South
Side and who may or may not
be a priest. (Another film in
which Daltrey is featured,
“Mack_ the Knife," opened
here Fnday.)

In “Father Jim,” he plays
Keith Gibson, 21 washed-up
prizefighter in deeperatc need
of money who is taking part
in a bareknucklc fight on
which numerous bets are being
wagesed- . .

This particular location—
most of the shootin had been
concentrated aroun 18th and
Halsted—was a warehouse on
Goose Island that had been
converted into a ne' borhood
club-style, makes ift ring,
complete With mattresses
taped to wooden beams..The
atmosphere had been 'en-
‘hanced With the magic-of-

very

moviemaking smoke. and .the
place‘ was “11de With
screaming, beer-sWigging ex-
tras, with their leather jackets,
cigass, crumpled currency and
sneennglooks.

“This scene is pretty nasty,
I’ll tell you.” Daltrey. said, as
he sat in his trailer right alter
a lunch break. . .

”See, the other guy cheats.
l’d been beating him earlier,
but then his manager slips
rolls .01” quarters for him to
hide. in his hands. My charac—
ter is trying to make money
the only way he knows how.
He me over here six, seven
years ago from England, and
got down on his luck. He did
a robbery, got down for that,
but has been straight ever
since and IS trying to stay out
oftmuble.” ’

An idol of teenageis in the
:605 and ’705, Daltrey himself
is now in his mid-405. At the
moment, he was wearing a
parka, and on his head,
backwards, was one of those
19305 caps that Hollywood
newsboys always wore when
they shouted “wuxtry!” With a
solid 5-foot-6-inch frame, Dal~
trey looked as if he could easi-
ly pass for a professional
featherweight—on-the-cusp-of-
lightweight.

“I’ve had fight lessons for
this,” he said, “but the actual
acting, I don't think; can be
taught. You’ve either got it or
you don’t. And the camera ei-
ther loves you or hates you.
It's as Simple as that. Touch
wood, it seems to love ‘me
much.

“I'love acting." I love all of it.
Acting is much easier than
rock performing. Much, much
easier. Less well paid, but
much easier. I love Just inven-
ting characteis. It’s like paint-
ing Starting with a fresh can-
vas.”

[Written and directed by

Daltrey accepts the fact that
he always wlll be ldentltled
with The Who.

English television’s Terry
Green, who is" making his
feature debut, “Father Jim” is
a $4.2 million independent
British reduction that was
shot entirely in Chimgo, and
is targetedfor release in late
March.

“It’s based on a real-life con-
man character who wore the
dog collar in East London,"
Green said between takes, "but
the film is much more fiction
than fact. ‘

“The choice of a city in the
United States was an econom-
ie one: About 65 percent of
the international film market
is Amenean. We thought we’d
look at other citieq, like De-
troit, but wcrweie in Chicago
only one day, and deemed,
‘This is it’

“Unlike ‘London, this city
clearly defines the line between
the haves and have-nots. You
eon be on Maxwell Street, With
the sort of dereliction there,

-and you can see the Sears

Tower look at you as if it’s
saying. ‘Bad luck, you.’ .

- You know. Roger’s tembly
believable, like 'many Amen-