Suffolk actor voices love of home county

AN ACTOR has talked lovingly of his childhood in Suffolk as his latest film hits screens across the country.

James Hicks, 47, provided the voices of 20 characters in the recent animated comedy Jackboots on Whitehall, starring Ewan McGregor.

A best friend to Nick Moran, star of the hit film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, James has also provided voices for Action Man and Doctor X.

But James, who grew up in Ashen, just outside Clare, said his love of acting first developed in amateur productions in Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury.

“I love Suffolk,” James said. “I still come back and enjoy country walks with my mother.”

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A former student at Hedingham School, James cut his acting teeth in amateur dramatic productions in Clare and Cavendish as well as shows at the Quay Theatre in Sudbury.

As James’s father, Gerry Hicks, worked as an office manager at Greene King brewery in Bury, the promising young actor also took to the stage at the Theatre Royal in the town.

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But it was when James co-wrote the play Telstar with pal Nick Moran that he rose to prominence as it was released as a film last year.

Starring Kevin Spacey, Pam Ferris and James Corden, the film follows the 1960s songwriter and producer Joe Meek.

Now James is back in the satirical film Jackboots on Whitehall, starring alongside actors such as Ewan McGregor, Richard E. Grant, Timothy Spall and Richard O’Brien.

“They were having a few problems with some of the voices so I just went along and tried some out,” James said. “It was such fun.

“Luckily, doing silly voices comes naturally to me.”

As Jackboots on Whitehall draws the crowds at the cinema, James is already working on his next project, The Painmaker.

A spoof on such films as Sin City and Unforgiven, James has been filming some of the scenes in a cabin at the bottom of the garden in his Watford home.

“Films are a tricky business,” he said. “I’m always trying to keep my feet on the ground.

“When you meet people who are famous, they’re just people.

“I am quite proud to be working with them.”

Jackboots on Whitehall is in cinemas now.

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