A retired banker who has carved out a new career as an extra has become the unexpected poster boy for a Hollywood Blockbuster.
Richard Gumm, from Bollington, worked as an extra alongside Gary Oldman in the Oscar-nominated ‘Darkest Hour’.
As part of his supporting role - which included portraying a Cabinet Minister in the House of Commons - he features heavily in the blockbuster’s promotional images, sitting behind Oldman as he delivers one of Churchill’s famous speeches.
Richard, 60, whose wife Lyn is also an extra, said: “The Darkest Hour was wonderful and Gary Oldman was absolutely brilliant, and very moving as well.
“It’s very gratifying and exciting to be a part of a prestigious film and a great reward for the efforts Lyn and I have put in to our new careers.
“I felt very honoured to appear on the big screen, and a little bit surprised as they featured my full face for a couple of seconds which is a unusual for an ‘extra’. The whole experience was fantastic.”
He added: “My friends were in Italy and they saw me in a newspaper, in one of the posters for the film, which was really strange.”
Richard - who has himself played Winston Churchill in reenactments for television - said it was inspiring to witness Oldman’s Oscar-nominated performance.
He said: “Sadly, I didn’t get to speak to him but it is their work, so you don’t want to disturb them.
“But, as I’d played Churchill so many times before, I had said the same words and I was looking at how he did it. You are always watching and learning from other actors and seeing what they do and what you can take from it. I was stood close by when he said his lines and it was very emotional.”
Richard, a former pupil at Bollington Cross, took up work as an extra after the historical reenactment group he was in was approached by a casting director looking for actors.
He has appeared in more than 50 films and programmes including Victoria, The Crown and Gunpowder, working with a number of British stars, with Hugh Grant among the most famous.
Richard, who retired from his job with NatWest Bank in 2008, said: “I had always been into amateur dramatics and me and my wife Lyn were part of a reenactment group called Northern Forties.
“We got involved in these reenactment weekends and I used to play Winston Churchill or other figures like Neville Chamberlain.
“Our first experience of film was in 2013, when a casting agent called the group and asked if we wanted to play French Resistance officers in a film called Allies, so we both went along. The ex-Chelsea player, Frank Leboeuf, was in it. It was very surreal.”
Richard, who moved to Crewe, has now set his sights on bigger roles. He said: “I’m going to carry on while I’m fit and healthy.
“It is fascinating, especially if you get a real opportunity and say a few lines or walk on. If you are a bigger part, it can be a sort of challenge and it gives you the opportunity to put your artistic skills to great effect.”