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David Beckham tackles the big screen

Footy hero David Beckham wants to strike it big at the box office.

He wasn’t one of those footballers known for their tendency to “pull a Hollywood” on the soccer pitch. But now David Beckham is hoping he’s got enough skill as an actor to have a successful career in Tinseltown.Having tried his hand at a couple of projects in front of the camera – including a speaking part in his friend Guy Ritchie’s latest film – David (40) wants to give acting a proper go.
“I am very aware that many other sportsmen and other celebrities have turned their hand to acting and failed,” he says. “I know that it is a tough profession, where you need a huge amount of skill and discipline, and I wouldn’t want to push myself forward too soon, without learning more about it, doing a lot more practice. But what I have done so far, I have loved.”
David is prepared for the fact that he is likely to cop some flak for his career move. “I can deal with most things,” he says. “I am a well-known person, so I have got used to criticism.”
He has appeared in various comedy fundraising skits over the years, including one last year for Only Fools and Horses. He also has a cameo in Outlaws, a short film produced by fashion label Belstaff, which will be released for their show at London Fashion Week. David also has a blink-and-you-miss-it part in Guy Ritchie’s film The Man from U.N.C.L.E., but his role in Guy’s upcoming movie, Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur is a speaking one. He plays a “blackleg leader” in the medieval epic opposite stars Jude Law and Charlie Hunnam.
Beckham with Peckham’s finest, Rodney and Del Boy, aka Nicholas Lyndhurst and Sir David Jason.
“I had 13 lines and practised a huge amount beforehand,” he says. “Guy had someone come and rehearse with me, and I did that an hour every day in the build-up. It was nerve-wracking, delivering the lines, but it actually went really well.” He adds, “Guy wouldn’t put me in a film if he thought I was going to ruin it.”
His decision to try his luck on the silver screen is an about-face to two years ago, when he was suggested as the next James Bond. That came about after comments his wife Victoria made in a newspaper interview she and David did together shortly after he retired from professional football. When conversation turned to what he would do next, he mentioned he had actor friends, including Tom Cruise, but added, “I don’t think I have any plans to become an actor. I’m not sure I’d be very good at it.”
Victoria then chipped in, “I think you’d be great. I think he should be James Bond. He’d be a good James Bond!”
Lots of his fans thought so too, and started up a petition for Goldenballs to become the next Goldeneye. Nothing came of it, but with Daniel Craig’s contract as 007 about to expire, there’s another online push from fans for David to take over the role. But for the meantime, David says he is happy to “build up” his experience with small roles and “see where it takes me”.
David admits he misses football and probably always will. However, retiring from football has given the former England captain plenty of time with his family, which he has loved. The Beckhams spent much of July and August in Los Angeles, where they took their children, Brooklyn (16), Romeo (13), Cruz (10) and Harper (4), to Disneyland. He has also been spending lots of time with the new family pet, a cocker spaniel called Olive. David and Victoria have posted photos and videos on social media of the wee puppy. But it is still their kids the couple gush about most. Both David and Victoria posted separate photographs of themselves kissing their second son Romeo when he turned 13 last week.
Whatever work he ends up doing, being a dad will obviously continue to be his top priority.
WATCH: David Beckham goes incognito in Only Fools and Horses