CANNES – Hold onto your hats Ladies. Glamour and sex appeal arrived on the Croisette and his name is Timothy Spall.

When Ryan Gosling was an ugly duckling, Michael Fassbender was a sexual position popular in Austria and Tom Hardy, just another Victorian novelist, Spall already had the female world at his beck and call, and he’s back. In Mike Leigh’s wonderful comedy Mr. Turner.

I know what you’re thinking, who plays Hooch? No. I made that mistake too but no, this film (sadly) has nothing to do with the inspired Tom Hanks dog comedy from 1989. No this is all about a dauber of rather inaccurate landscapes who had a penchant for spitting on his canvases.

I had an opportunity to talk to Spall and I put it to him that many female members of his audience – if not a few male – were coming to ogle rather than admire.

Yes, that is true and it saddens me. I’m a human being with feelings and inner thoughts and I get heartily tired of being treated like beef cake, which I am as well. Obviously. This film is an opportunity for me to branch out into a role I really feel. Mike had me study painting for two years in preparation and the rehearsal period was very long. A full six months.

And what about the spitting?

Three weeks of spitting, one for consistency and a fortnight for direction.

Amazing. And what’s next for Spall?

I’m going to be playing Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey.

Mr. Turner is out in October.

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