Craig Revel Horwood uses Strictly skills for villainous Nativity Rocks role

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 27 June 2018
Craig Revel Horwood

Craig Revel Horwood

Craig Revel Horwood has spilled that he is playing the main villain in upcoming Christmas movie 'Nativity Rocks! This Ain't No Silent Night'

Craig Revel Horwood used some of his 'Strictly Come Dancing' persona for his debut movie role in 'Nativity Rocks! This Ain't No Silent Night'.

The 53-year-old star has been cast as villain Emmanuel Cavendish in the upcoming Christmas film – the fourth instalment in the festive franchise – and he admits his brutal critiques of the contestants on the BBC One ballroom show came in useful on set.

The entire film is improvised and although it was daunting at first to come up with his own lines and jokes, Craig ended up having a lot of fun with director Debbie Isitt and the cast, which includes Helen George, Ruth Jones and Celia Imrie.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz about the project, he said: "I'm starring in 'Nativity Rocks! This Ain't No Silent Night', it's the fourth movie in the 'Nativity' series. I'm playing a guy called Emmanuel Cavendish from LA in it. He's a director and he is the villain of the peace. I can't believe they wanted me as the villain, I thought I was going to be the love interest, not!

"I'm horrible in it, kind of like what High Grant was like in 'Paddington 2' - which I choreographed, by the way! The film is set in Coventry and my character was born in Coventry and then moved to LA and became a huge star director and then comes back to Coventry to help the city win Christmas show of the year. I'm really excited about it coming out in November. I was a bit nervous about joining it because the whole movie is improvised, but I just went for it and I ended up taking to it like a duck to water, I enjoyed it so much that I'd love to do an improvised film again. Basically, you don't know from one day to the next what scene you're doing and basically you go on set and then you have to create it. So the movie is created around the scenes that you improvise, it's quite scary because there isn't a script. I did use a little bit of 'Strictly' persona for the role. You had to take on your persona and then improvise with the other actors on the show, sometimes you don't even meet the actors before you're filming. The director says action and someone bursts through the door and then you have to act with them and create it. I loved it, the whole process was amazing to be part of."

Away from 'Strictly Come Dancing', Craig is a regular star of the stage and won numerous plaudits for his portrayal of Miss Hanigan in a touring production of 'Annie'.

But Craig hopes his role in 'Nativity Rocks! This Ain't No Silent Night' will be the first of many more movie roles.

He said: "I hope it's the start of a lot more movie work. I really want to direct a film too. I've done operas, ballets, lots and lots of musicals, but I'd love to go down the movie route."

Nativity Rocks!

  • 2018
  • UK
  • 1h 40min
  • U
  • Directed by: Debbie Isitt
  • Written by: Debbie Isitt
  • Cast: Simon Lipkin, Craig Revel Horwood, Daniel Boys, Anna Chancellor, Helen George, Meera Syal, Hugh Dennis, Jessica Hynes, Vincent Franklin, Ruth Jones, Celia Imrie
  • UK release: 23 November 2018

A fourth film in the comedy series about school nativity plays.

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