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Dury movie strikes profound chord

By Stephanie West

Updated on 23 December 2009

A film about rock star Ian Dury has proved to be a profound experience for the late star's son, Baxter.

Ian Dury (credit: Reuters)

Nearly a decade after the death of Ian Dury, the film portrays the singer as a hard-living and often difficult character.

But, Sex and Drugs and Rock N Roll has the full backing of the late singer's family  who advised on the movie.

Dury, a new wave artist who overcame polio he contracted as a child found fame with his band The Blockheads.

In the movie he's played by Andy Serkis, who until now, is most famous for taking on roles as diverse as Gollum in Lord of the Rings and to depicting Ian Brady in a TV film about Lord Longford.

Serkis decided that the key to his portrayal was Dury's family, most notably his son Baxter.

Their relationship is at the centre of the film. Baxter, an accomplished and critically acclaimed singer himself, and Serkis are now well acquainted.

Born in Harrow and raised in Upminster Essex,  Dury's talent became obvious during his time at art college.

But this film focuses on his flaws, particularly the way he left his first wife to look after their two kids, including Baxter, while he lived a rock and roll life.

For Baxter, it was the depiction of the grandfather he had never met,  played by Ray Winstone,  which had a profound effect. 

Ian Dury's parents separated when he was young but he had often spoken of his father supporting him after he contracted polio at the age of seven and sent to a school which advocated toughening up their pupils.

The film opens in January. 


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