ACTOR Sam Cullingworth has found himself starring in the most controversial film of the year.

The 38-year-old Kirkburton man appears as a prison officer in Bronson – a film about the life of Charles Bronson, one of the most notorious inmates in the UK.

Sam found himself having to wrestle an uncontrollable Bronson, played by Tom Hardy, in a scene where the criminal’s character is naked and covered in butter.

The film has already caused controversy, with the real-life Bronson making an audio recorded speech at its premier from his maximum-security prison in Wakefield, saying: “I’ll see you at the Oscar awards.”

Sam, who is pictured on the right with Mr Hardy in a quick shot snapped on location, said of the film: “I’d read Bronson’s biography so I could understand what he was like as a guy.

“Tom Hardy who plays Bronson was spine-tinglingly amazing.

“Just watching him act was unbelievable and he really got the character.

“At the end when Bronson turns into an animal, a mad man, Tom was incredible and scarily convincing.”

One of the last scenes Sam has is locking Bronson up in solitary confinement at the end of the film.

It is topical, because yesterday Bronson went before a parole board in a bid for freedom after more than 34 years locked-up.

It is something Sam is not yet sure about.

“I certainly wouldn’t want him as a next door neighbour,” he said.

“But I don’t agree that the film portrays him in a good light, as people are saying.

“I can’t see anyone going to watch it and wanting to end up like him.

“The director, Nicholas Winding Refn, is very eccentric but also very, very good at what he does and I think he portrays Bronson as a man who is what he is – I can’t see how young offenders or people watching it would look up to Bronson.”

At the premier last Tuesday Bronson’s voice was heard saying: “Never in a million years did I ever believe, or plan, or dream that a film would ever be made about my life.

“I’m not into the glamour and the sensationalism, I’m just me. Me, Charles Bronson.

“I’m proud of this film, because if I drop dead tonight, then I live on.

“People will see what I was, what I once was, a man trapped up in an evil and corrupt penal system.

“I make no bones about it, I really was a nasty b*****d, a horrible, violent, nasty man.

“I’m not proud of it, but I’m not ashamed of it either, because for every punch I’ve ever flung in my life I’ve taken 21 back.

“I deserve everything I got, everything. I don’t cry about my life, never have, never will.”

The recording has led to prison officers demanding an inquiry.

Bronson is Sam Cullingworth’s first appearance on the big screen but he will wait until Friday when it opens at cinemas to watch it for the first time.

He has appeared in other films which went straight to DVD and worked in Huddersfield as an aerobics instructor.

Sam is currently starring in a British film, set for release next year, and is to open a fitness centre in Mirfield.


CHARLES Bronson is the adopted name of Michael Gordon Peterson.

He is Welsh but has lived in Liverpool and Luton.

In 1974, aged 21, Bronson was first jailed for seven years for a bungled armed robbery.

He was released in 1988 but was sent back to prison 68 days later for robbery.

His sentence has been repeatedly extended for crimes committed in prison from false imprisonment to blackmail and threatening to kill.

Throughout his prison life, Bronson has spent time in 120 prisons, with much of it in solitary confinement.

In 1983, Bronson caused £750,000 of damage to Broadmoor prison during a rooftop protest.

He has been married twice, once while he was in prison.

He remains a Category A prisoner at Wakefield.