HUNKY actor Kenny Doughty is South Yorkshire’s best-kept Hollywood secret, writes digital editor Graham Walker.
He’s been in movie blockbusters alongside the likes of Andie MacDowell, Anthony Hopkins, Cate Blanchett, Daniel Craig, John Gielgud and Richard Attenborough.
His performance in The Aryan Couple, opposite real- life actress wife Caroline Carver, earned him Best Actor Award at the Palm Beach International Film Festival.
The couple have even moved to the world’s film capital of Los Angeles to pursue their dreams.
But while Sheffield’s own Sean Bean and Dominic West have been grabbing all the headlines he’s been quietly building a reputation as a superstar in waiting.
Now he’s dropping everything – quite literally – for a role which will certainly get him noticed.
The Barnsley born 37-year-old is about to get his kit off and bare all as the lead in a new stage adaptation of Sheffield based 1997 movie classic The Full Monty.
It also features his wife and gets its world premiere, ahead of a national tour, at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield, from February 2 to 23.
The irony of flying halfway around the world from LA to star in a production in Yorkshire has not escaped him.
“We’ve followed the dream and gone to California, only to come all the way back to Yorkshire,’’ laughed Kenny.
“It’s a Yorkshireman’s dream, isn’t it? Go and get the sunshine, then come back and get the beer.”
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video chat with Kenny and other cast members.
Adapted by original screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, who got an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, The Full Monty is of course the well loved story of jobless steelworkers who form a male striptease act.
Kenny, plays Gaz, made famous in the film by Robert Carlyle, who declares they will go “the full monty” – stripping all the way.
Caroline, 37, from Manchester, whose credits include Jonathan Creek, Spooks and Holby City, plays Gaz’s estranged wife Mandy.
Audiences may recognise Kenny from his film roles including Crush, Titus and Elizabeth.
He’s also been in TV shows such as Coronation Street, New Tricks and stars with Gavin and Stacey’s Ruth Jones in her new Sky TV hit comedy, Stella.
Kenny is currently having lots of naked belly laughs rehearsing with a cast of famous faces including Craig Gazey, 30, who played likeable rogue Graeme Proctor in Coronation Street, and Simon Rouse, 61, best known as Supt Jack Meadows in ITV’s The Bill.
The cast also features Sidney Cole (Absolutely Fabulous), Roger Morlidge (The English Patient), Keiran O’Brien (Nine Songs), Sheffield’s West End actor and recording star Scott Anson, Tracy Brabin, Eamonn Fleming, Elaine Glover, Rachel Lumberg and Ian Mercer.
He said of the strip routine: “Yes, everything comes off at the end. Absolutely. It is the Full Monty!
“We’ve got a brilliant choreographer called Steven Hoggett. On day two he got all the lads naked. Once you’ve got over that hurdle you’re fine.
“I don’t know about nerves. I think what’s really important is this play is about men from Sheffield and you have to be truthful and honest with these blokes we are portraying.
“These are difficult times for many people. In Sheffield and in Barnsley, working class areas are finding it tough.
“It’s a strong, authentic play about these people. And it does finish with a wonderful finale, which is hopefully going to have a real good, feel-good factor about it.”
Kenny is fiercely proud of his roots.
“People ask me is Doughty an Irish name? I looked into this. It’s one of the oldest names that comes from Yorkshire. So it’s as English and as Yorkshire as you can get. My grandad, God bless him, was a miner and my whole family is from Barnsley – all working class folk.”
“I was brought up in Wombwell then, about eight or nine I moved to Ardsley. I went to Kendray and, if I remember rightly, the school burned down and was closed.
“I went to Kingstone and from there to college in Barnsley, then the Electric Theatre on Eastgate and did an A-level.
Featuring songs from the film by Donna Summer, Rod Stewart, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones, The Full Monty is directed by Daniel Evans – currently directing Dominic West and Carly Bawden in My Fair Lady at the Crucible until Saturday, January 26.
Tickets for The Full Monty are £9 to £30, subject to a booking fee.
Buy in person, call 0114 2496000 or visit www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.