From McDonalds to the Silver Screen…. Terry Stone talks exclusively to the Daily Sport

With the general release of the latest “Rise of the Footsoldier” film franchise today, I took the opportunity to chat with actor Terry Stone, star of “Rise of the Footsoldier 4 – Marbella” in which he plays “Tony”, about his life, the film, his rise from McDonald’s to acclaimed actor and about some of his future projects ….

Tell me about your early life.

I started life in Brixton moving to Putney and then Kingston. My dad was the manager at Tesco’s in Putney, we lived above the shop there. Dad, being a retail manager advised me to get a job in the retail sector as it would be a job for life. I did a few Saturday shifts there but didn’t like it, so my dad suggested I did a management scheme I had no qualifications so didn’t think I could …. he pointed out that those with qualifications cant even sweep the floors so you can do anything .

My first full time job was in McDonalds which, I think, was a great grounding for life. When you work there, you have customers abusing you, you have to do every shit job under the sun, from cleaning the bogs & the bins to serving the public. What I took out of it was that if you can do this, you can do anything. I didn’t have a silver spoon in my mouth and I was up for doing anything to make a living, from this I moved into sales where I was headhunted and became a sale rep up until the recession of 1988 when I lost my job and my house and ended up on the dole. This is when I fell into the club scene , that was the catalyst for my life .

How did you get into the club scene, and form 

Loads of people were going out raving, an escape from the depression of being unemployed and the state of the country. People just got into going out to forget their troubles, get of there heads and dancing the night away. Illegal raves became popular and soon snowballed into a massive movement , I remember reading the front page of the newspapers … saying how people were dying of “E’s” , at the time, I was into keep fit , boxing , running & wanted to stay well clear of this scene, peer pressure finally got me to go to one where it was amazing, everyone having a great time dancing, wanting to be your friend,hugging and generally up for it, at the time I didn’t realise it was because everyone was off their heads, no fighting just lots of fun.. The downside was the cost of getting in, approx £25, which when on the dole was a massive amount of cash .

When I left that first rave I saw people giving out flyers, I asked them for a job  which they paid £10 per club … All my mates were going out clubbing so I said to them instead of paying the £20+ to get in, I will get you in VIP free, all you have to do is hand out these flies … I’d keep the money, they’d get in free everyone wins !!! so overnight I had 15-20 people handing out these flyers 3 times a week …. all of a sudden i’m earning £900 a week … I signed off the dole.

From this I progressed to selling the tickets which made even more money & then I started a magazine called “The Scene”, which started of as a small black & white effort but progressed t a 120 page full colour one being sold in W H Smiths

Fast forward a three years and the criminal justice act shut down many of these illegal raves, I took the decision to start legal ones, there was this song ” One Nation Under a groove ” by Funkadelic . I nicked the name  One Nation  and within nine months I was doing a weekly clubnight  in Aldershot this progressed so that within three years I became one of the biggest promoters in the UK then it went worldwide , doing events in Germany , Canada, LA and a residency in Ibiza.

In 1997 I set up Garage Nation which also exploded, I helped launch people like So Solid Crew & Wiley. It’s amazing how this scene I helped set up has gone from an underground movement to a worldwide phenomena, how Drum & Bass went into Garage then Grime and now EDM.

I came out of the club scene in 2003 as it became really dangerous, it went from people loving each other, to wanting to kill each other … drive by shootings were common, I had to have armed police escort home, guns pulled out on me so I decided there had to be an easier way to make a crust.

How did you get into the film business ?

I was always a bit of an actor, putting on these massive events you have to play a roll. I  sold the club business , moved in with my girlfriend, she got pregnant. When she was 8 months, a friend asked me to be in a film so I said yes which I loved.

People said i should do it full time. I got an agent, went home told the wife who wasn’t that impressed !!! I took jobbing acting rolls, The Bill, Eastenders etc… I realised I had the skills to make a film so I asked some mates to invest in a film and we all put £10k each in. The film was called “One Man and his Dog ” , an apt title as the film was a dog, we did manage to get it released and even managed to get some of our money back so it wasn’t a total disaster. “Rollin’ with the Nines” followed which was nominated for a BAFTA . This got me on the radar and led to Rise of The Footsoldier which has become a successful franchise. 

Rise Of The Footsoldier- Marbella launches today how can we see it ?

The film is being screened at selected cinemas as will go out on Sky Box Office, unfortunately the large cinema chains fail to support independent films, however Sky Box Office has massive viewing figures , and you can have your friends round for a movie night. You can only rent it until in comes out on DVD in January 2020.

Tell me about the filming, how long did it take ? what was the budget ? 

The film was shot over a year. It was shot in chunks, a Marbella section along with Amsterdam, London and Essex ones too with a multi million pound budget. On this one we didn’t want to do a flashback movie. We took some true stories that weren’t covered in the first 3  films, we wanted to to make it like a road trip movie, lots of humour, a kind of “Only Fools” meets “Scarface” …. the director wanted us to add our own humour and to go with it, very rare when making films these days. We’ve been playing these characters now for so long, we know them inside out, so just went with it.

I’ve been lucky this year to have been involved in two great films , “Once Upon a Time in London” was released on Netflix a while back and went to Number three in viewing figures, now Footsoldier 4 is hopefully going to do the same .

Will there be a Footsoldier 5 ?

I hope so, with all the interest, I think there will be , it should now become more fun and enjoyable, instead of just focusing on the murders, this side of the Essex Boys have been done countless times, the franchise has to change it up, the main characters are well loved and people want to watch their antics, swearing,violence, guns and dark humour,  I’m sure the franchise will continue …..

What does the future hold for Terry Stone ?

I have the Film “United Nation-  3 decades of Drum & Bass ” coming out in February which looks back at the history of D&B I will be coming out of retirement for one night to put on club night too. I am working on further projects, which I can’t talk about at the moment . I don’t want to be a henchman that walks around hitting people all the time, I want to do comedy and main roles. I want to do more TV work and have been looking into some great projects. 

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