Stephen Graham’s 5 favourite films including the one that made him think he ‘could become an actor’

Gemma Thomas
Gemma Thomas
3 Min Read

In acting, few names resonate as profoundly as Stephen Graham. His magnetic presence and an uncanny knack for authenticity allow him to breathe life into each role, leaving an indelible impression on the cinematic landscape.

The Liverpool born actor’s ability to seamlessly slip into characters of varying complexities has earned him acclaim and admiration from peers, critics, and audiences alike. From reformed Neo-Nazi Matthew Collins to the notorious Al Capone, Graham’s portfolio reads like a masterclass in transformation.

Graham as the antagonist character ‘Combo’ in This is England

With his distinctive acting style and iconic roles, one can’t help but wonder which films have served as inspiration for the actor. Graham shares with us the cinematic gems that rate as his top five, and the film that inspired him to act.

The Godfather

It’s just a fantastic film: the acting; the music; the directing. It’s such a rich, beautiful film of its time and it really captured the imagination. Great ones came before it, but it’s like the template for all great character films. The Godfather redefined the genre.

The GodFather: ‘The template for all great character films’

The Deer Hunter

The performances from Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep and John Cazale are fantastic. The cinematography is amazing, the colours are so rich, it’s got a brilliant soundtrack and there are just so many great moments in it.


I remember watching it as a  young lad after we read the book  at school and I was amazed by it.  I was so inspired by the boy; it made me think that I could become an actor. I enjoy it as much now, as  an adult, as I did as a kid, and I try  to watch it at least every five years  or something.

Graham claims that the 1969 British kitchen film ‘Kes’ directed by Ken Loach made him think that he ‘could become an actor’

The Jungle Book

This was my first major cinematic experience.  I remember going with my mum and a couple of mates to our local cinema in Kirby when I was very young. I loved cartoons but I’d never seen anything so magical and on the big screen, too. My children love it as well; that gives me an excuse to watch it again.

It’s A Wonderful Life

The whole theory and ethos behind the film is fantastic. It’s beautifully filmed and the acting is impeccable. It makes you put yourself in that situation and ask what if? It really cheers me up.

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