Shropshire-born actor given a taste of awards glory for Krays film

Shropshire-born actor Kevin Leslie had a big surprise when he went to a European film festival to promote his latest film – he won a best actor prize despite having no idea he had been nominated.

Shropshire-born actor given a taste of awards glory for Krays film

Kevin won for his role in Rise of the Krays at the Marbella International Film Festival.

"And when I won I had the classic moment of not having a clue what to say, but then managed to thank everyone who had given me the opportunity to be there," he said.

Kevin, 27, who played Reggie Kray, knew the film, about the notorious East End criminals, was up for a prize, but "I only found out I'd been nominated the night before the awards ceremony".

His success comes in the wake of a strong run for the film, which has sold over 100,000 DVDs and downloads, making it the best-selling direct-to-video movie of the past 10 years.

Kevin, who was born in Shrewsbury and grew up in Newport, said: "As an actor it validates what I do to have sales figures like that and it also builds interest for the sequel, The Fall of the Krays, which opens next year.

I am so lucky that those films took a chance on two unknown actors from Britain, it doesn't happen very often because producers like a well-known name to guarantee a return on their investment."

Kevin, who was educated at Thomas Telford School in Telford, already has several other film roles lined up. His next is a science-fiction film.

Kevin said that he is never content with where he is in his acting career and has already exceeded the ambition he had set himself in a 10-year plan.

He said: "I had a plan of where I wanted to be in acting within 10 years, but five years into it I have already achieved more than I expected.

"I am now keen to work in as many genres as possible, build experience and get my name better known.

"By the time I am 30 I want to have worked in LA and am very keen to get as much experience in Hollywood as possible, because my targets are the Baftas and the Oscars.

"My career is very busy, but I still find as much time as I can to see my girlfriend and we had a great four-day trip to Rome recently. She is studying to be a doctor, so if I ever get a role in Holby City, I have the perfect research resource to help me."

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