11 May 2017
by Ikon London Reporter | Photography by Joe Alvarez
Guy Ritchie defends 'fabulous actor' David Beckham amid King Arthur criticism.
David Beckham's acting in the new King Arthur film was called "cringeworthy" by some but Guy Ritchie said he was "fantastic".
Director Guy Ritchie has defended David Beckham's latest big screen outing, calling him a "fabulous actor".
It comes after his cameo role in the director's new film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was criticised as "cringeworthy" by some fans.
They seemed unimpressed after spotting the former footballer in a recent teaser clip of Ritchie's retelling of the classic story.
But at the movie's premiere in London, the British movie-maker was keen to back the sports star, who worked with an acting coach for the role.
Ritchie praised his long-time friend's work on set, saying: "He was fantastic, I love old Becksy.
"He is a fabulous actor and a real pleasure to be with."
But asked if he thought a movie career beckons for Beckham, he added: "I don't know yet, one step at a time."
Actor Charlie Hunnam, who plays the legendary king, said: "It was lovely (working with Beckham), he did an amazing job. He is very quiet and humble and serious.
"I thought it was a lark, I thought he was just going to show up for a laugh because he is Guy's friend, but he took it all very, very seriously."
In the film, Beckham, wearing a fake nose and gruesome make-up, plays a disgruntled Cockney knight called Trigger who offers a few offhand words of advice to Arthur as he attempts to pull the legendary sword from the stone.
Arthur asks "Where do you want me?" as he approaches the Excalibur.
Beckham's character answers: "Bouncing on me knee - where do ya think I want ya? Hands on the heel, stupid."
Many people commenting on social media were less than complimentary about Beckham, with one describing it as "the worst acting I've ever seen".
Craig Kent commented: "Just watched the Beckham clip in King Arthur. Literally had to cover my eyes was so cringe."
Ossie Ikeogu teased: "Not sure if Posh should dust off the Oscars dress just yet after seeing King Arthur trailer."
His acting talent was even compared to that of the stone at the centre of the film.
Broadcaster Piers Morgan called his performance "Oscar-level excellent", going on to say "he could be the third Mitchell brother!"
Others blamed Ritchie for casting his pal in the film in the first place, and putting him slap bang in the middle of the most pivotal scene of the movie.
Beckham previously made a very brief cameo as a Russian film projectionist in Ritchie's last film,The Man from UNCLE, in 2015.
But in that film he spoke just two words, "Apologies, comrade", and those were subtitled and spoken in Russian.
King Arthur will officially be released in UK cinemas on 19 May.
Guy Ritchie, Jacqui Ainsley
Charlie Hunnam, Poppy Delevingne