Ray Winstone “invented” his character from ‘The Departed’.

Ray Winstone came up with his own idea for The Departed

Ray Winstone came up with his own idea for The Departed

The 67-year-old actor stars in the 2006 movie as Arnold 'Frenchy' French, the right hand man to crime boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) but he revealed he was originally in the frame to play a very different role.

He told Empire magazine: “I invented this character sitting with Marty [Scorsese] in the Dorchester one Sunday morning.

“I was up to play one of the coppers and I said, ‘I don’t want to, Marty’.

“I said, ‘I’d like to play a character who was with Frank all the time, because it’s the only way you get to know who he is.’ “

And Ray even got to wear his own clothes in the film.

He said: “That’s my coat [in the film]. I had that on when I met Marty. I’ve still got it.”

In one of the British star’s most famous movies, ‘Sexy Beast’, he played retired criminal Gary ‘Gal’ Dove who relocates to Spain to start a new life with his wife and he admitted he had a great time doing his preparation for the role.

He said: “I was told to go on the beach when we got there and get a suntan and eat and drink as much as I wanted. That was my prep!

“But it still ain’t too bad. It’s alright. That is a geezer. A geezer ain’t got an eight-pack. And that’s what it’s about.

“’Sexy Beast’. The beast is the money, the beast is the blag, the beast is Don, the beast is the rabbit and the beast is Teddy Bass. There’s your sexy beast.”