Stephen Graham: I hurt ankle on first day of Walk Like A Panther rehearsals

Stephen Graham said he was left “hobbling” in pain after injuring his leg shooting wrestling comedy Walk Like A Panther.

The actor plays one of a group of 80s wrestlers who are forced to don the lycra one last time when their beloved local pub is threatened by closure.

Graham, 44, did not use a stunt double and revealed he hurt himself on the first day of rehearsals.

“There was one massive injury and that was me, straight away,” he said.

“I went over on my ankle and I really did my ankle.

“I’d literally just turned up on Friday afternoon, I’d been shooting that day in Sheffield with Shane Meadows, and I went straight to Leeds and they threw me in straight away.

“And then bosh, went over on my ankle. So I was kind of hobbling and trying to pretend I was alright for most of the shoot if I’m honest, in a lot of pain. It’s still twinge-y occasionally.”

Despite his injury, the actor had a blast channelling the wrestlers he grew up watching.

He said: “It was great fun to do. One or two of the fellas are getting on a little bit, the likes of Chris Fairbank, he’s no spring chicken, neither of us are.

“But the dedication and the passion and the energy he put into the whole fight sequence was amazing, it was absolutely outstanding.

“It was a great achievement for everyone around, I think. And it was so much fun, because for them three days, we kind of become them people we used to watch on telly.”

Graham said it also made a change to do a comedy.

“I thought it was fun and to be honest with you, mine are usually complex, extremely dark, often disturbed characters, in many ways,” he said.

“So for me to play something like that was an absolute joy.”

Walk Like A Panther is released on March 9.

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