“It’s the Lawrence Of Arabia of stoner movies.”
That’s how movie producer Luc Roeg describes Mr. Nice, the film following drug-smuggling Welsh spy Howard Marks. If that rather unconventional clash of professions sounds like unfeasible reality stretching, you better believe it – Mr. Nice is based on a remarkable true story.
Born in a small Welsh coal-mining village in 1945, Howard Marks studied at Oxford University before becoming a worldwide hashish trader and British Secret Service agent.
At the height of his profession in 1980s, Marks boasted 43 aliases (John McKenna, Anthony Tunnicliffe, Ray Fox and, of course, Mr. Donald Nice), 89 phone lines and 25 companies. Oh, also four kids.
Now, the incredible story of his life thus far is being transported to the big screen with a little help from fellow Welshman and close friend Rhys Ifans.
“It was really strange but rewarding experience playing a friend,” Ifans says of taking on the role. “What I discovered is, for all the vibrato and everything, him being a marijuana pirate, what I discovered is a man who loved his wife and family. That was brutally taken away from him, from archaic American rules…”
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