Stephen Graham will be in the shape of his life when the new series A Thousand Blows airs on the Disney+ streaming platform later this year.
The Victorian boxing drama is the latest offering from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, and Graham has been steadily working on his physique with a personal trainer to play veteran slugger Sugar Goodson.
The 49-year-old actor took to Instagram and shared a video of himself training for the very physical role at a local gym.
Following on from his work on Peaky Blinders, show creator Knight has based A Thousand Blows on a real-life crime syndicate – this time the London-based 19th and 20th century gang Forty Elephants, an all-female group of shoplifters.
It follows the mixed fortunes of two Jamaican immigrants who find themselves in the violently unpredictable East End of Victorian London, where they make an enemy in the dreaded fighter Goodson, played by Graham.
Let’s get physical: Stephen Graham will be in the shape of his life when new series A Thousand Blows airs on streaming platform Disney + later this year
Hard graft: Graham has been steadily working on his physique with a personal trainer to play veteran slugger Sugar Goodson
Discussing his new role in the latest edition of Soccer AM, he said, “We’re doing this great series called A Thousand Blows, which is written by Steve Knight.
‘It’s about two young Jamaicans who came over in the 19th century, [among them] Hezekiah Moscow.
“He became a great fighter, and it’s about his story and his life, how he settled in East London.”
He added, “I play Sugar Goodson, I have a brother named Treacle Goodson, we are the Goodson brothers. We’re bare-knuckle fighters, so I’m getting in shape and stuff, I’ve learned to fight.
“I put in the graft, you’d better ask my wife, please!”
The show will also star Malachi Kirby as Moscow and Erin Doherty – best known for her role as Princess Anne in The Crown – as Forty Elephants gang leader Mary Carr.
Graham’s actress wife Hannah Walters plays Eliza Moody, a member of Carr’s notorious gang.
Here we go: On Instagram, the 49-year-old actor shared a video of himself training for the very physical role at a local gym
No hassle: Graham was guided by a personal trainer during his rigorous training session
Hanging in there: The actor tried a series of chin-ups while getting in shape for his new role
A synopsis of the upcoming drama reads: ‘The suspenseful series follows Hezekiah and Alec, two best friends from Jamaica who find themselves in the vibrant and violent melting pot of London’s post-industrial East End.
Drawn into the criminal underbelly of the thriving boxing scene, Hezekiah encounters Mary Carr, leader of The Forty Elephants – London’s notorious all-female gang – as they struggle to survive on the streets.
“As Hezekiah hones his new skills, he stumbles upon Sugar Goodson, a seasoned and dangerous boxer played by Stephen Graham, and the two soon find themselves embroiled in an intense rivalry that extends far beyond the ring.”
While an official launch date has yet to be announced, A Thousand Blows is expected to air on Disney+ later this year.
Carry that weight: He also strengthened his biceps with some free weights during the gym session
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Stephen Graham gets into shape for new drama A Thousand Blows
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