James Norton on who he would play in a film about England’s ‘cinematic’ Euros

Actor James Norton has said England’s performance at Euro 2020 has been “cinematic”, and volunteered to play Harry Maguire in a big-screen version of the story of the tournament.

The British star, best known for his roles in Grantchester, Happy Valley and War And Peace, said the winning streak of the Three Lions, who will face Italy in the final at Wembley on Sunday, is the stuff of great drama.

He told the PA news agency: “Of course there is something cinematic, especially the way they now shoot it.

England v Denmark – UEFA Euro 2020 – Semi Final – Wembley Stadium
England’s Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson celebrate winning their Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark (Mike Egerton/PA)

“There’s an inherent drama to the build-up, they definitely borrow from drama storytelling in TV.

“You can see the way that it’s presented, and the pundits, there is a kind of a marriage of the two, in the way documentaries are becoming almost sort of like pieces of fiction.

“But, for me personally, what I love is the characters involved and seeing these extraordinary gladiators and titans, sportsmen and women at the top of the game, ruthless to the final whistle, and then you go to the interview and usually they are completely different to what you’d expect.

England v Denmark – UEFA Euro 2020 – Semi Final – Wembley Stadium
Harry Maguire in action for England (Mike Egerton/PA)

“They’re really magnanimous and really generous and happy, or they are gauche and restrained and awkward.

“It’s so completely different to the person who’s on the playing field, and I just find interviews, post-match interviews, consistently fascinating, because the characters are never what you expect.

“I’ve actually been thinking about that, about doing a movie about sports. I love it, I love the cinematic quality and am totally in it for the ride right now.”

Asked who he would play in a film about the championship, he said: “Physically, Harry Maguire. I guess I’m quite tall and I feel like I could be a big defender, I’m nearly 6ft 2in so I’ve got a head on me.

“Who else could I be? Foden? Just get a little haircut, I love transformative hairdos in acting, so shave it all off and get a little peroxide job.

England v Denmark – UEFA Euro 2020 – Semi Final – Wembley Stadium
Phil Foden (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Apparently all the kids want to be Foden right now. My cousin has three kids under 11 and their mates were asking their mums ‘I want to cut my hair off and peroxide the roots’, so that’s the vibe.”

Norton will next be seen in the drama Nowhere Special, which is released in UK cinemas on July 16.