'Pistol': Danny Boyle tells the story of the Sex Pistols


Writed by - Andy Gocker
"Pistol": Danny Boyle erzählt die Geschichte der Sex Pistols
Young actor Anson Boon (right) plays Johnny Rotten, the controversial frontman of the Sex Pistols, in 'Pistol'. © Miya Mizuno/FX Networks/Disney+, SpotOn

A piece of punk history

On September 28, the mini-series 'Pistol' will start on the Disney+ streaming service. Oscar winner Danny Boyle (65, 'Trainspotting') tells the true story of the Sex Pistols, possibly the most influential punk band ever, in six episodes. In addition to the rise and fall of the anarcho band, which only lasted from 1975 to 1978, 'Pistol' is also about sleepy England in the late 1970s and one of the greatest revolutions in music history.

The series is based on the memoir 'My Sex Pistols Story' by Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones (67).

That's what 'Pistol' is about

In the mid-1970s, Steve Jones (Toby Wallace, 27) is a homeless young man who wants to start a rock band in London. Designer Vivienne Westwood (Talulah Riley, 37) allows Jones to wear provocative clothes from her boutique SEX. Westwood's friend and business partner Malcolm McLaren (Thomas Brodie-Sangster, 32) decides to become the manager of Jones' band. Meanwhile, the aspiring musician has his eye on young Chrissie Hynde (Sydney Chandler) and the two begin an on-off relationship.

A rehearsal room is quickly found for the Sex Pistols, and manager McLaren brings the eccentric John Lydon (Anson Boon, 22) into the band as a singer. Because of his bad teeth, Lydon gets the stage name 'Johnny Rotten'. The new singer brings in his pal Sid Vicious (Louis Partridge, 19) as bass player and the Sex Pistols start playing their first gigs in London...

The actors and their roles

A whole series of already established or still relatively unknown young stars play the band members of the Sex Pistols and their environment in 'Pistol'. The biggest star of the series is Maisie Williams (25), who played the main character Arya Stark in the epic fantasy series 'Game of Thrones' (2011-2019). In 'Pistol,' Williams plays the real-life character Pamela 'Jordan' Rooke (1955-2022), a model whose provocative style defined punk as a fashion movement.

Williams' former 'Game of Thrones' colleague Thomas Brodie-Sangster plays Malcolm McLaren, the controversial manager and inventor of the Sex Pistols, while Talulah Riley, two-time ex-wife of multi-billionaire Elon Musk (51), plays the iconic designer Vivienne Westwood (81 ) embodied.

Lead actor Toby Wallace, who plays the guitarist for the Sex Pistols, has previously appeared in the Netflix series 'The Society' (2019), while Johnny Rotten actor Anson Boon has previously had a minor role in the three-time Oscar-winning war film '1917' (2019) attracted attention. The only 19-year-old Louis Partridge played the young Lord Tewkesbury in the Netflix film 'Enola Holmes' (2020) - and now in 'Pistol' punk icon Sid Vicious (1957-1979).

Worth knowing about 'Pistol'

The history of the origins of the series 'Pistol', originally published in the USA on the streaming service Hulu, was already turbulent. Ex-Sex Pistols member Lydon, 66, brought a lawsuit to prevent the group's music from being used on the show, but lost in court against his former band members.

The Sex Pistols cast members, as well as Sydney Chandler, who portrays future The Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, sing and play their own instruments during the numerous live performances on 'Pistol.' Most of the cast had no previous musical experience - which again fits perfectly with the do-it-yourself punk spirit and actual musicianship of the real Sex Pistols.

US critics also praised the anarchic energy of the live performances of 'Pistol' and particularly praised director Danny Boyle's visual style. It was also widely praised by critics that the music of the Sex Pistols in the historical series is almost on a par with the fashion revolution of the era.

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