Brian Blessed recalls Mike Hodges’ “powerful personality” after his death

Brian Blessed praised Mike Hodges for his “powerful personality” and “brilliant imagination”, following the director’s death at the age of 90.

The British actor, who starred in Hodges’ 1980 cult film Flash Gordon, praised his “great perception” when directing.

Hodges died at his home in Dorset on December 17, his longtime friend and producer of Hodges’ 2003 release I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Mike Kaplan, has told various media outlets.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme, Blessed said of Hodges: ‘(He had) a very powerful personality and a joyful, happy and brilliant imagination.

Mike Hodges and Charlotte Rampling arrive for UK Premiere of I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (PA)

“(Flash Gordon) is the only film, aside from Henry V with Kenneth Branagh, that I’ve rushed into the studio to start shooting,” he said.

“Hodges (had a) brilliant imagination, but his direction – mind-blowing. Big way, big perception.

“The film was a breath of fresh air.”

A quintessential product of the era, Flash Gordon was a box office hit in the UK and subsequently developed a sizeable cult following worldwide.

Lion Ark Premiere – Raindance Film Festival – London

Brian Blessed recalled Hodges’ “powerful personality” after his death (PA)

Hodges’ directorial debut Get Carter was released in 1971 and starred another of his close friends, Sir Michael Caine.

Shot in north-east England, the hyper-violent film features Caine as Jack, a wheel dealer who travels to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to hunt down the men responsible for killing his brother.

The film received a limited theatrical re-release in May of this year.

Hodges teamed up again with Caine on the acclaimed 1972 crime comedy Pulp, before branching out into the sci-fi genre with his much-loved space opera Flash Gordon.

Hodges again gained acclaim with his 2003 work Croupier, starring Clive Owen in his starring role as an aspiring writer who takes a job as a dealer in a gambling den.

The British Film Institute (BFI) has paid homage to Hodges as “versatile, but with a unique style”.

“Hodges was a director of actors whose warmth and generosity were legendary,” wrote the BFI Twitter account.

Sharing a photo of him at the start of filming Flash Gordon online, StudioCanal described him as “a one-of-a-kind director, screenwriter, playwright and novelist.”

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mike Hodges,” the company wrote.

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