ROBERT CARLYLE (JIMMY)
Glaswegian Robert Carlyle made a remarkable feature debut in Ken Loach's "Riff-Raff" and has continued to impress international audiences in diverse roles including his BAFTA-winning turn as a steelworker-turned-stripper in the "The Full Monty", a Bond villain in "The World is Not Enough", an impoverished Irish pater familias in "Angela's Ashes" and a foul-mouthed sociopath in "Trainspotting". He has appeared in Loach's "Carla's Song", Antonia Bird's "Ravenous", "Face" "Safe" and "Priest", Jake Scott's "Plunkett & Macleane", Danny Boyle's "The Beach" and Ronny Yu's "51 st State" with Samuel L. Jackson. He can currently be seen in David L Cunningham's WWII drama, "To End All Wars". Most recently, Carlyle was in Australia to shoot "Black and White", the tale of an aboriginal wrongly accused of murder. Following their collaboration on four features, Carlyle and director Antonia Bird have started a production company, 4 Way Pictures.
RHYS IFANS (DEK)
Following his feature film debut in "August" directed by Anthony Hopkins, Rhys Ifans appeared in Kevin Allen's "Twin Town" (opposite his brother, Llyr Evans) and Pat O'Connor's "Dancing at Lughnasa" (with Meryl Streep and Catherine McCormack). He received international critical and popular acclaim for his hilariously unhygienic performance as Hugh Grant's flatmate, Spike, in "Notting Hill". He can currently be seen in Michel Gondry's "Human Nature" and Mike Figgis's "Hotel" and recently co-starred with Judi Dench, Kevin Spacey and Julianne Moore in Lasse Hallstrom's "The Shipping News". Ifans previously appeared alongside “Once Upon a Time in the Midlands” co-stars Robert Carlyle and Ricky Tomlinson (in “51 st State”) and Kathy Burke (in “Kevin and Perry Go Large” and “Dancing at Lughnasa”). Other feature film credits include “Little Nicky”, “The Replacements”, and “Love, Honour and Obey”. On British and Welsh television, he has appeared in the short film “The Sin Eater”; “Review” “Night Shift”, “Judas and the Gimp”, “The Two Franks” and the BBC production of “Macbeth”. On stage, Ifans has performed in Theatr Clwyd, Royal Court, Royal National and Donmar Warehouse productions including "Hamlet", "Brand", "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "As You Like It", "Poison Pen", "Smoke", "Beautiful Thing", "Volpone" and "Bad Finger”.
SHIRLEY HENDERSON (SHIRLEY)
Shirley Henderson is currently filming "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" in which she will appear as Moaning Myrtle and "Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself" for Lone Scherfig, director of "Italian for Beginners". Upcoming features include "Dr Sleep" opposite Goran Visnjic, "Villa des Roses" directed by Frank van Passel, "American Cousins" and a short film, "The Girl in the Red Dress". Henderson also currently appears opposite Steve Coogan in Michael Winterbottom's "24 Hour Party People", her third film with the director following "The Claim" and "Wonderland". Other feature credits include "Bridget Jones's Diary", "Topsy-Turvy" for which she received a London Film Critics Circle Nomination for Best Actress and "Trainspotting". Born in Dunfermline, Fife, Shirley attended London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Her many stage appearances include Sir Peter Hall's productions of "The Threepenny Opera", "The Winter's Tale" and "The Tempest" at the National Theatre. She has also played Juliet at the Citizens' Theatre in Glasgow, Eurydice at the Chichester Festival and Anna Weiss at the Whitehall Theatre, directed by Michael Attenborough. Among Henderson's television credits is a recurring role as title character Robert Carlyle's love interest in the popular series, "Hamish Macbeth" and most recently, an adaptation of Anthony Trollope's "The Way We Live Now" in which she appeared as Marie Melmotte and for which she received a Royal Television Society nomination as best actress.
KATHY BURKE (CAROL)
Kathy Burke is one of Britain's most popular actresses, appearing in drama and comedy both on television and in film. UK TV audiences have seen her in the award-winning comedy series "Absolutely Fabulous", "Harry Enfield and Chums", "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme", "Common As Muck" and "Tom Jones". For her work in the drama "Mr Wroe's Virgins" Burke received the Best Actress Award from the Royal Television Society. Kathy Burke was also named Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance in Gary Oldman's feature film debut, "Nil by Mouth". Other film roles include "Dancing At Lughnasa", directed by Pat O'Connor, the Oscar nominated "Elizabeth", directed by Shekhar Kapur, David Kane's romantic comedy "This Year's Love", and "Kevin and Perry Go Large", co-starring Harry Enfield and Rhys Ifans. She can currently be seen in Metin Huseyin's "Anita and Me" with Max Beesley, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal.
RICKY TOMLINSON (Charlie)
Liverpudlian Ricky Tomlinson ruled the UK airwaves as Jim Royle, British TV's pre-eminent housebound slob, in "The Royle Family". Other television appearances include "Cracker", "Clocking Off", "Safe as Houses" and the Jimmy McGovern dramas, "Hillsborough" and "Dockers". Tomlinson's recent feature films include the title role in "Mike Bassett: England Manager", and "51 st State" in which he co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson and "Once Upon a Time in the Midlands" co-stars Carlyle and Ifans. He has also appeared in the German box office hit, "Das Leben ist eine Baustelle", Jez Butterworth's debut feature "Mojo", Michael Winterbottom's "Butterfly Kiss" and Ken Loach's "Raining Stones" and "Riff-Raff". Ricky Tomlinson is currently writing his eagerly-anticipated autobiography.
FINN ATKINS (marlene) 12 year-old Finn is a student at Nottingham's Central Junior Television Workshop. "Once Upon A Time in the Midlands" is her first feature film.
ANDREW SHIM (Donut) made his feature debut in the title role of Shane Meadows' "A Room for Romeo Brass". Andrew was born in the US and lived in Miami until the age of five when he moved with his family to the Midlands. He is a former student of the Central Junior Television Workshop in his hometown of Nottingham.
KELLY THRESHER (Donna) appeared in the TV mini-series "My Fragile Heart". This is her feature film debut, as it is for 7 year old Eliot Otis Brown walters (lake), and 9 year old Ryan bruce (emerson) both students at the Central Junior Television Workshop.