David Beckham's acting career: Films, TV and cameos of former Man Utd & Real Madrid star

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The former Manchester United and England star is living in California and he has dipped his toe into the creative realm of 'Tinseltown'

Love him or hate him, David Beckham is a man of many talents.

While he is principally known for his long and trophy-laden career in football with giant clubs such as Manchester United and Real Madrid, Beckham has also dabbled in other fields to various degrees of success.

He has been a model for some of the biggest brands in the world, eventually establishing his own fashion range, including fragrances and, in early 2018, he officially became the owner of a Major League Soccer expansion team.

As well as his various business interests, Beckham is also a keen actor and has played a number of roles both on the big screen and television over the years.


What films has David Beckham been in?


Beckham became involved in the film industry during his playing career and the first real forays into the business came when he was at Real Madrid.

At the beginning, aside from appearing in advertisements for the likes of Adidas and PepsiCo, the midfielder tended to play himself in cameo roles - the Goal! series being an example of this - but since retiring he has taken on some more diverse roles.

He has worked with director Guy Ritchie on a number of occasions, appearing in the 2015 film The Man from U.N.C.L.E. as a projectionist and most recently he had a more prominent role in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017).

Beckham has also featured in a couple of short films, made as part of fashion campaigns, alongside the likes of Harvey Keitel, Katharine Waterston and Kevin Hart.

Charlie Hunnam David Beckham King Arthur 2015

He played a silent motorcyle stuntman, with Keitel and Waterston, in the short film Outlaws (2015), which was produced by the English fashion brand Belstaff.

He also played a fictionalised version of himself in a H&M short featuring Hart called The Road Trip (2016).

David Beckham selected films

Year Film Role
2005 Real: The Movie Himself
2005 Goal! The Dream Begins Himself
2006 Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait Himself
2007 Goal! II: Living the Dream Himself
2013 The Class of '92 Himself
2015 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Projectionist
2015 Outlaws Stranger
2016 H&M's the Road Trip David
2017 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Trigger

Despite the fact that he has been popping up in films and regularly showing up at film business events, Beckham has denied that he is pursuing it as a serious career path. Instead, he has suggested that it is simply a hobby.

He told ABC News in 2015: "I've never, ever thought about going into any kind of acting. People have actually started talking about me and my 'new career of acting'. It's not my new career, it's just something that I'm stepping into and enjoying myself with."

Given that he does not have a background in acting, his efforts have been scrutinised, but Ritchie, who, as mentioned, cast Beckham in two of his films, has defended the former England international.

Last year, at the launch of King Arthur, the director said: "He's fabulous and I think you'll find that anyone who can be objective about this will agree. It might be easy for critics to have a go, but they want a headline. He's really very good."

Beckham's co-star Charlie Hunnam echoed Ritchie's comments and paid tribute to the 42-year-old's famous work ethic. 

"I thought he was incredible. Not only how well he did, but the preparation he put in, the discipline and just the real burning desire to do a good job," Hunnam said. 

"It became clear why he enjoyed so much success in his career. He's obviously a perfectionist who puts his heart and soul into everything he does. I was really impressed."


What TV shows has David Beckham been in?


David Beckham 2017

As well as appearing on the big screen, Beckham has been a regular feature on television, taking part in various chat shows over the years.

In 2003, he and his wife Victoria were the subjects of a TV documentary called The Real Beckhams, which followed the couple and their move to Madrid.

Other shows Beckham has appeared in include Snoop Dogg's Father Hood, Sesame Street and Gordon Ramsey's Hell's Kitchen.

Selected David Beckham TV appearances

Year Film Role
2002 & 2003 Dream Team Himself
2003 The Real Beckhams Himself
2007 Snoop Dogg's Father Hood Himself
2008 & 2012 Sesame Street Himself
2012 Hell's Kitchen Himself
2013 Nash Himself
2014 David Beckham: Into the Unknown Himself
2014 Only Fools and Horses: Beckham in Peckham David Beckham
2015 Knock Knock Live Himself
2015 David Beckham: For the Love of the Game Himself
2017 The Late Late Show with James Corden Himself

In 2014, Beckham appeared alongside David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst in a special edition of the iconic British TV sitcom Only Fools and Horses.

The sketch was part of that year's Comic Relief and the former Manchester United man cheekily recreated a famous scene from the series. As well as playing himself, Beckham has a writing credit for the short, which was called 'Beckham in Peckham'.

Beckham's forays into acting and Hollywood coincided with his move to California and there were even humorous calls for him to be considered as the next James Bond.

Those calls were subsequently lampooned in 2017 on an episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden, in which Beckham goes up against Corden for the role of Bond.


Have any other footballers gone into acting?


Pele Escape to Victory

Yes, a surprising number of footballers have turned their hand to the entertainment business and Beckham is in diverse company in that regard.

Perhaps the most successful footballer-turned-actor is former WImbledon and Wales midfielder Vinnie Jones, who has forged a respectable career in the crime-action-comedy film circuit. Jones won an Empire Award for Best Newcomer for his part in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in 1999 and has shown impressive adaptability in his subsequent roles. 

Another former Man United no. 7 has also dipped into the realm of acting: Eric Cantona. The fiery French star has featured in a number of films, including the 1998 biographical movie Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett. Cantona also played a fictionalised version of himself in Looking for Eric (2009).

Former Rangers and Scotland star Ally McCoist was the hero footballer in A Shot at Glory (2002), which featured a glittering cast, including Michael Keaton, Brian Cox and multiple-time Academy Award nominee Robert Duvall. Stan Collymore, who made his name as a star striker for Liverpool, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest, had a role in Basic Instinct 2 (2006), opposite Sharon Stone.

Of course, Pele, universally regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, was one of the forerunners to all of the above, having starred in John Huston's war-time fantasy football classic Escape to Victory (1981) alongside Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine. England's World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore was also involved, as well as a host of other footballers.

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