Shooting for Danny Boyle’s new Sex Pistols drama is well underway.
And the actor who is playing tragic punk Sid Vicious – Louis Partridge – in the six-part series was a dead ringer for the rocker as he appeared on set on Wednesday.
The actor, 17, was filming opposite Sid’s lover Nancy Spungen [Emma Appleton], who was found stabbed to death in a New York hotel where she was staying with Sid.
Vicious! The actor who is playing tragic punk Sid Vicious – Louis Partridge – in the six-part series was a dead ringer for the rocker as he appeared on set on Wednesday
Louis was spotted walking down a street in Deal, Kent, wearing Sid’s signature leather jacket, while exposing his bare chest.
His chest appeared scratched and bloody, which may be a nod to Sid’s habit of slashing his arms, legs and chest during live shows.
Louis was also sporting Sid’s recognisable black spiky hair, while adding to his punk look with a chunky silver chain and belt.
He was also donning black jeans with a pair of black shoes.
Dead ringer: The actor, 17, was filming opposite Sid’s lover Nancy Spungen [Emma Appleton], who was found stabbed to death in a New York hotel where she was staying with Sid
On tour: Louis could later be seen sat beside his embattled lover Nancy, who was sporting a platinum head of curly locks and a heavy coat of make-up including lots of eyeliner
Punk history: Steve Jones, whose memoirs provides the basis for the series, claims to have had sex with Nancy, but it is for her relationship with hell-raiser Sid, the violence-obsessed face of the punk rock movement, for which she will be forever remembered
Louis could later be seen sat beside his embattled lover Nancy, who was sporting a platinum head of curly locks and a heavy coat of make-up including lots of eyeliner.
Steve Jones, whose memoirs provides the basis for the series, claims to have had sex with Nancy, but it is for her relationship with hell-raiser Sid, the violence-obsessed face of the punk rock movement, for which she will be forever remembered.
Nancy’s body was discovered in the the bathroom of the New York hotel room they shared in October 1978, months after the Sex Pistols fell apart.
The notorious case ended with Vicious being charged with his girlfriend’s murder – but dying of a heroin overdose before it came to court.
Tragic: Nancy’s body was discovered in the the bathroom of the New York hotel room they shared in October 1978, months after the Sex Pistols fell apart
Death: The notorious case ended with Vicious being charged with his girlfriend’s murder – but dying of a heroin overdose before it came to court (pictured in together in 1978)
Nancy reportedly bought drugs to meet musicians and became a heroin addict, funding her habit at one time by working as a prostitute.
Later, she moved to England ‘specifically to get a Sex Pistol for a boyfriend’, recalled a friend. Other contemporaries she came to the UK to chase after Heartbreakers Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan, who had left New York.
Sid Vicious, born John Ritchie, was a fixture of the King’s Road punk scene who had been brought in earlier that year to replace original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock.
He could not play a note but he was as foul-mouthed and audacious as singer Johnny Rotten – John Lyndon, now of I’m A Celebrity… fame – often stripping down to his underpants to reveal a skinny torso scarred by self-inflicted knife wounds.
Mirror image: Louis was spotted walking down a street in Deal, Kent, wearing Sid’s signature leather jacket, while exposing his bare chest
The couple moved in together in London and Nancy reportedly introduced her boyfriend to heroin. She joined the Sex Pistols on their US tour the following year.
Photographer Bob Gruen, who joined the Pistols on what would be their final tour with Vicious, recalled in an interview with New York magazine: ‘I remember talking to Sid on the bus, and he really seemed to care for her.
‘He didn’t have any anger or hatred toward her. Sid very much loved Nancy. They seemed to communicate and connect.’
The band collapsed at the end of the tour and Sid returned to London with Nancy to attempt a solo career.
Rocker: His chest appeared scratched and bloody, which may be a nod to Sid’s habit of slashing his arms, legs and chest during live shows
By the end of August 1978, they returned to New York to start a new life, but overdoses were taking their toll and they were still dependent on drugs.
They moved into the Chelsea Hotel, which had once been a Mecca for writers and artists – Dylan Thomas, Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan had all once lived there – but by the late 1970s, was little more than a sprawling drugs den populated by users.
On October 12, 1978, Nancy was found dead in the bathroom of Room 100 of the Chelsea Hotel, a trail of blood leading to the bed she shared with Vicious, who had bought a hunting knife a few days earlier.
Witnesses who were at a party in their room the evening before say Vicious was out for the count, thanks to a heavy dose of barbiturates.
Sex Pistols star: Sid Vicious, born John Ritchie, was a fixture of the King’s Road punk scene who had been brought in earlier that year to replace original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock
Some theories say she could have been killed by a visitor in a squabble over drugs or money.
It was Vicious himself who phoned police to say he had found her dead body, and an hour later, in a holding cell at the Third Homicide Division, Vicious famously confessed: ‘I did it because I’m a dirty dog.’
The police, it seemed, had their man. But Vicious was later to retract his confession, claiming he could not recall anything about the night Nancy had died.
Nevertheless he was remanded in custody, but his manager, the colourful Malcolm McLaren, hired a top New York lawyer called James Merberg to win him bail.
Toby Wallace, who plays Steve Jones, was also on board the tour bus to film scenes
Rocker life: Jacob Slater channelled drummer Paul Cook as he sported a quirky blonde hairstyle and vintage shearling jacket
Within days, Vicious was free on a $50,000 licence which had been put up by his record label boss, Richard Branson.
A little more than a month later, however, Sid was back inside the maximum security Riker’s Island jail after glassing a man in a fight in a New York club. He spent nearly two months behind bars in the prison’s detox wing before he was again released on bail.
By then, Vicious had a new girlfriend, a would-be actress called Michelle Robson. On the day of his release – February 1, 1979 – Vicious, his mother Anne Beverley and a few friends went back to Robson’s apartment for a celebration meal.
After eating spaghetti bolognese, Vicious asked his mother – herself a hopeless addict – to find him some drugs.
Taking to the streets: Toby and Anson Boon were also spotted on location with Louis
Chilling: Jacob sat beside a radio while looking out the window on the bus
Boozy one! Anson was surrounded by several cans of beer
Unknown to Vicious, this batch of heroin was more than 95 per cent pure and nearly three times stronger than most of the heroin sold on the streets of New York. After taking it, Sid collapsed.
He was revived by his girlfriend and mother, but they decided not to call an ambulance because they feared he would be thrown back in jail for breaking his bail conditions. It was to prove a fatal mistake.
Later that night, alone in the bedroom, he injected more of the powerful heroin. The following morning, he was found dead.
Whether or not Vicious killed Nancy is unlikely to ever be resolved with any certainty, but in her memoir, Deborah Spungen suggests her daughter’s boyfriend wasn’t to blame.
Tartan’s in! Even the seats mirrored the punk era as they were covered in red tartan
Hello! The duo appeared distracted by something outside
The six-episode series began principal photography last month, and Danny serves as director and Executive Producer.
Based on Jones’ 2018 memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, the supporting cast also includes Game of Thrones star Maisie as punk icon Jordan as well as Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde.
Pistol moves from West London’s council estates, to Westwood and McLaren’s notorious Kings Road SEX shop, to the international controversy that came with the release of Never Mind the B******s.
Their single ‘God Save the Queen’ was banned by the BBC and reached Number 1 on the UK’s NME chart, but appeared at Number 2 on the Official UK Singles chart, leading to accusations that the song was purposely kept off the top spot.
Boyle has had an acclaimed TV and movie career. His 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won eight, including the Academy Award for Best Director.
In 2012, Boyle was the artistic director for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was subsequently offered a knighthood as part of the New Year Honours but declined.
In January, Nick Grad, President, Original Programming, FX Entertainment, said in a statement: ‘It’s great to be back in business with Danny Boyle, an exceptional artist responsible for so many great feature films and TV series.’
‘Steve Jones was at the centre of the storm that shook the rock establishment and we’re thrilled to have Danny and the rest of the creative team tell his story as a member of one of music’s most notorious bands – the Sex Pistols.’
‘Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent,’ added Boyle. ‘This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever.’
‘It is the detonation point for British street culture…where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion…and everyone had to watch & listen…and everyone feared them or followed them.’
‘The Sex Pistols. At its centre was a young charming illiterate kleptomaniac – a hero for the times – Steve Jones, who became in his own words, the 94th greatest guitarist of all time. This is how he got there.’
Pistols will be released on FX and Hulu in 2022.