New ITVX drama 'Archie' tells the story of Hollywood star Cary Grant's early life in Bristol

  • Watch Verity Wishart's report.

A new ITVX biopic is telling the story of the life of Cary Grant, including his turbulent early years in Bristol.

His career spanned several decades and he was one of Hollywood’s most loved stars. His films are some of the most watched in the world, including ‘Bringing Up Baby’ and ‘North By Northwest’.

Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach and spent his formative years growing up in Horfield, Bristol.

The Bristol Hippodrome played a key role in captivating his interest in theatre. He met Bob Pender, the boss of a travelling circus troupe whilst he was working there and Cary went on to persuade him to let him join the company.

Jason Isaacs and Laura Aikman play lead roles Cary Grant and his former wife Dyan Cannon.

Jason Isaacs plays the title role, conveying the life of a man who was one of the biggest names on the planet, but he was a stranger to himself.

Jacob said: "He was playing Cary Grant that was a character he created on screen and curated really carefully, to be loved. I guess in some ways hoping if the whole world loved him he might start thinking he was worth loving and love himself."

The new drama follows his tumultuous home life, growing up in a working-class family in Bristol.

"He cried a lot and had OCD, ADHD, he was tortured by all the memories of abandonment and abuse he had as a child," Jacob added.

Laura Aikman plays his former wife Dyan Cannon and told ITV News West Country how she prepared for the role: "I was listening to loads of 50s and 60s love songs, just basically trying be this happy, positive, just falling in love, all of that amazing energy.

"I knew if I could get to that place when I had so much to lose Jason could absolutely crush me every day."

Like Cary, Jason is no stranger to Bristol.

"I went to college there for years. It is the most beautiful town, I'm not sure I appreciated it when I was younger because I was just a student, it's a staggeringly gorgeous place."

In 2001, a life-size statue of the Hollywood legend was unveiled in Bristol's Millennium Square to stand testament to one of the city’s most iconic figures of stage and screen.

Archie airs on ITVX on 23rd November.