LONDON (THE GUARDIAN) - David Beckham has confirmed reports he is to make the leap into acting and admitted he is braced for the brickbats that are likely to come his way.
The former Manchester United and England footballer was recently reported to have taken a cameo as a "grumpy knight" in Guy Ritchie's forthcoming film Knights Of The Roundtable: King Arthur. Beckham, 40, said he was keen to impose himself in his new chosen profession, but was fully aware he faced an uphill battle to find success.
"I am very aware that many sportsmen and other celebrities have turned their hand to acting and failed," he told the Times. "I know that it is a tough profession, where you need a huge amount of skill and discipline, and I wouldn't want to push myself forward too soon, without learning more about it, and doing a lot more practice. But what I have done so far, I have loved. I can deal with most things. I am a well-known person, so I have got used to criticism."
Of his cameo for Ritchie, who plans a half dozen films based on the stories of Britain's once and future king, Beckham said he found the experience "nerve-racking" but was pleased that it had ultimately gone "really well".
He said: "I had 13 lines and practised a huge amount beforehand. Guy had someone come and rehearse with me, and I did that an hour every day in the build-up."
Beckham's move into acting will see him follow in the footsteps of fellow footballers Eric Cantona, who starred in Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth as the French ambassador to the court of Cate Blanchett's Queen Elizabeth I in 1998, and former Wales and Wimbledon midfielder Vinny Jones, who made his name in Ritchie's British gangster movies Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.