James Norton transforms into British conman Robert Hendy-Freegard on set

Filming for the Robert Hendy-Freegard biopic, Chasing Agent Freegard, got underway earlier this month.

And James Norton looked convincing in the titular role of the British car salesman, who masqueraded as an MI5 agent and swindled thousands of pounds out of his victims, while on set in London on Thursday.   

The English actor, 35, got into character by sporting slicked back hair, a cocky expression and a white shirt, rolled up to the elbows, as he mingled with the crew.

Titular role: James Norton (pictured), 35, looked convincing as notorious British conman Robert Hendy-Freegard, as he continued to film scenes for the biopic in London on Thursday

Titular role: James Norton (pictured), 35, looked convincing as notorious British conman Robert Hendy-Freegard, as he continued to film scenes for the biopic in London on Thursday

Titular role: James Norton (pictured), 35, looked convincing as notorious British conman Robert Hendy-Freegard, as he continued to film scenes for the biopic in London on Thursday

The man himself: Pictured is the notorious conman, Robert Hendy-Freegard

The man himself: Pictured is the notorious conman, Robert Hendy-Freegard

The man himself: Pictured is the notorious conman, Robert Hendy-Freegard 

His outfit also included a tailored grey suit jacket and pants, and statement jewellery including a watch, bracelet, necklace, and rings on his fingers.

James also wore a protective face mask in between takes, and appeared in great spirits as he engaged in conversation with the crew. 

Other scenes saw James change into a beige shirt, black leather jacket, dark jeans and black loafers, as he held onto a parcel and walked down the street.

In character: The English actor got into character with slicked back hair and a cocky expression

In character: The English actor got into character with slicked back hair and a cocky expression

In character: The English actor got into character with slicked back hair and a cocky expression

Wardrobe: He wore a white shirt, rolled up to the elbows, and grey tailored pants

Wardrobe: He wore a white shirt, rolled up to the elbows, and grey tailored pants

Outfit: James held onto a matching suit jacket

Outfit: James held onto a matching suit jacket

Wardrobe: He wore a white shirt, rolled up to the elbows, grey tailored pants, and held onto a matching suit jacket

Also starring in the biopic is Gemma Arterton, also 35, who plays the woman who helped expose Freegard’s crimes which ultimately led to his arrest – after initially falling for his charm.   

Robert used over £1million from his victims to splurge on luxury cars as he lived out his James Bond fantasy. 

Over time he bought himself seven BMWs as well as an £80,000 Aston Martin Volante, Rolex watches and Savile Row suits. 

Great spirits: James appeared in great spirits as he engaged in conversation with the crew. He also wore a protective face mask in between takes

Great spirits: James appeared in great spirits as he engaged in conversation with the crew. He also wore a protective face mask in between takes

Great spirits: James appeared in great spirits as he engaged in conversation with the crew. He also wore a protective face mask in between takes

Underway: Filming for the Robert Hendy-Freegard biopic, Chasing Agent Freegard, commenced earlier this month

Underway: Filming for the Robert Hendy-Freegard biopic, Chasing Agent Freegard, commenced earlier this month

Underway: Filming for the Robert Hendy-Freegard biopic, Chasing Agent Freegard, commenced earlier this month 

Notorious: Robert Hendy-Freegard, British car salesman, masqueraded as an MI5 agent and swindled thousands of pounds out of his victims

Notorious: Robert Hendy-Freegard, British car salesman, masqueraded as an MI5 agent and swindled thousands of pounds out of his victims

Notorious: Robert Hendy-Freegard, British car salesman, masqueraded as an MI5 agent and swindled thousands of pounds out of his victims 

Also starring in the film are Shazad Latif (Star Trek Discovery), Marisa Abela (Industry), Edwina Findley (The Wire), and Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh).   

Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn are directing the script by Michael Bronner (The Mauritanian).

Deadline reports the film is based upon the article Chasing Agent Freegard by Bronner. 

High life: Robert used over £1million from his victims to splurge on luxury cars as he lived out his James Bond fantasy

High life: Robert used over £1million from his victims to splurge on luxury cars as he lived out his James Bond fantasy

High life: Robert used over £1million from his victims to splurge on luxury cars as he lived out his James Bond fantasy

Life of luxury: Over time he bought himself seven BMWs as well as an £80,000 Aston Martin Volante, Rolex watches and Savile Row suits

Life of luxury: Over time he bought himself seven BMWs as well as an £80,000 Aston Martin Volante, Rolex watches and Savile Row suits

Life of luxury: Over time he bought himself seven BMWs as well as an £80,000 Aston Martin Volante, Rolex watches and Savile Row suits 

Night Train CEO Herbert Kloiber told the publication of the company’s first narrative feature: ‘We are incredibly excited to start our expansion into feature films with this incredible project and group of individuals. Everyone loves a compelling true crime con-artist story and I believe this one can become an instant classic.’  

Between 1993 and 2003, the car salesman convinced a series of highly respectable victims he was an undercover MI5 agent and they were IRA targets because they knew him.

Several of his victims lived in hiding for years on end. All of them ended up giving him money – £1million he spent living out his James Bond fantasy of fast cars, luxury holidays and expensive clothes.

Victims: Several of his victims lived in hiding for years on end. All of them ended up giving him money - £1million he spent living out his James Bond fantasy of fast cars, luxury holidays and expensive clothes

Victims: Several of his victims lived in hiding for years on end. All of them ended up giving him money - £1million he spent living out his James Bond fantasy of fast cars, luxury holidays and expensive clothes

Victims: Several of his victims lived in hiding for years on end. All of them ended up giving him money – £1million he spent living out his James Bond fantasy of fast cars, luxury holidays and expensive clothes 

In character: Other scenes saw James change into a beige shirt, black leather jacket, dark jeans and black loafers, as he held onto a parcel and walked down the street

In character: Other scenes saw James change into a beige shirt, black leather jacket, dark jeans and black loafers, as he held onto a parcel and walked down the street

In character: Other scenes saw James change into a beige shirt, black leather jacket, dark jeans and black loafers, as he held onto a parcel and walked down the street 

Inspiration: Deadline reports the film is based upon the article Chasing Agent Freegard by Bronner

Inspiration: Deadline reports the film is based upon the article Chasing Agent Freegard by Bronner

Inspiration: Deadline reports the film is based upon the article Chasing Agent Freegard by Bronner

The conman – whose motto was ‘lies have to be big to be convincing’ – first struck in Newport, Shropshire, where wealthy farmer’s son John Atkinson and his then-girlfriend Sarah Smith fell under his spell.

In April 1993, Hendy-Freegard suddenly announced his MI5 ‘cover was blown’ and all three went ‘on the run’, carrying out bizarre ‘missions’ across the country before they moved into a rented ‘safe-house’ in Sheffield.

Farmer John – who let Hendy-Freegard beat him in order to ‘toughen him up’ – was ordered to get a job as a barman and John’s girlfriend Sarah had to work in a chip shop.  

Soon to be a classic? Night Train CEO Herbert Kloiber told the publication of the company's first narrative feature: 'Everyone loves a compelling true crime con-artist story and I believe this one can become an instant classic

Soon to be a classic? Night Train CEO Herbert Kloiber told the publication of the company's first narrative feature: 'Everyone loves a compelling true crime con-artist story and I believe this one can become an instant classic

Soon to be a classic? Night Train CEO Herbert Kloiber told the publication of the company’s first narrative feature: ‘Everyone loves a compelling true crime con-artist story and I believe this one can become an instant classic 

Cast: Also starring in the biopic is Gemma Arterton, also 35, who plays the woman who helped expose Freegard's crimes which ultimately led to his arrest - after initially falling for his charm

Cast: Also starring in the biopic is Gemma Arterton, also 35, who plays the woman who helped expose Freegard's crimes which ultimately led to his arrest - after initially falling for his charm

Cast: Also starring in the biopic is Gemma Arterton, also 35, who plays the woman who helped expose Freegard’s crimes which ultimately led to his arrest – after initially falling for his charm

They gave their wages straight to their tormentor, leaving them virtually nothing to live on. Sarah became so hungry she even resorted to eating leftover chip batter.

Like all his victims, the friends were also forced to obtain money for him from their families: money Hendy-Freegard spent on living out his James Bond fantasy. 

As he became more confident, the would-be super-spy controlled up to five victims at a time, keeping them in various ‘safe houses’ around the country and using a mixture of charm and menace to keep them under his spell.  

All had to carry out bizarre tasks which he told them were ‘tests’ set by their supposed ‘spymasters’.

Convicted: In June 2005, Hendy-Freegard of Blyth, Nottinghamshire was convicted of ten counts of theft, eight of procuring money by deception and two of kidnapping

Convicted: In June 2005, Hendy-Freegard of Blyth, Nottinghamshire was convicted of ten counts of theft, eight of procuring money by deception and two of kidnapping

Convicted: In June 2005, Hendy-Freegard of Blyth, Nottinghamshire was convicted of ten counts of theft, eight of procuring money by deception and two of kidnapping 

One had to survive on rations of one Mars Bar per week, another walked 110 miles for a meeting with a non-existent ‘MI5 contact’, and a third had to live for week in a motorway service station on just £10.

In June 2005, Hendy-Freegard of Blyth, Nottinghamshire was convicted of ten counts of theft, eight of procuring money by deception and two of kidnapping.

Two years later, he was cleared of two counts of kidnap on a legal technicality to the outrage of his victims. His life sentence was revoked but Robert still served nine years for the other offences. 

Cleared of two counts: Two years later he was cleared of two counts of kidnap on a legal technicality to the outrage of his victims

Cleared of two counts: Two years later he was cleared of two counts of kidnap on a legal technicality to the outrage of his victims

Cleared of two counts: Two years later he was cleared of two counts of kidnap on a legal technicality to the outrage of his victims 

Sentence: His life sentence was revoked but Robert still served nine years for the other offences

Sentence: His life sentence was revoked but Robert still served nine years for the other offences

Sentence: His life sentence was revoked but Robert still served nine years for the other offences

Link hienalouca.com

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