Ex-Eastender Craig Fairbrass has revealed that his gritty new drama Rise Of The Footsoldier is a very ‘powerful, violent film’.

The flick, written and directed by Julian Gilbey, tells the story of football hooligan Carlton Leach’s rise to becoming one of the most feared criminals in the country.

Craig, who plays one of Carlton’s gang members, who was brutally murdered in Essex, said: “It is a very very graphic powerful violent film, but at the same time it doesn’t glamourise it because it sends that message that this is what can happen to you.”

Best known for playing villain Dan Sullivan in the soap, Craig added: “As actors you’re always looking for something you can really get your teeth into and when there’s no boundaries.

“Julian is the type of director that really wanted to show what you can actually do.”

The film ends in the gun battle in Essex and shows the tragic event “how it would’ve been”.

“Personally I think it’s more offensive to hold back, pan up to the moon, hear the gunshots and turn them into legends,” added Julian.

“If you’re in a pitched hooligan battle in the middle of the 80s it is very vicious and very, very real. I’m not in the business of diluting a true story to such a degree that it doesn’t resemble the true story any more.”