Still funding
16% funded
54 backers

A memoir from the actor who played Rifleman Harris on Sharpe's Rifles

In the summer of 1992, Jason Salkey was cast in a role that would change his life forever. Sharpe’s Rifles, a Napoleonic war drama, was to be shot in the Crimean Peninsula. However, little did they know that the producers had unwittingly sent the crew to film in the rapidly disintegrated Soviet Union. There, Jason and the crew faced near starvation and danger hovering just over every horizon as they went on to create one of Britain’s most successful and critically acclaimed television programmes.

From Crimea with Love documents the mishaps, blunders, incompetence and downright corruption that made Sharpe’s Rifles go down in British television and film production folklore for its tales of hardship, disaster and chaos only rivalled by the Ukraine itself.

Follow Jason and the cast of Sharpe through intense depravation, hardship and impending catastrophe until they become every bit of the jaded, battle-hardened soldiers we saw on screen. Tapping into his written diaries, photo journal and video log, Jason Salkey brings you an eye-opening, jaw-dropping insider’s account of one of the best-loved shows ever made.

Jason is an actor, a regular on screens, small and large over the last twenty odd years. His first big job was a huge commercial campaign for Miller Lite beer UK that made his face instantly viewers in the U.K.

Roles in TV shows, commercials and theatre followed. In 1992 he got the part of Harris Sharpe. A modest part in one of British television’s most cherished shows took up the best part of the next five years, a show that eventually reached most of the globe.

That’s probably how you know Jason best, but he has appeared in many films including Memphis Belle, The Russia House, The Steal, Fifth Element, Turn of the Screw, Fairy Tale: A True Story, About a Boy, Going Off Big Time, In America, Road to Guantanamo, The Infidel and Shadowdancer.

Jason is now the unofficial, go-to source for questions concerning the TV production and cast of Sharpe. While on location he shot a huge amount of video which has become a series of films documenting life on Sharpe which has entertained battalions of fans across the world at toy-soldier/ war-gaming / military modelling / living history Re-enactment even in particularly the US and UK.

www.riflemanharris.co.uk

My name is Jason Salkey and I’m a Sharpe-aholic. Despite repeated interventions and countless trips to rehab I can’t shake my Sharpe habit; I’m a fan boy, still hooked. I’ve bought three box sets in different languages, I’ve read all the novels twice and I’ll quite happily settle into an episode of Sharpe when I alight upon one during satellite channel hopping.

How did I acquire this monkey on my back, what lead me down the path of Sharpe addiction? Where can I begin to explain the odyssey that constituted my time on Sharpe; a crazy journey that has shaped my life? A long, strange trip that to this day resonates down through the years, pursuing me whether I court it or not!

I suppose we should start at the beginning to the summer of 1992, I use the word ‘summer’ loosely as in the UK summer in London is often a rainy affair. And precisely because of this regular inclemency, I find myself watching the Wimbledon final which has been forced to schedule an extra day’s play, running-over for the first time in years (or ever) due to the exceptionally heavy rain. A typical actor, I was killing time between auditions, waiting for my agent to call with something juicy. I became a professional actor in 1987 a couple of years after graduating college in Massachusetts, New England. I had done all the dues-paying jobs imaginable, educational theatre, pub theatre, student films, you name it – I did it.

My big break – before Sharpe – was a long running advertising campaign for Miller Lite beer which regularly placed my face in almost every living room in the UK. Great exposure for an up and coming actor, but I’d rather it had been in a respected long running series or a part in a hit movie. The money was nice though, it came in regular lumps and I was quickly lulled into the false impression that it would never end; I spent accordingly, saving very little for the (now-arrived) rainy day.

The days leading up to July 6th were as rainy as they come in British summer, both weather- and otherwise. I’d fallen behind on my income tax; high repeat fees meant high taxes. I was not only in arrears, but I’d missed an instalment of the rescheduled payments too. I was up shit creek with no money and no jobs lined up, in the coming days I was to receive a visit from the Inland Revenue demanding to know what’s going on

So, I was sitting in my kitchen, quite thrilled at the prospect of watching this highly unusual, extra day’s tennis; yes, a jobbing actor has to find thrills in even the most mundane. Little did I know that the serve volley was about to be interrupted by a life-changing phone call bringing news far more exciting than an extra day’s play at Wimbledon!

Actors are used to never hearing news either way of how you did at an audition, unless of course you’ve got the job. Even in that event there’s no time scale on how quickly you’re offered the role from the time of the original audition to acceptance.

Read more...

It looks like Jason Salkey has not made any updates yet. Check back soon!

These people are helping to fund From Crimea with Love.

Avatar
John Skittrell
Avatar
Jeremy Ramsey
Avatar
Jacquelyn Phillips
Avatar
Karen Eley
Avatar
Jacky Pett
Avatar
Hugh Osborne
Avatar
mark Beyer
Avatar
DEAN HOLLISEY
Avatar
Anneli James
Avatar
Derek Jones
Avatar
Nicholas Hine
Avatar
Nicholas Hine
Avatar
WendyW Howard
Avatar
Bradley Sinfield
Avatar
Alan Baxter
Avatar
andrew davidson
Avatar
Joy Flannigan
Avatar
Winona Kent
Avatar
Samantha Hewlett
Avatar
Derek Dubery
Avatar
Adele Cox
Avatar
Marcus Brain
Avatar
Nick Breeze
Avatar
Susan Godfrey
Avatar
Irene Ambrose
Avatar
Peter Boulton
Avatar
David Peebler
Avatar
Henry Howard
Avatar
alexander salmon
Avatar
Alison Stokes
Avatar
Greg McGee
Avatar
Andy Rayner
Avatar
Gillian Gibbs
Avatar
Dan Salkey
Avatar
Natasha Salkey
Avatar
Natasha Salkey
Avatar
Malcolm Weavers
Avatar
Malcolm Cuming
Avatar
John Oakley
Avatar
Natasha Salkey
Avatar
David Smith
Avatar
Jon Roskill
Avatar
Steve Medlock
Avatar
Phil Eyden
Avatar
Isabel Casamassa
Avatar
Graham Blenkin
Avatar
Ambrose Carey
Avatar
Tim Carroll
Avatar
John Verden
Avatar
Terry Hall
Avatar
Alex Jones
Avatar
Sophie Harley
Avatar
callum rogers
Avatar
john talbot
Avatar
anthony oppe
Avatar
Stella Kane
Avatar
Sean Raffey
View all supporters

Join in the conversation

Sign in to ask a question