We talk everything from his passion for acting to Big Brother.
It was the opportunity to be involved in drama and plays, when I was quite young I had a real passion for that sort of thing. My Dad had a copy of Shakespeare’s Complete Works in his draw; I would sneak in there and try to read it sometimes. When I got older I had an affiliation of passion and desire just to tell stories I guess. It was always my passion, my desire, my drive.
If you haven’t become a successful actor, what might have you done professionally?
Well, growing up in Hackney in 1970’s wasn’t most of inspiring times. I would have probably ended up in prison or dead. I am very lucky to have had a way out of that. I went to a place called Weekend Arts College when I was younger and met a lot of people who also wanted to do the same thing. My Uncles a great musician trumpeter, my Dad also played a Guitar, my Mum had a great passion for books and reading, so in my fantasy maybe a writer or a musician, but something always creative. If I did not become an actor I would’ve hoped that I found some other creative career path.
If you could swap bodies with a person for one day, who would it be and why?
I would swap bodies with Kwame Encumber, he was the first president of Ghana , and it was the first country to gain independence in Africa. I would love to be in his mind as he went through that journey. Like Mandella he was in prison and came out by the sheer force of passion that was happening in the country and in the world at the time after Second World War. Although he had quite a sad end, the energy in which Ghana gained its independence and recognised its glorious past still lives with us today. There still a sense in Ghana that they are very proud of their heritage and I think that energy started through Kwame Encumber and his independence.
If you were given the opportunity to be on Big Brother would you?
I don’t think I would to be honest, I wouldn’t discount it completely but I don’t necessarily tend to watch those kinds of shows. It is not something that excites me. I’m more into watching classic movies and that sort of thing, so I suppose it’s not really my world.
Check out this EXCLUSIVE clip from Hard Boiled Sweets
How easy was it to get into the character for Hard Boiled Sweets?
Working with such a great director it was very easy. One of the things that he said to me is that Leroy, my character in the film has dead eyes and that spoke to me. I know those sorts of guys; I met a few once who terrified me. What’s great about Hard Boiled Sweets is that we see a softer side to all of the characters. The gangsters in the film also have a softer side which make them human and interesting, but the thing about Leroy is that he has no limits. That is reflected in the fact that he has some kind of coldness behind his eyes and there is a point in the film where you realise that he isn’t completely frozen inside, he is actually human in a very terrifying way. The sort of people that I’ve met that were like that scared the hell out of me.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors?
There’s no one way to find a route into this industry. I see so many people coming through different routes and having great experiences. There’s no one way to get there but I think that experience builds confidence and there’s a lot to be said for that. So watch, learn, listen and take notes where you can. Every single experience, no matter how small or big is important and will lead you on. I would also say to get involved in the creative side of film making or theatre, get involved in producing and try to get as much scope on what you’re doing. I wish I done more of that at a younger age, perhaps then I would find it easier now.
If I took a look inside your fridge, what may I find?
Well I have two children, and a partner so I suppose you would find pretty much everything. It’s a very big family fridge.
Whilst you were on the set of Hard Boiled Sweets were there any Actors/Individuals that you enjoyed working with the most?
It is such a great cast, I mean just every single person involved have a big love and passion for film, so I wouldn’t necessarily be able to pick anybody out. Anybody and everybody on the set have something great to offer and bring diversity to the film.
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