Do you fancy being an actor? Then why not audition for Aml Ameen’s workshop the Actors Student Alliance (ASA) and follow in his footsteps. Aml’s path has led him from the UK to Hollywood and his journey is far from over. Mingling with the likes of Cuba Gooding Jr, Terrence Howard, and Method Man, Aml Ameen is no stranger to success.
The inspiring young actor and screenwriter has taught and motivated several of his students in ASA who have since landed roles in EastEnders and Holby City. Most recently, Aml wrote and produced On the Line, a short film about a group of friends working their way up through the entertainment industry by becoming womanisers and players. True to his passion to nurture up-and-coming actors, Aml has included the most dedicated students of ASA in his film. Come late August he plans to start shooting Replacement, his first full-length feature film in the UK, which of course includes the team of ASA.
Aml is a big believer in following your dreams. So, if you have your eye on a dream career, but don’t know where to start, Aml has the answer: ‘Get educated and learn your craft. Be in it to be the absolute best. If you want it, it’s yours.’ Aml is a man who knows what he’s talking about. How do I know? Because he is living his dream.
‘Since I was a kid I’ve wanted to be on stage,’ says Aml, ‘I watched my dad grow as an established singer and at six years old I told him, I want to be an actor.’ It’s no doubt that Aml’s dad is the motivation behind Aml’s success. Supporting Aml throughout his drama productions, he’s also inspired Aml’s younger brother to reach stardom as a singer. ‘I guess it’s in the blood!’ jokes Aml.
But, with all kidding aside, Aml knows when to be serious and keep things moving, having a whole list of achievements firmly under his belt. Aml has starred in an endless amount of films – from Bella and the Boys (2003), to Kidulthood (2004) and US film Red Tails (2010).
‘We shot Red Tails in Prague, and it was amazing. Shooting an American film is a completely different ball game. In the UK things can be so limited – there’s only one camera on you and you have to do a whole lot of sets. But with American films there are at least four cameras on you at once, at every angle. There’s no constant stopping and starting, and this gives you the freedom to experiment as an actor.’
Not only this, but Aml has given tremendous performances in theatre productions such as Slow Time (2005) and won the admiration of many for various TV series including The Bill, Silent Witness, Fallout and Gunrush. Yet, you’d think with this much success as well as winning Best Actor at the 2007 Screen Nation Awards, Aml would have an ego ready to burst – but this is not the case.
‘Fame obscures your job. It’s good to be acknowledged but you can’t let yourself be distracted and affect your career. Acting is my first and foremost love. If my acting suffers, that’s my core gone.’
This is one of the remarkable attributes of Aml’s personality – he’s grounded and surprisingly down to earth. But, Aml admits that although he likes to have a quiet life, he does actually have a very outgoing personality which he often has to downplay.
‘Since being in the industry, I’ve changed a lot. For one, I’ve become more aware of other people’s feelings and more conscious of my surroundings. I’m able to mediate my personality to the company that I’m in.’
Aml is set to star in the upcoming comical legal drama Harry’s Law, about an ex-patent lawyer Harriet, who decides to start a law firm in an old shoe store. ‘In Harry’s Law, I play the young Malcolm who Harry decides to set up a law firm with – the only thing is… Malcolm’s addicted to cocaine! I have an addictive personality but I can’t relate to my character!’
So how did Aml find it working in America? ‘It’s fantastic! I’ve definitely taken a step closer towards where I want to be. Back in 2006, I met Idris Elba, an actor who I respect a lot, and after watching Kidulthood he told me that I should go to America. At the time, that was just a dream, but now it’s a reality.’
With all this experience, we’re left wondering whether Aml uses his acting in his real life. Does he sneak in a little acting to get himself out of sticky situations?
‘When I was 17 years old I was caught driving like a maniac not counting on getting chased by the police! So, I started crying and pretended that I was getting chased by people! It worked… I got out of a fine!’
What else can we expect from Aml Ameen? ‘I’m hoping to write and produce more films and continue to improve as an actor. There are so many people I’d love to work with such as Ashley Walters and my idol Denzel Washington. I guess, in five years time I’d like to tick off all these things in terms of my career and secure my position financially. Then after career satisfaction, settle down with a wife and have some children.”
Ladies, form an orderly queue!
Interview by Melissa Lewars