With two vastly different new movies – Anuvahood and Suicide Kids – about to hit the big screen, Jason Maza seems as if he’s ready to take on any acting challenge that comes his way. The 24-year-old rising film star has already inhabited notable characters in TV shows, such as The Bill and Holby City, and well-known films, such as Fish Tank and Shifty. Said to be “one to watch” on the UK film circuit, Flavour speaks exclusively with Jason about his upcoming roles, working with Tulisa from N-Dubz and hanging out with Idris Elba.
You’ve been described as “one of the most exciting young British actors of your generation”. That must be a great feeling, right?
Yeah, it’s amazing having people saying nice things. I think many people are expecting a lot more from me as I spent much of 2010 stacking up the work, but this is the year where all the projects that I have been working on are going to be released.
Your acting CV is pretty impressive – what attracted you to acting in the first place?
My mum and dad needed something for me to do as they couldn’t stand me being a crazy kid around the house. So they found me a drama club in Essex, which I went along to and really loved it. After that I got an agent and it all sort of just developed.
One of the films coming out soon that you will be appearing in is Anuvahood. What was the appeal of this movie – was it the cast or the story line?
I mean, it was definitely a mixture. Adam Deacon is a very dear friend of mine and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with him a couple of times. The script is really, really funny, and I think it’s going to be ground-breaking cinema in a way, as it’s never been done before here in the UK. It’s also got an amazing cast and to be a part of it all is just brilliant.
You play Darren in the film – so what’s he like?
My character is a bailiff who goes around to Adam Deacon’s character Kenneth’s house to get money that he and his family owes by taking away his products. The other bailiff that I am with loves the whole thing and is just horrible to everyone.
Tell us a bit about Suicide Kids, another one of your upcoming movies, which you’ve actually produced and starred in.
Suicide Kids is going to be an epic event, and I am truly excited for everyone to see it. Basically, it’s about eight kids all suffering from different problems. For example, someone’s getting bullied, or maybe they are anorectic, either way, they’ve all got different issues and are all on an Internet chat room where they sort of discuss the possibility of killing themselves. While that’s taking place, we all believe that one of the characters has committed suicide, when, in fact, there’s a masked killer going around killing them one by one. It’s one of those ‘whodunnit’ films that leaves you thinking until the end. It does sound quite bleak but there’s also a lot of humour in it.
The super-talented Idris Elba is also an executive producer for the movie. What was it like working with him?
Idris was obviously someone that everyone on-set looked up to. To also have his stamp of approval on a movie is just phenomenal. It was very exciting as he sort of took it to that next level, which I think is really going to help when we push the film in the States. He made the whole thing exciting and to have had him leading really did mean a lot.
Tulisa Contostavlos from N-Dubz also makes her big-screen debut, along with presenter Reggie Yates and Robert Sheehan (Misfits). How was it working with them?
Tulisa was just incredible. I was really, really impressed with her acting. I thought she was extremely down to earth, lovely, beautiful and talented. She is so dedicated. Reggie Yates was brilliant. He was committed to the part; I think he’s actually a really great actor. Robert played the leading man and he’s a genius. He’s amazing in Misfits, but although this was a slightly different performance for him, he was awesome.
To celebrate our ‘must be the movie’ issue, we would like to get to know you a bit more, so tell me which actors would be on your Come Dine With Me invite menu?
[Laughs]… Ryan Gosling, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Ray Winstone.
If you could remake and star in a classic movie, what would it be and why?
It’s a Wonderful Life – because it has a fantastic story line.
So, you’re appearing in a romantic movie and need a co-star, who do you cast as your love interest – Beyoncé or Rihanna?
[Laughs, then a long pause]… I’m sorry, but it will have to be Rihanna.
Anuvahood is out in cinemas nationwide
Suicide Kids is set for release in May
Words by Edina Damoah