Tag Archives: British Actors

Britain’s Dionne Neish on timely new podcast ‘Purple Panties’

As a child, when Dionne Neish was being read to, she would imagine she was the main character in the stories, becoming a hero and fantasizing of traveling in spaceships and seeing other worlds, playing warriors and princesses and anything else she could imagine. It was a natural transition to go from playing a role in her head to playing one in front of a camera. She sees her job as an actor as a method to leave a lasting impact on her audience. She has known since the age of five that she was meant to get into acting and has spent every day since in love with the craft.

“I wanted to go into acting to entertain people. I loved the way I could affect another person by not being myself, by playing a role,” she said. “I wanted to be an actor as I felt characters were far more interesting than myself, why not live in another person’s shoes for a while.”

Neish is now known for her tremendous ability to captivate an audience, sometimes with just her voice. She has done just that in renowned productions, such as ABC’s long-running soap opera General Hospital, the 2018 Golden Globe nominated television series Better Things, and more.

Earlier this year, Neish also began working on yet another celebrated project, the podcast Purple Panties. The series, the first of its kind, is a scripted fictionalized erotic drama whose characters were Black female leads from the LGBTQ community, which drew Neish to the show.

“I wanted to be a part of this project because of the interesting and fun storyline, and it highlighted part of the community that I believe hasn’t been given enough main stream platforms. I’ve been lucky enough to work with several female led projects in the past. Being part of an all-Black female cast was refreshing and exciting. This is a story written by a Black woman, told by Black women. Representation matters and when you get to be a part of that it’s like coming home, and the camaraderie is electric. We need more stories from these and other POC perspectives. This is a story about the LGBTQ community without the stereotypes. It’s sexy, it’s funny and you’ll be hooked once you listen to it,” said Neish.

Created by New York Times Best Selling Author Zane, the podcast is based in Atlanta, telling the story of Maddox, Loren and Stephanie, who go against the grain when it comes to sex. But as relationships shift and physical needs change, can they keep up with the facade? This is about the sacrifices people make, the mistakes they make because of pride, and trying to find love in a world where the characters are seen as less because they are women, black, and gay.  Listeners follow them on their journey as they navigate their professional and personal lives.

In Purple Panties, Patricia is a vital role in telling an important and timely story. She is a self-made business woman who thinks she has the upper hand with Stephanie, played by Melissa Williams. Patricia soon realizes that Stephanie is smarter than she looks and isn’t going out without a fight. Professionally, she is big wig in the entertainment industry. She is a successful showrunner with lots of hands in different pies. She’d worked hard to be at the “big boys” table, a space occupied by only white men. She’s had to prove herself time and time again and now she is in a position where she gets offers from attractive women.

STITCHER_COVER_PurplePanties_3000x3000_Final“Obviously with the #MeToo movement, it reminded me of the stories that we’ve heard over the last few years of people abusing their power. This was an opportunity to get inside that mindset, what makes this person tick; why would someone with so much to lose take those chances? It was interesting to explore,” said Neish.

While recording the podcast, Neish found a sudden and unexpected source of inspiration. She walked into the same recording booth that Michael Jackson had recorded his ‘Bad’ album in the eighties. As a massive MJ fan, Neish was immediately taken aback. Knowing she stood in the same place that her idol had once stood, she was excited and inspired to work even harder.

Purple Panties premiered on Stitcher.com, which also premiered Issa Rae’s Strange Fruit, on October 11th 2018, followed by an episode every Thursday. The final episode was December 6th, but the entire series is now available to binge on Stitchers.com.

“I love having the opportunity to tell stories that inspire. Fans have reached out to me on Instagram, telling me how much they love the show and how juicy it’s getting and that warms my heart. That’s really all you wish for as an actor, that the audience is enjoying and coming along for the ride,” said Neish.

The next year promises to be very exciting for Neish. She has two projects coming out that she still can’t discuss. All she can say is that she got to work with two different Oscar winners on two highly-anticipated projects. One will be released soon, and the other on Netflix later in the year.

In the meantime, be sure to check out Purple Panties.

 

Written by Annabelle Lee

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British Actress Milanka Brooks brings on the laughs in TV Movie ‘Do Not Disturb’

As a child, Milanka Brooks found herself inspired by her late father, Harry Brooks. He was an actor, and the two would discuss theatre, film and television, and frequented the theatre together. Growing up, Milanka began seeing the theatre world as a magical space where real-time stopped and the world as she knew it only existed within the parameters of the stage. She knew from that young age that she would find herself on the same path as her father and that her future lied in acting.

Now, Brooks is an acclaimed actress, showing audiences in her home country of England and around the world just what a talent she is. Having recently starred in an episode of the popular Netflix original series Black Mirror, and the hit British television show Benidorm, the actress’ versatility is evident, and with her upcoming film Patrick being released later this year, she has no plans on slowing down.

One of Brooks’ most prolific roles was that of Svetlana in the movie Do Not Disturb. The film tells the story of Anna and John, who book into the Stratford-on-Avon hotel where they spent their honeymoon ten years earlier – separately, following Anna’s extra-marital fling, but they had paid for the room anyway. They decide to give their marriage another go but then Anna sees young Luke, the hungover best man from the previous night’s stag party, who mistakes her for a prostitute and whom she rings receptionist Sheila to get rid of. In the meantime, two real escorts arrive and assume that porter Neil is their client, to Sheila’s annoyance. Confusion arises when a blindfold Anna has sex with Luke by mistake and Neil ejects her husband John, believing him to be Luke. By the time Anna’s mother turns up there is much explaining to do.

Do Not Disturb Sian Gibson, Kierston Wareing, photo UKTV
Sian Gibson, Milanka Brooks and Kierston Wareing in Do Not Disturb, photo courtesy of UKTV

Do Not Disturb is a really fantastic romp made for audiences with a penchant for farce. Even when reading the script, I could feel the pace and energy of the film. It doesn’t shy away from being a purely energetic, entertaining spoof, full of thrills and turns that leave the audience feeling fully satiated by the end,” said Brooks.

The character of Svetlana is a very intimidating, confident and forceful escort from Russia. As one of the two escorts, Brooks’ character is hired to entertain the groom-to-be on his stag-do in a hotel in Stratford-Upon-Avon, a town that is definitely not known for this kind of behaviour. They storm in to the hotel and demand to be taken to his room. They end up entering the wrong hotel room and seducing the wrong man, which is the catalyst for the train of events to follow.

Svetlana came in to destroy what was already a fairly shattered environment, in Brooks’ opinion. The humor in the story came from a degenerate group of people, all finding themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Svetlana highlighted this by her stature, attitude and insolence of the whole situation.

“The men are quite paradoxically the scared characters in the story, and the women end up incredibly domineering and commanding. Sometimes I feel like this came a little too naturally,” Brooks joked.

Milanka press Do Not Disturb Catherine Tate, Miles Jupp, Steve Edge, Kierston Wareing, Dylan Edwards, Penny Ryder, Photo UKTV
Catherine Tate, Miles Jupp, Steve Edge, Kierston Wareing, Dylan Edwards, Penny Ryder, and Milanka Brooks in Do Not Disturb, photo courtesy of UKTV

Do Not Disturb also stars British icon Catherine Tate, which was the initial reason Brooks wanted to be a part of it. Working alongside such talented comedians inspired Brooks, saying the TV movie really felt like an ensemble piece from the beginning. Rehearsals consisted of a lot of improvisation and devising around the script. Writer and Executive Producer Aschlin Ditta was always open to the cast’s ideas and any amendments that complimented the story and supported the characters. This allowed the cast to really become comfortable with each other and their characters, playing off everyone’s comedic timing and creating laugh-out-loud funny scenes.

“Milanka is a very fine actress and comedienne and someone I would work with again without a second thought. As a performer she is brilliant and skilful, with a rare eye for both comedy and drama, and as a professional she is faultless. Milanka is incredibly thorough both in her preparation and execution, an exceptional talent, and while she undoubtedly delivers in performance she is also a team player who is a joy to be around. Her energy, talent, insight and humour make her an actress to grace any production,” said Aishlin Ditta, Writer and Executive Producer of Do Not Disturb.

A lot of Brooks’ performance was based on her on-screen relationship with fellow actress Kierston Wareing. The chemistry between the two, playing escorts, had to be comedic and believable to bring audiences in, so the two spent a lot of time getting to know each other outside of rehearsals and filming. The result was perfect timing between the two characters.

Working alongside such a stellar cast and crew, including Wareing, Ditta, and Tate is why Brooks enjoyed creating Do Not Disturb as much as she did. With such comedic energy all around, it was easy to see the humor of the story on set.

We ended up shooting in this beautiful country house a little outside of London. If any neighbors were watching they would have likely called the police given the absurd nature of a lot of people running in and out of rooms half dressed, but fortunately for us we were in the middle of nowhere,” she concluded.

 

Written by Annabelle Lee

Top photo by Faye Thomas

British Actor Pezh Maan captivates in award-winning French series ‘The Bureau’

Pezh Maan in The Bureau (2016)
Pezh Maan as Houtan Vosoughi in The Bureau

Pezh Maan did not choose to become an actor. For the British native, it was instinctual, similar to waking up each day and going to bed every night. There was never anything else he imagined himself doing, and as a child, he never wondered what his future would hold, he knew. He has always listened to his heart and believes that when one lives by such a rule, success will always follow. It definitely has for Maan, who has become a sought-after actor in the United Kingdom’s film and television industry.

Audiences around the world quickly became enamoured with Maan when he played the Chief Analyst and right-hand man to Christoph Waltz’ Blofeld in the 2015 James Bond movie Spectre. He is also recognized for his outstanding work in the television shows Eastenders and Tyrant. His film Unattended Item went on to critical acclaim, and there is a lot of buzz around his upcoming television series, Deep State, starring Kingsmen’s Mark Strong and Game of Thrones’ Joe Dempsie, which premieres on FOX this Spring.

“I think what I do as an actor is interpret the words of the writer and turn them into all the facets of the living breathing human being that I am being asked to play. I get into the skin of the character whilst still being myself with all my own emotional responses. When the character is somewhat at odds with my own experiences, imagination can come to one’s aid in creating a way to relate to the character. Imagination is the lifeblood of actors’ work and interpreting the text is an imaginative endeavour, and an extremely rewarding one for me,” he said.

Maan’s versatility is endless, and as a multilingual actor, his work in other languages has led to success in countries outside of his home of the United Kingdom. In 2016, he starred in the French television series Le Bureau des Legendes, translated to The Bureau in English. The series went on to become a hit with not only audiences, but French critics as well. At the COLCOA French Film Festival, it took home the TV Series Jury Special Prize and the TV Series Audience Award. At the French TV Critics Association Awards (A.C.S.), it won Best Production. It also won Best French Series at Le Parisien, Best French Series at the Globes de Cristal Award, and was in the Top 10 Series at Télérama: Top 10 Series.

“I think knowing that the season was such a success gave everyone confidence that their ideas could only build on the quality that had already been established. I’m very proud of the work that we did, and it is a great feeling to be part of a universally lauded show. Despite what people say, good reviews and accolades are validation of a standard that you hope to achieve, the excellence that your hard work is aiming for. And it is satisfying that audiences and critics alike have responded to the elements that we worked to create for them. As an actor who is always learning, it gave me some very valuable feedback, especially as the performances were singled out for praise. It validated some of the bolder creative choices I made and that the Director had the bravery to include in the final cut,” said Maan.

The show, now in its third season, is a spy thriller directed by Eric Rochant for Studio Canal +. The Bureau is based upon real accounts by former spies and inspired by contemporary events, and centres on the daily life and missions of agents within France’s Directorate-General for External Security, its principal external security service. It focuses on the “Bureau of Legends”, responsible for training and handling deep-cover agents (operating ‘under legend’) on long-term missions in areas with French interests, especially in North Africa and the Middle East. Living under false identities for years, these agents’ missions are to identify and recruit good intelligence sources.

Maan played Houtan Vosoughi, an Intelligence officer charged with investigating and arresting foreign agents who have penetrated Iran. He has a wife and family who were oblivious to the danger and risk he was facing in his everyday role. As such, he was capable of leading multiple lives successfully without disturbing any of the delicate balances of each, all while still maintaining his sanity. He was a man capable of extreme violence, which was kept very deeply hidden behind an impassive exterior and a sense of decorum. He was a skilled communicator and could use words as weapons to disarm his opponents and reveal information without needing to resort to violence. He was also very self-confident in being able to handle people who were not trustworthy but had vital intelligence. Maan’s character was pivotal to the success of the second season of the show. He was the man who put all the pieces of the puzzle together that had been accumulating as the episodes progressed and discovered double agents that had infiltrated security. Through a series of cleverly crafted scenes and after interviewing a number of suspects he was able to make the arrests that lead to the series climax.

The arrest of Sara Giradeau’s character, Marina, was a pivotal moment in the story that created a climate of fear about the severe consequences that awaited her and her colleagues. Houtan’s arrival in the story as a dark horse and sinister figure was timed to escalate the tension that had been mounting and his quiet probing into the activities of the protagonists, aided by a wonderfully nuanced script, served as the catalyst for the exciting climax.

Maan has been a fan of French Cinema for quite a while, and when the opportunity to audition for the show came about, he eager to partake. After reading for multiple roles, Maan was chosen by the producer for the essential role of Houtan Vosoughi. The producers knew of the actor’s work in Spectre and they wanted to imbue the character of Houtan Vosoughi with a similar kind of cutting edge mentality.

“I watched the first season of The Bureau and was very impressed with the economy of style and the cinematic pace that gave the show a very unique atmosphere akin to some of the great cinematic thrillers. It was brilliantly acted, and I wanted this show to be my first French language production,” he said.

To prepare for his role on the series, Maan studied the first season, making sure to pick up on the details and nuances of the atmosphere, characters, and style of the show. From there, Maan created his character off the pages of the script. He decided Houtan’s actions would be expressed through stillness and facial expression as much as possible, keeping in line with the intelligence operatives holding multiple cards close to their chests. Maan also wanted to generate a lot of tension in the investigation and interrogation scenes, with the idea that he was leading the audience closer to the danger and intrigue of the plot. He executed this to perfection.

Maan also studied similar American shows, such as 24, stylizing his character similar to Jack Bauer. By doing this, he noted the subtlety of the acting and Keifer Sutherland’s ability to portray level-headedness in high stakes scenarios. Maan used this as a reference to find the right tone for his character. He also watched a lot of old crime thrillers in the French language and worked with a dialogue coach to bring out the nuances of the language.

One of the highlight of the experience for Maan was shooting in Morocco, where most of the scenes take place. Not only did it feel authentic, he says it is one of the most beautiful locations he has working in throughout his career. The other highlight, of course, was working with such a tremendous team.

“Working with so many experienced and talented artists was an exciting challenge that definitely motivated me to produce better work. It was such a collaborative experience on set with cast and crew which brought out the best in all of us and the atmosphere was a really lovely one to work in. The level of detail that concerned the Director, Camera team and fellow actors brought a high degree of excellence to the ambition of the project and one that was artistically very satisfying to be part of,” said Maan.

Be sure to watch the second season of The Bureau to witness Maan’s stellar performance as Houtan Vosoughi.

Stay Tuned for Britain’s Francesca De Luca in ‘Midnight Daughter’ and ‘Espresso’

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Francesca De Luca

When actress Francesca De Luca stands before a camera, every fiber of her being comes to life. Her soul awakens when she transforms into an unfamiliar character, adopting all of the dynamic elements that makes them who they are. She is driven by the unique challenge of taking a character’s description from a script and bringing them to life. It is a journey unlike any other and a privilege to call it a job. For De Luca, her work is about transporting her viewers into a different world. It’s about allowing them to escape from real life, or to explore elements of their being in ways they might not have otherwise done. She finds that films can be therapeutic, offering relief from our everyday lives. They enlighten and entertain us in such a way that molds our thoughts, our passions, and our dreams in the same way that acting has molded her.

“I love to make an audience feel something, whether it’s through comedy or drama, and the emotion or truth of a character. I love making people laugh, feel and think, and I love to sink my teeth into a script where the character has depth, contrasts, and experiences an emotional journey,” told De Luca.

Every time that De Luca sets her sights on a script, there is no doubt that she will make it a success. She has had a profound impact on every film she has ever worked on, and she is a known asset in the industry. Her performance as Margot Fonteyn in the film, Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent, gained broad recognition when it featured at the Tribeca Film Festival just this past year, and again when it was selected for the Hamptons Film Festival and Key West Film Festival. The film’s success, however, did not stop there. It earned widespread critical acclaim when it was released in theatres across Canada and the United States, receiving immeasurable praise from prestigious publications like the New York Times. Later on this year, viewers carried it to number one in the ITunes Documentary category and were the reason that it featured in the top ten slots of the Independent Movie category.

Another of her major successes was working on the film Passports which won the 1st Place Audience Award at the California Women’s Film Festival, as well as the Award of Merit at The Accolade Global Film Competition. The film also went on to receive official selections at the aforementioned festivals, as well as Atlanta Shorts Fest, Laughlin International Film Festival and Film Invasion LA.

This sort of success is not unheard of for talent as unparalleled as De Luca’s and it only motivates her to expand her reach in the industry. Her drive is unprecedented and for this reason, filmmakers are drawn to her when looking to cast an actor that will carry their script or storyline to greatness. Fortunately for cinematographers all over the world, she is attracted to well-written scripts and eager to do their characters justice. When producers like Annie C. Wright, who worked with De Luca on her digital series, Down & Out, get to experience working with De Luca, they are often astounded by the depths of her talent.

“Francesca is not only talented in her craft, she’s professional, driven, and willing to put in the work required to succeed in this industry. She is a joy to have on set and I hope to be able to work with her again in future productions,” said Wright.

Jeremy Pion Berlin, who directed Passports, was intrigued by her exceptional on-screen presence and her improvisation skills. He knew that he had to work with her and his experience working with her pushed him to want to work with her again for his upcoming film, Midnight Daughter. When Berlin approached her about starring in his first feature length film, the British-Italian actress was thrilled. For Midnight Daughter, De Luca will be playing the lead role, Shawna. The psychological thriller is to be set in an old-age facility where Shawna works. De Luca, who loves playing dark, dramatic roles, is ecstatic about the depth of Shawna’s character and the opportunity to keep her audience on their toes for the duration of the emotional roller coaster that the film will depict.

In addition to Midnight Daughter, De Luca will also be starring in the romantic comedy Espresso. She is very excited to be diving further into the comedic genre once again. Her versatility as an actress allows her to transform herself into characters living through all kinds of experiences. She is not typecast and she does not limit herself to any specific range of characters. She seizes the challenge of becoming whomever a script needs her to be. If her history of excelling in every role she has accepted is any indication, she once will be perfect for the part in Espresso.

“I love the challenge of playing different roles and brining parts of myself to a character. It is my passion and I am lucky to get to do what I love over and over again. I can’t wait to see how both projects turn out,” concluded De Luca.

Scott Michael Wagstaff talks new film ‘Pendulum’

Scott Michael Wagstaff headshot by Kim Hardy 1
Scott Michael Wagstaff, photo by Kim Hardy

Creativity has always been a guiding force in Scott Michael Wagstaff’s life; it is his fuel. From a young age, he channeled that into performing. The buzz he would get from standing on a stage in front of a live audience was addicting. As he grew, performing was no longer about the thrill, but rather living in a place of honesty for himself, and inspiring audiences to do the same. It is this understanding that makes Wagstaff such an extraordinary actor today. He acts not only because he wants to, but because he needs to. There has never been an alternative for him.

Throughout his career, Wagstaff has taken not only his home country of England, but the world by storm. With memorable roles in BBC’s Doctors, 6 Days, The Time of Their Lives, and Final Reflection, audiences can see exactly why Wagstaff is at the top of his field. Recently, his accolades grew yet again, with a nomination for “Best Supporting Actor” at the FilmQuest Film Festival for his role in the new film Pendulum.

“Playing the role of Gwilym was a very fulfilling and a great challenge. The role required me to be a man of few words which is tougher than what it sounds. As an actor, you feel at times the words do the work for you, so when I found I had little to say to honor this role, and furthermore the story, it always seemed challenging. I had to just completely trust that I had everything going on already,” said Wagstaff

Pendulum is a film about two friends who seek spiritual salvation in India in advance of the impending collapse of the cosmos. It is a spiritual science fiction tale with a deep message, telling audiences the importance of being okay with themselves, who they are, and to stop attaching to everything else to distract from who they really are. Wagstaff plays the pivotal role of Gwilym. Gwilym is a very cold man, but has great care and love for his best friend Cerys. The role was entirely improvised, with no script. Wagstaff had to ensure that whatever he improvised would not only keep true to the story, but enhance it.

“What helped is knowing why Gwilym is so cold. He didn’t agree with the hedonistic and disconnected world in London, a result of the end of the world upon them, and had given up on connecting himself, thinking he’s better off alone without joining in the numbing of the end of the world. Once I understood that part of myself that wanted to numb from certain things in life did that then help me embody this character,” Wagstaff described.

In addition to Wagstaff’s nomination, the film is in competition at Encounters Film Festival at the end of the month, making the film BAFTA and Oscar qualified. It is an Official Selection at the Stranger With My Face Festival, NOLA Horror Film Festival, PUNE Film Festival, and of course, the FilmQuest Festival. It has just begun its film festival run, so it will likely be recognized much more around the world. None of this could have been possible without Wagstaff’s understanding of his character and his dedicated and captivating portrayal of Gwilym. He also produced the film.

“Scott is a generous and kind-hearted team member, who really wants the best for each member of the cast and crew and will go to lengths to let people shine. As a performer, he is able to deliver deep and emotionally connected performances in the trickiest of circumstances, always putting vast amounts of work in, and with the confidence to let his talents dazzle,” said Lauren Cooney, the Director, Writer, and Producer of the film. “As an actor Scott has a deep emotional well, on which to draw from, and is able to deliver truthful and complex performances in the moment. As a producer Scott is fully up for taking big risks, and jumping on board adventures. He seeks out collaborators who he is excited by, and is very committed to long-term work in this much-loved industry.”

Cooney initially invited Wagstaff to work on her film, knowing she needed the best actors to make her film a success, especially when it came to Gwilym. He is the catalyst for the lead female role Cerys to see that everything she has been searching for is right there within herself. Even though he comes across cold and disconnected, he breathes a truth into Cerys’ life about him being okay with being alone without him saying anything. He has a love for Cerys that helps her to see that love ultimately between human beings is what matters most – love of self and then love of others. The road trip to India wouldn’t have happened if Gwilym wasn’t there with her, as she wasn’t capable of being physically alone.

“On a deeper level, Gwilym represents people in this world who have great moral beliefs and want change, but don’t speak up until they feel they really do have to. It would be great if these people would speak up from the get go,” said Wagstaff.

Wagstaff had full creative freedom to create such an in-depth character. His instincts were almost always right, and very little was changed without his input. There was a great sense of teamwork on the film, and that is what Wagstaff loved.

“It was the ultimate meaning of collaboration to me and the people in the cast and crew were fantastic. I also loved that I got to travel around India with this film, I see the most radical and powerful sights and even ended up on a train for over three days travelling from one location to another,” he concluded.

Be sure to keep an eye out for Wagstaff in Pendulum.

SEBASTIAN SACCO’S PERFORMANCE IN “NO PLACE” IS EERILY SIMILAR TO PRESENT DAY SCENARIOS

Imagination can be wonderful but it can also make things harder for us in the real world. That statement might contradict what most of us think about imagination. Escapism can be a beneficial tool, right? Most of the time it is, but consider the predicament of Writer/Director Joe Beverly, a celebrated filmmaker who had written a deep and intense character driven piece called No Place (the film would go on to be screened at the Forum Film Festival and win ‘Best Short’ and ‘Best Screenplay’). The central character, William Aims, would need to communicate his inner turmoil without words as often as with. Aims is such a strong force in the story that casting anyone less charismatic or “alpha male” as the character would cause the story to “lose its teeth.” Luckily for Beverly, young British actor Sebastian Sacco was seeking an intensely dramatic role. Joe Beverly declares, “I needed to cast an exceptionally strong actor to successfully execute what I had written in the script. I was extremely lucky to find Sebastian and, when he auditioned, I knew almost instantly that he was the absolute perfect choice to essay the role of William. He has an uncanny ability to communicate without speaking or even moving much, a gift which only the very best actors possess, and which he put on full display in No Place. His performance went beyond what I had even hoped for and truly made the film a special tour de force about the cult of money and how it can topple lives. There is no way the film would have been possible without Sebastian’s stunning performance and everyone who has seen it has been floored by his portrayal of William.” The film’s star states that the reason for his being cast is likely due to a combination of acting and inherent character traits as he sates, “I’m an extremely moral person and will speak up if I think something is wrong. I think it was this trait which Joe saw in me. In my opinion, a strong actor is someone who isn’t scared to go there, to look ridiculous, to fail in front of people and to keep trying. That’s a strong actor. I think what Joe meant was that I was capable of holding the audience’s attention. I take it as quite a compliment that Joe saw that in me.”

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No Place is unsettling in how contemporary and possible it seems. The plot depicts a scenario in which England has seen a political, economic, and social change. The government has fallen, the banks have crashed, and the old system has fallen into the hands of three remaining corporations. These three corporations are now ruled by the Bank of Britain, posing as three separate organizations that still give the public an opportunity to vote. Young economist Will Aim’s (Sebastian Sacco) works his way to the top of the system, eventually working alongside Tony Darwin (Paul Dewdney) who is the final over seer of Britain’s future. Will’s moral compass and girlfriend, Skylar (Danielle Norman) rejects the new system, seeing the bigger picture, she tries to open Will’s eyes. He slowly begins to uncover the truth that Skylar saw all along and, with Skylar by his side, Will has a life changing decision to make; one which is harder than he ever expected. As inspiration for Aims, Sebastian reverted back to an earlier time and emotional state of mind which he had experienced. He remarks, “I went back to my private school days. Trying to impress people in that world. It’s all about how you talk, dress, posture eat; everything is judged and weighed up. If you can do it all the ‘right way’ then you’re part of the club. That sense of constant self-awareness and trying to look and act a certain way but never above your station was important to me. Will was very straight edged. He rose to his position so quickly because he was smart, not because he was imposing or a risk taker. In my own private school days, I thought some people were rich because they were smatter and harder working than others. I believed in these ridicules lies. The truth is most people are stuck and trapped by their circumstances. I’ve been as ignorant and blind as Will was and I’ve come out the other side. So I understood his journey.

The film was well received by critics, the film community, and the public; no doubt due to the intense performances which Sacco and his supporting cast delivered as well as the timely subject matter. Sebastian reveals that he is somewhat conflicted about these recognitions as he remarks, “It was amazing to hear it won awards. Joe called me straight away to let me know. I’m always very hard on my performance and wasn’t happy with it, so to hear that it had won two awards…I couldn’t have been too bad. I think awards are pointless in many ways. Arts are about expression. Not all expression is nice. A lot of awards are like a popularity contest. I think as long as you don’t make films with awards in mind, staying true to the original idea and express it in the strongest way possible to that truth…then if someone wants to give you an award for that, I feel that is good. The best reward is just making the film. When that happens, my entire life just stops. It is fulfilling and draining simultaneously. When you finish, you have this piece of art that you have all worked together to create. You have this thing that existed in your collective minds and you made it materialize, then you send it out for others to experience. Now that is an award!”

 

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