Posts tagged ‘Ill Manors’

March 6, 2013

Mem Ferda [Interview]

Mem Ferda is a London actor born in Chelsea who became intrigued by acting from a young age. After completing two degrees in BSc Honors Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.) he then went on to pursue acting professionally. He has played many ‘baddie’ roles such as Kamel Hannah (The Devils Double), Vladimir (Ill Manors), Hakeem (The Veteran) and more. In recent film ‘Pusher’ Mem portrays the character of Hakan, though capable of extreme violence he is warm and friendly with aspirations of getting out of the drug game to follow his dreams of owning his own business. 

From a young age you were fascinated by the art of acting, where did the fascination stem from, and what led 

you to take it seriously?

As far back as I can remember I have always been curious and intrigued by other people. I would frequently watch TV, then, mimic what I had just seen the actor do.

At college I studied ‘A’ Level Film Study, which added to my fascination and thirst for Film and Acting. In my teenage years, I worked as a male model part time whilst studying, which eventually resulted in a London Agent signing me up for Television and Film work.

I went on to pursue and fulfill my passion for Acting by doing a Post-Graduate Diploma in Classical acting at LAMDA (The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art). After LAMDA, I was snapped up by a mainstream Acting Agent and many doors opened for me and my career really began.

What led you to have two degrees unrelated to acting even though you knew you wanted to purse acting?

 Both my parents encouraged me to pursue a more ‘stable’ profession. My eldest sister was a solicitor and hence they wanted me to follow in her footsteps. My father was devastated to learn that I had been studying Psychology instead of Law. His influence was overwhelming; I felt I had let him down; he wanted me to take over his businesses, so I decided to do a Masters degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.)

 You’ve had a colorful past being held at gunpoint, being suspected as a drug smuggler at the Serbian border and narrowly avoiding being 

a getaway driver in a real life heist. Were you a bad boy when you were growing up? 

I was rebellious in my teens, hanging out with some unsavory characters and often in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. I never set out to be a ‘bad boy’ as such, but I seemed to be awestruck by such characters and found their way of life extremely exciting.

Did all these things and witnessing an assassination attempt on your father toughens you up, and helps you understand the roles you played?

These happenings would certainly of had an effect, without a doubt. When developing a character one does draw upon personal experiences, so yes, it has helped me formulate an understanding, having had first hand experience of these situations.

Is it hard being from the UK to get into acting, especially in American films?

It used to be, because there was a clear divide between what constituted as an American production and what is clearly a British production. However, it is now more a collaborative arrangement and the line is now significantly blurred. I do well being based in the UK and working in both ‘British’ and ‘American’ productions.

Do you feel as an actor you can get stereotyped easily into certain roles?

Yes, you can. In fact a vast majority of actors get stereotyped. It’s actually a good thing, as it gives you a voice, an established identity and a niche to grow from. It is exhaustively competitive out there, so to establish yourself an identity to later develop from is vital. Once this is set, you then battle to change industry professional’s perceptions of you, to expand and show your real range and versatility. This is what I’m doing now. I’m being very cautious about every new role I am being offered. Its time to break the chain and make the film-world sit up and take notice!  

How different is acting in TV to film?

In terms of acting technique, or creation of a character, there isn’t any difference for me. However, given the choice of which I prefer as a medium, I’d choose Film over TV. Television is much quicker in terms of the speed at which each scene is shot   and the whole production process in general. It reaches out to a wider audience much quicker. Film however is a lot more controlled, slower, process. Budgets are bigger, and subject matter for films tend to be more creative, which is what I like. Also, films tend to tell a story through the journey of a single strong protagonist with supporting cast, which I prefer, compared to television which tends to have stories consisting of a few lead characters and is more an ensemble cast set up.

To date which role have you enjoyed the most, and which one suited your real character the most?

It is hard for me to single out one specific role as being the one I enjoyed most of all. I find most parts I undertake, do give me a gratifying sense of achievement. The role of Kamel Hannah in ‘The Devil’s Double’ is one, which comes to mind, as it was very challenging and I love a challenge. It was demanding both physically and mentally, I had to go from being euphorically drunk to confused and terrified in an instant.

None of the roles I’ve played to date would be a true refection of my real character. But each role I do play has elements and pockets of my true character embedded within them.

Tell us about the recent film you have been involved in ‘Pusher’?

PUSHER is an English language remake of the original Danish cult movie by Nicholas Winding Refn, which he wrote and directed back in 1996. Set in London instead of Copenhagen, it is about a week in the life of a drug pusher named Frank.

The film is a no-holds-barred, gritty and real, journey into the underworld of the drug pusher. It will be extremely entertaining with flashes of humor, hard-core action, violence and a twisted plot.

What advice would you give to up and coming actors?

They need to be aware that acting requires total unrelenting dedication 24/7. Determination, sacrifice and focus are at the top my list. It is a way of life, not an occupation. There are no guarantees of success, but when it knocks at the door, it is as if you’ve been invigorated by a new life force. Hardest of all is rejection. After 16 years in the industry it is still hard to take, it doesn’t get easier. Also, it is good to have some prior Drama school training. Ultimately, I don’t believe they can teach you how to act. But their usefulness is in helping you channel the talent you may have, to act effectively.

 What’s next for you in the world of acting?

I can next be seen in supernatural horror, feature film, ‘Parallel Hell’, in which    I play a lead role. Other features I have coming up are Gridiron UK, A Place Between, and The Unbeliever.

Anyone who’d like to keep updated on future projects can do so via website

September 19, 2012

MTV Wrap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News]

Hey, I hope you all had a good weekend – I did! Therefore, I am going to kick off with some good news this week. Hackney hip-hop artist Mikill Pane, who has worked with Ed Sheeran and Example, signed to Mercury Records last week. He announced the news via his Twitter and Instagram accounts, saying: “I moved to a new planet today. Proud to announce that I am now signed & I’m on Mercury Records…”

Mikill is said to be finishing his debut album ‘Blame Miss Barclay’,which we should be hearing before the end of this year. Congratulations!

Plan B has been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize shortlist for his third album, which was also the Ill Manors soundtrack – making history as the first ever soundtrack to get a nomination. The judges have praised the soundtrack to his film of the same name, calling it “a brilliantly visceral soundtrack to an angry, troubling and harsh picture of life on the underside of London in 2012.”

Fekky,who previously teamed up with DJ Whoo Kid to release his ‘Come On Den’ mixtape, recently released his video to ‘Bang’ featuring Young Spray and Frisco. He also announced that he will also be working on a joint EP with Slic Vic and has a track with Wretch 32 in the pipeline. Meanwhile, Young Spray took to GRM Daily to release a net video to ‘Away’ – a heartfelt track from the ‘Hard To Kill Vol.2’ mixtape.

Jaja Soze recently released his album ‘The Last Message’. He also dropped the video to his track ‘Street Paradise’, an inspirational jam; which hears him say: “The urban scene just gets nervous every time I speak and when they see me it gets worse they try and kiss my feet.” Jaja also joined Geko for his latest track ‘Slideshow’.

Play Dirty’s Yungen gave us the hard new track ‘Rapstars’, which hears him talks about the life he lives – “independent life no label.” The track is produced by Steel Banglez; sounding like an interesting fusion of rap, rock and electro.

Clixx brought us a beautiful live acoustic version of his second single ‘Only If You Want’, which features singer Jermaine Riley and is from the ‘XX’ mixtape. We should be hearing some new material from Clixx soon; he is definitely one to watch.

Last week K. Koke shot the video to his first official single featuring Maverick Sabre from his ‘I Ain’t Perfect Album’. Speaking on K. Koke’s online TV series, Maverick Sabre said: “I love universal music, music that can connect with everybody no matter what genre. I think there have only been a few rappers over time that can do that well.

“I think the best way through hip-hop you can do that is through pain and struggle. Everybody can connect with that to a certain level. People speak to the people.”

August 6, 2012

Plan B – Deepest Shame

Plan B releases the visuals to Deepest Shame off the UK #1 album ILL MANORS. 

June 27, 2012

Ill Manors Cast Interview: Nick & Sean Sagar

Ill Manors is one the most exciting films to hit the UK. A crime thriller set on the gritty streets of East London’s Forrest Gate. Shireen Fenner from Flavour heads down to Revolver Studio’s to talk to real life brother’s Nick and Sean Sagar who play Marcel and Freddie in the film.

How did you both get into acting?

Nick: I would blame that on my mother. From an early age if it wasn’t football or piano it was something she wanted us to do that was creative. I kind of latched onto acting, and I’d be doing it outside of school like theatre shows and anything in school that I could get involved in I did.

Sean: For me it wasn’t even my mum. My dad pushed me to do football and that all went out the window. For me it was Ben with this because ‘Ill Manors’ was the first audition I went for. Ever since I did that a casting agent from that sent me for another show that I did last year ‘Top Boy’. It was like Ben kind of brought me in and said look you’re good at it, so stick with it.

 What is your relationship like with one another?

Nick: Were close. There’s only two years between us were practically the same age. We were in school together and I think the fact that we are close in age means we can do a lot of stuff together. Plus he copies everything I does (laughs)

Sean: The relationships cool its just banter 24/7, there’s not much seriousness unless I steal some of his food. I think it’s cool, we get along.

Was there ever a point where you both were competitive both being actors?

Nick: We used to have mad arguments he used to get on my nerves.

In school we’d be in a fight everyday, but then as he grew up he stopped that.

Sean: I would say I’m better than him at football; I’m faster than him. This is the competitive side.

Nick: He doesn’t score goals. No but were not really competitive I think we kind of give each other ideas…

Sean: Nah were competitive.

How do you immerse yourself into a film role? Is there anything notable that you do to prepare yourself?

Sean: I smoke a cigarette just before I go on set. For you to become a character, you have to live like one. Just like Heath Ledger did with the Joker, he lived like it. I think if you want a performance you have to be your character, you obviously have to bring a certain part of yourself into it. I think as much research, ideas and stuff you’ve seen before will be useful.

Nick: I think I’m lucky because I studied it in college, and then outside I took further studies so I’ve kind of managed to join in techniques that I’ve learnt to help me get into roles.

 Ill Manors is set in Forrest Gate where you are from. How similar are the storylines to the real life East London?

Nick: its pretty much spot on, I mean half the stuff that happens in the film you see in real life. You could drive to Forrest Gate now, and you would see half the stuff you’ve seen in the film just regularly going on. I think it was pretty much a perfect depiction of Forrest Gate.

Sean: The film portrays prostitutes but not just as prostitutes selling themselves, but prostitutes trying to better themselves as well. A lot of people would drive past and be like ‘ah look at them’, but you don’t know what they’ve been through, what there going through. You can’t judge them for what there doing.

Where there ever moments when you could relate on a personal level to the role you were playing? What were they?

Nick: Not really because Marcel’s a bit of a pillack. That’s not an attribute I associate myself with. I do say I could relate to his drive, because although what he’s going for is deemed as bad, his drive and he wants it so bad he’ll do anything. I can kind of relate that to me and what I want in life with acting.

Sean: My character Freddie is just the joker, and in most situations in real life, if me and my friends are having a serious conversation I’m usually always the one to just mess it up. In terms of him being a right hand man for his brother again is the exact same, because obviously he’s my brother and I’ll do anything. In a sense Freddie was spot on for who I kind of am.

 Ben Drew seems to be growing into a multi talented and versatile individual. What was it like being directed by him?

Sean: Being directed by him was amazing. It was a lot different because I worked with him previously for two years as his PA and stylist and I was always getting shouted out, and making sure I had this suit steamed. Him just sitting behind a camera just looked weird. He gave us the opportunity and allowed us to have a lot of lenience with the script and say this doesn’t feel right, how would you say it? Working with him has been the highlight of my career so far.

 What did you think when you read the script?

Nick: I have to run naked. After I got over that I liked the angle he was coming from, the idea with the music. The only thing I’d say is on the script because the music hadn’t been made yet; we didn’t know how the music was going to fit into this. It wasn’t until the end product that I was fully blown away. We didn’t hear any of the music on set; we didn’t know any of the music. I even forgot music was going to be in it.

Sean: When I read the script I looked at it and was like wow. We can look at it two ways; we can look at it in terms of it being an urban film, or you can look at it for the story that it’s trying to portray to you. Same thing as my brother said with the music, when you’re reading the script, you cant fit it in. Your looking at it like this doesn’t make sense, it’s confusing, but as soon as the music was put into it, it all just unfolded and was like wow. The music to the script played a big part in the whole thing.

 One of the key elements of the film seems to be the accompanying soundtrack and music from Plan B. To what extent do you think it helped set the mood and scene of the film?

Nick: I think music in films people don’t realise how important it is. If you look at some of your favourite scenes in film there’s always a soundtrack in the background. If you play something from ‘Speed’, or ‘Inception’, I know it straight away because you see what you saw when you were watching it. I think with this because the actual music is not just instruments, there are vocals and raps towards the story, it puts you that much more on the edge of your seat.

Sean: Music in general just brings out feelings in you. You always have a song you put on if you want to get in a lonely zone. With music in general and with the film Ben kind of hit home with the right genres to put in it. You had a slow song, you had a fast tempo beat, and you had a beat that was dark and hitting you. With music in general it brings out moods in you, especially when it’s in a film, you can feel that characters mood a lot more.

What do you listen to?

Nick: I can tell you what he listens to, Chris Brown.

Sean: Yeah I’m a Chris Brown fan because I like to just dance, not just Chris Brown though. He just says it because every time he’s in my car I play it

Nick: He has a Chris Brown playlist. I like Chris Brown too.

Sean: I like nearly every one of them. He’s got a new song ‘Countdown’, ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’, ‘Turn Up The Music’, ‘Oh Yea’, there are loads of songs. I don’t like to be in a lonely or dark place, so for me his music inspires me to dance or just think of stuff.

What should people take away from watching Ill Manors? Is there a lesson to be learnt from this film?

Nick: The main thing I would say is don’t judge a book by its cover. Watch these people and realise why they have to make these decisions that if you didn’t see why they made them, you would think this person is terrible, how can they do that. If you can see why there forced to do it you understand more. This is what happens in real life, we only see the end product.

Sean: It’s not just a film, for me it’s a documentary film. A lot of people watch documentaries and there like wow I never knew someone lived like this. Put yourself in the characters shoes, or the situations there in, you would feel that you would end up doing the same thing they are. As me and my brother have said don’t judge a book by its cover, don’t look at someone and think this is all your about because its not. Everyone has a dark secret.

 What do you think sets UK film productions apart from Hollywood and the rest of the world? What is unique about our industry?

Nick: I think especially with the comedy stuff, our humour is completely different, were a lot more sarcastic. Sometimes they think were being rude, but they love it because they are addicted to our shows over there. I think with comedy that’s the main difference. With a lot of dramas, especially with ‘Ill Manors’, its so gritty there’s no censorship with of our stuff.

Sean: The film is a hard-hitting story but a lot of people have come out and been like that was so dark, because it was. There’s not other way for me to describe it, and a lot of people try and go on this whole 15 minute description of what the film is, no, its just a dark film. I feel Americans are scared to release such films as ‘Ill Manor’, which is as my brother said gritty. Its even in terms of music like with dubstep, England isn’t scared to do it, they just do it.

 What are the plans for both of you now are you filming anything new or have plans to?

Sean: I’ve just recently been booked to do a new theatre piece that I start in August. I start rehearsals in 3 months and then we tour towards the end of November for 2 weeks. Then I go off to York, so I’m looking forward to being in York because apparently there’s a lot of sightseeing.

Nick: After last year, towards the end of last year I had a part in NCIS: Los Angles. After that I’ve had interesting offers and opportunities have started to open and especially after ‘Ill Manors’. I’m going to take time to pick my next one, because I want it to be completely different from this.

 What are your main ambitions when it comes to acting? 

Nick: I really want to play President Obama.

Sean: I’d like to play a role such as Chris Tucker, Jim Carey, just a funny comedy role. I’ve done a few bits now with a hat and hood on, so I don’t really want to be jumping into that field anymore. I kind of want to swing it to the other side and make it go somewhere different.

April 12, 2012

Sway – Bad Manners (Ill Manors Freestyle)

On the week of release of his new single Level Up Sway brings us a new freestyle over Plan B’s Ill Manors.

Buy Level Up from iTunes here

April 6, 2012

ill Manors feat. Genesis Elijah & Dubbledge (Bootleg Remix)

Genesis Elijah and Dubbledge remix Plan B’s latest single Ill Manors. The remix is on Plan B’s official soundcloud, where he has co-signed signed the track, along with other remixes from Funtcase and The Prodigy.

March 13, 2012

Plan B – Ill Manors

Plan B releases the video taken from his forthcoming film Ill Manors.

The single is out March 25th.

The film will be out in cinemas May 4th.

Plan B’s new album will be out May 14th.