Wednesday, 19 December 2012

INTERVIEW: James Floyd at the British Independent Film Awards 2012

James Floyd won Most Promising Newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards this year for his role in My Brother The Devil, a film about gangland London from the perspective of two young British Arab brothers. 

The following interview took place at the Moet British Independent Film Awards in London on 9th December 2012.

GG: You gave a very heartfelt speech about your award win, directing many thanks to your family. So how important is family to you as a new actor? Are you still getting to grips with the industry?

James: Yes, I’m still getting to grips with the lights [this interview took place after a red carpet stint with the paparazzi and his win on stage] and people asking me questions and press conferences – this is all new to me, but nice. It’s taken about six, seven years to get here – that’s why family is so important. During the tough years you need that support system to keep you going. It’s not easy being an actor who is working but has no money. For that reason and many others, an emotionally supportive family is the most important thing – and that’s not just your blood family, but people who are close; your loved ones.

GG: ‘Being on a film set is a bit like being in a big family’ I’ve heard many actors say, did the cast and crew of My Brother The Devil take on a second family feel to you?

James: It can do if you are having a good time, this film certainly did. I met some of the most important people in my life so it’s definitely had that temporary family feel.

GG: I also loved your nod to Terry Gilliam in the audience tonight, rating his film Time Bandits in high regard. Name some other films, say your top 3 that you applaud?

James: Top 3 is really hard; I really love King Of Comedy; the incredible Scorcese film. A film very close to my heart was a trilogy called the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray as I’m half Indian. [Struggling to cherry pick] Many, many films, this year I loved Searching For Sugar Man, It has a beautiful story which I’m a real sucker for.

Most Promising Newcomer Award winner, James Floyd at the British Independent Film Awards 2012
GG: What would be your dream projects?

James: I’d like to be in the next Terry Gilliam film obviously. I admire lots of actors, Meryl Streep for me is probably the most interesting actor, I think if she were a man she’d get even more respect on top of the immense amount she gets already. Daniel Day-Lewis is another actor I’d love to work with. The ultimate actor for me though is Marlon Brando, he’s just so interesting. I‘d like to do films that are really innovative and new and fresh if I can. First of all I just want to work, to do roles that move as an art form; when you read it, it surprises you. I love the element of surprise and I think that’s why I think My Brother The Devil is doing so well. It’s a very surprising film, lots of twists and turns but no one expected it to be what it was which is all because of [Director] Sally El Hosaini as a filmmaker, who is a very surprising and original person.

GG: Do you have any tips for new actors or people trying to break in to the industry, other than ‘right place, right time’?

James: ‘Right place, right time’ still is a part, I hesitate to give advice, I’m 27, I’m very young with a lot of life and career still to lead, but if I had to I’d say just persevere. Be careful who you take advice from, go with your heart try and be you if you can and as honest as you cans – if you are, you’ll naturally gravitate towards people of similar mind.

GG:  When you say be careful who you take advice from, has that come from past experience, a word of caution perhaps?

James: [Laughing] No not particularly I just  think in life, especially a career in this industry, you do come up against a lot of ‘expert opinions’, but it’s all subjective; one person loves that film another hates it. It doesn’t matter; you’ve just got to go with your heart.

NB: This interview must not be published anywhere without credit or my permission.

My Brother The Devil trailer:

Posted by: Geek Girl Kerensa Creswell-Bryant
Geek Girl, Updated at: 23:10