It’s a Lot premiere: A chat with the cast on the red carpet in London
Involving a pricey car accident, partying, and a web of lies amongst teen fancies, British comedy It’s a Lot also holds an important message to encourage bone marrow registration.
Teenager Shawn (Femi Oyeiran) longs to fit in with his cousin and college friends, particularly Chrissy (Roxie Sternberg). After running up a £20,000 bill damaging his father’s car in a bid to impress his peers, Shawn tries to make money fast, but his lies and strategies get in the way of his developing feelings for Natalie (Red Madrell).
The Upcoming spoke to Roxie Sternberg, Nick Walker, Red Madrell and Femi Oyeniran at the Leicester Square premiere.
Roxie, how was it to work with the cast? Did it feel like going back to the college on set?
Roxie Sternberg: It was absolutely great – working with some big names was very exciting also. In the green room everyone’s asking each other: “Who’s hot? Snog, marry, avoid.” So it was exactly like going back to school, which was great! But differently, it was great to be able to play Chrissy, the It Girl, who is someone so far away from my growing up days.
Nick, how does it feel to have your first feature length film in cinemas?
Nick Walker: It just feels overwhelming to be honest! It’s been such a long journey of four years to make this movie. To have it here now in Leicester Square at the VUE [cinema] is amazing.
How did you choose your cast?
NW: I come from a musical background and reached out to the musicians and comedians I had friendships with. Originally, we wanted Alesha Dixon to play Shawn’s mum, and she was free and up for it until she had Britain’s Got Talent to get involved with. But it still worked out for the best in the end, and maybe she’ll be in the next film. There will definitely be a part two: we’ve already started writing it and are in the process of making it.
What was the best part of making the film?
NW: Taking it from script to reality. I wrote it in my bedroom, sent it to Femi and the next thing we know we’re in Leicester Square – anything is possible if you work hard and believe in your product.
Do you feel the film portrays the reality of your teen years?
NW: Yeah, of course, I was always really into music, house parties, and the 80s films I liked were The Goonies and Back to the Future. I wanted to bring all these vibes that I enjoyed when I was a kid to the screens now. I feel like the next generation need to know about these great times. It’s a Lot is a fun film – there’s no stabbing, there’s no killing, it’s about kids just having fun!
Red, how is it to work with Femi again?
Red Madrell: The funny thing is that a lot of people talk about me and Femi having worked together in the past, but actually if you watch Kidulthood again, we never say a single word to each other, and in Adulthood we’re not even in a scene together. So this has been the first time we have stood in front of each other and they’ve said “Action!”. This is definitely something that I wanted to do for years, and it’s been a long time coming. I never imagined the connection that we’d have on screen, and that comes a lot from our friendship.
How does it feel coming from quite a serious film like Kidulthood to a comedy like It’s a Lot?
RM: It was extremely refreshing! While I am so honoured to be part of the Kidulthood and Adulthood genre, I feel that maybe we need something good to look forward to. Maybe we’ve all seen enough people get beaten up and so much negativity. Being part of something that is supposed to be funny shows that we can do other things and have a laugh!
The similarity is that the film was still very natural to make: we are kids who like to party, and it is like urban Skins. Personally, the character I play is still quite similar as I’m still the serious character in the film. Obviously I’m not a comedian and we have great comedians in the film, like Kojo, and I feel my character brings the serious note about the charity this film is involved with.
Femi, how was it in the production of the film?
FO: It was great! I co-wrote with my friend and co-directed it with my other friend Darwood, so my friends were with me along the journey. As my first film it was challenging but it was great making my own thing. It was a young cast and very fun to create!
We tied the [charity] ACLT’s message into the film, which is to get more people onto the bone marrow register, especially people of ethnic minorities. It was very important for us to get that message out there and 4% of the proceeds of the film will go to the ACLT.
It’s a Lot is released nationwide on 25th October 2013.
Watch the trailer for It’s a Lot here: