Tag Archives: UK Actors

Strong UK Actor Larry Olubamiwo Dominates the Screen in “Catface”

Actor Larry Olubamiwo brings strength and authority into every room in which he enters, so it comes as no surprise that directors and producers frequently highlight the authority he brings to the table by casting him to take on characters with similar strength. This coupled with his deep voice and commanding 6-foot-4-inch frame not only make him a go-to for strong and dominant roles, but as someone at the top of their career, also prove him to be a rare breed of male actor when compared to his contemporaries.

Larry Olubamiwo
UK Actor Larry Olubamiwo shot by Karen Scott

In the frightening horror film “Catface”, which won Best Film Award at the prestigious African Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards, the African equivalent to the People’s Choice Awards,  Larry plays the lead role of Kaka. The film, about a vigilante born through supernatural means who decides to take revenge on a violent cult of internet serial killers, co-starred Fanny Escobar from ‘Revenge’ and the beautiful Katrina Nare, who is celebrated for her work on the hit series “Holby City.”

Larry describes his character as having “mystical powers who brings back to life a victim of a serial killer.” The murderer, Larry explains, “preys on people on the internet to exact revenge and prevent him doing it again.” The film is certainly a fitting tale for today’s age of an unscrupulous internet that continues to mystify people all over the world.

When asked about working with Larry, “Catface” director Ogo Okpue explains, “Larry is my go to actor when it comes to the projects I am working on. I have worked with him on three occasions now… His input into the project goes beyond just acting and he gives everything into the projects I have worked with him on.”

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Still of Larry Olubamiwo as Kaka in “Catface”

In a role and project that couldn’t be further from “Catface,” and one that further proves the fact that Larry Olubamiwo is an actor of incredible emotional range, the sought after actor also played a lead role in “Life of Hers.”

Another award-winning production under his belt, “Life of Hers” explores the lives and friendships of a group of people in a cosmopolitan city set against the backdrop of African diaspora. In the lead role of Mr. Balogun, Larry plays a Nigerian businessman who finds success after emigrating to the UK with his wife. In the story Balogun wants his daughter to “follow in his footsteps,” explains Larry. She, however, “wants something different for her life as she is influenced by her friends.”

Larry’s incredible performance, while different from his portrayal in “Catface,” was notably awarded when cast received an award for Best Ensemble at the 2014 Screen Nation Awards. It probably didn’t hurt their chances that the cast with whom Larry shared the screen included TV heartthrob and international sensation Tyson Douglas, known for his work in the hugely successful series “Doctors,” and Juliet de Gannes, who starred in the award-winning film “Hard Time Bus.” That Larry shares the screen in leading roles opposite such illustrious company is merely one more element that proves the long-held industry view that he is truly an actor of unique and extraordinary ability.

“Life of Hers” director Ola Masha explains, “When working with Larry I had peace of mind that he would be able to bring the character Mr Balogun to life. He had a great grasp of the narrative and would make great contributions not only in his acting but in the actually setting of the scene. Larry cooperates greatly with everyone on set and makes the shooting of the scene fly by.”

In further proof of the enthusiastic industry response to “Life of Hers,” the series screened at the British Urban Film Festival.

So what’s in store for the future of this powerful English actor?

“Catface” director Ogo Okpue mentions that he “will be making a feature film soon about people trafficking in which Larry has already been cast.”

Regardless of the incredible projects he has to look forward to, Larry Olubamiwo’s drive to perform is always comes down to his love for the craft, a testament to his integrity and exceptional ability as an actor who authentically brings characters to life, no matter the project or the genre.

When asked what it is that drives him to act, Larry explains, “For me it’s the ability to be able to immerse myself into a character, embody that character and give my interpretation of that character.”

 

 

 

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UK Actor Anthony Warren Nails it Again with the Film “Hard Time Bus

Anthony Warren
Anthony Warren shot by Will Tudor

With lead roles in several highly rated BAFTA Award winning series and now the award winning feature film “Hard Time Bus” produced by 2HotFilms, Anthony Warren has enjoyed a tremendously successful acting career. The fact that he has now appeared in so many celebrated projects, and the addition of his most recent performance in “Hard Time Bus,” have made it clear that Warren’s success is a testament to his sensational skill, hard work and magnetism on screen.

If there’s one trend in Warren’s long list of characters, it’s his inimitable ability to convincingly slip into the world of crime. Warren’s feature films include the crime drama “The Contract” where he acts opposite Golden Globe nominee John Cusack (“Serendipity,” “Maps to the Stars”), as well as the Golden Reel Award nominated crime thriller “Control” starring Ray Liotta (“Goodfellas”) and two-time Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (“Spider-Man”).

In the world of television Warren’s taken on recurring key roles on several hit crime dramas such as the two-time BAFTA Award winning series “The Bill” where he acts alongside Simon Rouse (“The Practice”), “Eastenders” starring Patsy Palmer (“Do or Die”) and “Murphy’s Law” where he shares the screen with Golden Globe nominee James Nesbitt (“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”).

With such an impressive resume, Warren has certainly forged a distinguished and unique reputation for himself in the entertainment industry on an international level.

Warren, of course, did not wake up a success overnight. “I got into acting over twenty years ago,” Warren remarks. “Initially starting as a hobby, however, [it grew] into a passion and eventually a career choice.”

It’s clear that Warren has taken his craft seriously. After graduating from one of the UK’s leading drama schools and performing with the Ovalhouse Theatre Company, Warren has gone on to act in numerous film projects in the UK and Europe. He has worked alongside twice Academy-Award nominated director Bruce Beresford, Morgan Freeman, Michelle Rodriguez and many more household names.

 

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Poster for “Hard Time Bus”

 

Now, with “Hard Time Bus” having screened internationally and recently winning the Jury Prize at the Hollywood Black Film Festival, Warren has yet another impressive credit to his resume. Directed by Dean Charles, also known for “Birthday Treat” starring “Casualty” star Neil Reidman, “Hard Time Bus” is a multi-faceted drama that examines the complexities of modern relationships and deceptive friendships. Warren brilliantly explores the latter in the lead role of Langas, a Jamaican-Patois speaking character who has no problem with bullying or cheating money from others.

 

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Still of Anthony Warren as Longas in “Hard Time Bus”

 

In a reflection of how he skillfully portrays people far different from himself, Anthony speaks of Langas like he would an old college friend. “He is so horrible to people around him but lovable to the audience in the way he is horrible – if he was one of your friends you’d keep a distance or want to punch him in the mouth.”

The film’s iconic pool hall scene, where the characters fight after Langas trash talks the girlfriend of one of the pool players, was a particular highlight for Anthony. “The scene had actors that I had worked with before and [am] still good friends with.” 

 

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Still of Michael Ellis (left) and Anthony Warren (right) in “Hard Time Bus”

 

It’s no surprise that Anthony’s maintained friendships with his fellow actors – those in the entertainment world are fully aware of his commitment and significant contributions to the industry. Besides his work of course, he has mentored numerous young actors and actresses and developed a reputation for being a friendly collaborator with everyone on set.

He admits, “It is a really different dynamic when you work with your friends. I feel a lot more at ease due to the experience and history we have together.”

With a cast that includes Aren Devlin (from Brad Pitt’s “World War Z”), Roger Griffiths (“Holby City,” “Doctors,” “Doctor Who”) and Naomi Ryan (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Mr Selfridge”), “Hard Time Bus” puts Warren in a position to call some illustrious company his friends.

The added benefit of being everyone’s favorite guy on set? People want to work with you even more, so it will come as no surprise that Anthony is slated to be involved in future productions produced with the production company 2HotFilms.

Actor Darren Higham, A Force to Be Reckoned with On Screen!

Darren Higham
Darren Higham (left) and David Schaal (right) in “Desperados” shot by Erick Ritchardson

 

Motivated by the opportunity for endless learning and personal development, English born actor Darren Higham both captivates and impresses audiences around the world with the unique combination of his natural talent paired with his formal education in performing arts from the renowned Manchester Metropolitan University. With a body of work ranging from TV to film, Higham has graced screens playing a wide variety of characters, proving that his creativity and devotion to the craft is as refined as it is flexible.

Far from type cast, Higham has played a wise, elder droid robot in the sci-fi horror film “Somnus,” the guitar playing guy-next-door in the romantic comedy “Modern Life is Rubbish,” and a brave first-responding firefighter at the scene of a Liverpool Street Station bombing. “I love for each role I do to be different from the last,” says Higham, “it keeps me on my toes, and means I’m constantly having to adapt. This ensures I never get complacent.”

Never backing away from a challenge, Higham recalls his experience in “Somnus” as unique and memorable. The film is about a cargo ship on its final mission flying the monotonous Earth-to-Mars route, when a mechanical failure changes the course and sends the crew to Somnus, a remote asteroid colony. Higham, having never shot a sci-fi film before, is thankful for the experience. Because of how the film was shot, Higham had minimal interaction with the other actors while filming. “It was a novelty for me,” he explains, “but acting is a profession where you never stop learning. It’s a continual process, and I love that about it. It is often hard, but never boring.”

In “Modern Life is Rubbish,” Higham’s character Solomon provides emotional support for his best friend during a bad breakup. “It’s a really touching story,” Higham explains, “it is definitely one everyone can relate with.” Believability is key in a strong actor, and Higham’s performance in this film is just that. Because of his strong and perfect portrayal, the viewer is drawn in with both a light and heavy heart all at once. “Solomon plays guitar in a band which, at one point, looked like it was destined for fame, but has ended up just playing pub gigs,” Higham says. “The band serves as sort of a warning to the main character, if he stays on the same path that he’s on. While it’s funny, it’s also a bit sad,” Higham explains.

Bringing a unique element of light to tinseltown, Higham’s values bear much weight when it comes to the process of selecting which projects to work on. He admits, “whilst it’s a privilege to work with well-known people, I’m not really concerned as to whether the director, producer, or actors are big names. As long as the story grabs me, that is the hook for me.”  The story behind the film “Dirty War” hooked Higham immediately. In the film, he plays the critical role of the firefighter responding to a bomb that just exploded in a train station. “A large part of the impact was seen through my character’s eyes,” Higham recollects, “so the audience really felt what it was like for him.” While it was a difficult story to tell, it is an important one. “In London, we’d experienced IRA bombings before, but this was being filmed in a post September 11th era, so I felt a sense of responsibility to get it right, and to portray as best as I could the sheer horror of such a situation,” Higham reveals.

Not limited to just film, Higham has appeared on many TV shows as well. When asked, Higham says that the one that stands out the most for him is probably the “Armando Iannucci Show.”

The comedy sketch show, written and directed by Armando Iannucci, leaves audiences laughing with its brilliant one-liners, hilarious situations, and impressive and flawless improv sketches.

On the other side of humor is drama, and Higham knows that field, too. He worked on a TV program called “Clocking Off,” where he played a policeman and, in effect, warns audiences against the very real dangers of drinking and driving. He also played a policeman in the hugely popular show “Dalziel and Pascoe,” where he worked alongside esteemed actor Warren Clarke of “Clockwork Orange.” In the program, Higham’s character is hired to act as security for a judge whose life has been threatened, but the judge talks him into taking a night off, and is subsequently found murdered. “This was an interesting role,” Higham mentions, “as whilst I was playing a policeman, I was also under suspicion of having played a role in the judge’s death. It was a bit of a dual character.”

As if being a successful, hard-working and overly talented actor isn’t undertaking enough, Higham has also written, directed, and starred in the wildly successful “western wannabe” film “Desperados,” which has burst through the film circuit, sweeping praise and attention as it went. Shortlisted for both the Salford Film Festival in the UK and The End of The Pier International Film Festival in England, “Desperados” engages audiences with its positively original plot, astute direction and moving acting, proving that Darren Higham is not only a force to be reckoned with, but also a necessary and invaluable talent to the industry.

Look Out for Dynamic UK Actress Davina Cole!

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Actress Davina Cole shot by Michael Wharley

 

Davina Cole, who recently earned a nomination for a Best Actress Award at London’s 7th annual SOLO Festival of One Man Shows for her performance in “All the Colours,” is one fiercely talented London-based actress that deserves to be on everyone’s radar.

Her performance as Salimatu in “All the Colours,” a captivating one-woman show that she both wrote and starred in, garnered attention across continents with Tony Award winning actress Starletta Dupois saying, “Davina’s performance of ‘All the Colours’ at the 22nd Los Angeles Womens Theatre Festival was very moving filled with twists and turns says The selection of characters she plays takes you on an emotional journey and gives you a clear insight into what it’s like to become a refugee and have to leave your home. The performance was truly moving and brought me to tears.”

As a child Cole would spend her Saturdays watching old films where actresses like Grace Kelly, Julie Andrews, Sofia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn mesmerized and inspired her. Not one to simply dream without taking action, she began taking acting classes, which helped her perfect her craft early on in her youth.

Earlier in her career Cole took on the pivotal role of Mama Sanami in the Kabaslot Theatre’s original production of “Wilberforce Bell,” a dramatic comedy that follows what happens when a prized bell given to the village of Wilberforce in Sierra Leone by the Governor General is stolen.

The production, which was directed by Dwight Short and debuted at The Broadway Theatre in Catford, London marked a major turning point in Cole’s career. While “Wilberforce Bell” resonated strongly with the actress due to the fact that her familial roots are based in Sierra Leone, the production offered her the challenges she needed to grow as a performer and she rose to the occasion with flawless precision.

She recalls, “This play really took me out of my comfort zone, as I had to learn different elements of my home language Krio.”

Prior to “Wilberforce Bell,” Cole took on the starring role of Delilah in “1867” written by Theresa Roche, a powerful sold-out production that received rave reviews.

Since making her name known in the international theatre world, Cole has gone on to prove her prowess as a film actress with an astonishing level of depth that continues to land her leading roles.

Today Cole is known for her roles in films including Rodney V. Williams’ “Therapy Sessions,” award-winning director Francoise Ellong’s “When Soukhina Disappeared,” and Simon Gedney “Cyborg Ninja vs. Vampires,” and the Discovery Channel TV series “Sinister Mysteries.”

Davina Cole has an undeniable knack for taking on strong women characters, something she has proven through the plethora of theatre productions she has done to date; but in Caleb Davis’ film “Two Easels” where the actress played the starring role of Kate, Cole revealed her ability to create the perfect balance between her character’s tough exterior and the subtle vulnerability of her inner yearning for love.

A ‘When Harry Met Sally’-esqu light-hearted comedy, “Two Easels” follows two street artists, Kate and Jack. When Jack tries to move in on Kate’s local wall, Kate gets increasingly frustrated until a competition is set to decide which artist has the strongest skill. In the midst of the heated competition a strong attraction forms between the two artist and Kate and Jack go on to not only fall in love, but form a fruitful artistic collaboration as well.

In Williams’ film “Therapy Sessions,” Cole heightened the story’s drama and showed the sharpness of her proverbial teeth when she took on the starring role of Sandra. A highly regarded and sought after relationship therapist, Sandra appears to have it together, at least when she’s leading a therapy session; but in her everyday life, Sandra struggles with her emotions as much as her patients.

A film that examines what happens when the lines between a therapist’s personal life and her relationship with her patients begin to blur, “Therapy Sessions” follows Michael and Lidia, a struggling couple who hire Sandra to help them work out their issues. When Sandra receives a call towards the end of their session, Lidia’s suspicion over Michael’s infidelity is brought to a head when Sandra violently calls out Michael for having an affair with her sister.

Looking towards the future, Cole says, “I hope to get meatier roles, which will push me further as an artist. I really admire the body of work and talent of Angela Bassett and Viola Davis and I would love to work them.”

In addition to shooting the upcoming soap opera “My Church and Family” where she takes on the leading role of Vivian, Cole is currently taking her one-woman show “All the Colours” on tour in the UK.