AML AMEEN

Empire (Australasia) - - ON SCREEN - ALEX GOD­FREY

Be­com­ing the Ja­maican gang­ster in Idris Elba’s di­rec­to­rial de­but

1 LIVED IN JA­MAICA

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“I was teach­ing my­self the ac­cent, but it didn’t re­ally latch on. So I de­cided to live in Ja­maica for a cou­ple of months. The key thing is speci­ficity — mod­ern Ja­maican pa­tois is not what we needed, it’s been Amer­i­can­ised. In Ja­maica I was around peo­ple of the right era. A lot opened up their world to me — Sly and Rob­bie, some of the Mar­leys, a lot of dif­fer­ent mu­sic artists.”

2 CHANGED HIS PER­CEP­TIONS

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“In Ja­maica I got into smok­ing weed. I’d never smoked weed in my life — I didn’t do drugs grow­ing up. I smoked to un­der­stand the char­ac­ter, and to un­der­stand weed — how it can quell you but also make you tip-top sus­pi­cious. That was def­i­nitely a new ex­pe­ri­ence. I came back to Cal­i­for­nia, where weed is le­gal, but it was way too strong for me, so I thought, ‘I’m off it. I’m done.’”

3 LEARNED TO MC

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The Mc­ing and Djing was the most chal­leng­ing part of the movie. I had ab­so­lutely zero ex­pe­ri­ence. Idris is a DJ and he’s very fuck­ing good at it. He would show me how it’s done. But he didn’t want to in­tim­i­date me, so he put me in the hands of his MC friends. They gave me the calls of the time and these weird sounds I’d never heard. They re­ally helped me get the style.”

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