The British Blacklist attended the premiere of new British comedy, The Weekend which tells the tale of three friends who stumble upon a stack of money. Wanting to up their status amongst their peers, the lads of course spend the money… But, as we all know, bags of money don’t just drop out of the air, thus begins a tale of hijinks and nonsense as the boys race against the clock to return the money to its original, not so nice owner.
TBB journalist Hanaa Cali managed to speak to some of the cast and crew on the red carpet. Getting the low down from director, Sheridan Myers, producer and man behind The Weekend’s original idea Kojo Anim, and leading cast Joivan Wade, Dee Kaate and Percelle Ascott. Supporting cast Lee Watson Roberts and Frankie Clarence also shared some behind the scenes insights…
Could you tell us a little bit about your background, how did you get into film?
Sheridan Myers (SM): I got into film making by starting out creating short film content with my mates, things like skateboard clips and music videos. The first time I got into it was because I was helping on my friends GCSE project. I really enjoyed the creative element and decided to change all my courses to concentrate on film making.
How did working with Kojo come about?
SM: I was shooting a music video and wanted to add some comedy skits into the video. So when I was discussing it with the artist he mentioned Kojo and we got him to play a hilarious role in the music video. While we were on set we clicked.
What’s different about, The Weekend compared to other films you’ve directed?
SM: It’s a comedy film full of a high energy throughout. Most of the films I have made in the past have tended to be intense and incorporate more serious themes but this is something a lot more light-hearted in energy and pace.
Can you give us a quick synopsis of the film?
Kojo Anim (KA): It’s about three guys, the kids in school who actually went to study. They come across some money and the rest you will find out… I wanted to take this film back to my childhood, you know climbing fences and jumping off roofs, hurting your knee, talking to girls. All those stories don’t really exist now, they’re either really out there or really dramatic and gritty, I didn’t want that narrative. We wanted to give people a reason to bring the family out to watch this you can bring everyone!
What was it like working with hilarious Mandem on the Wall / Wall of Comedy trio and what made cast Joivan, Dee and Percelle?
KA: The fact they were just getting on my nerves to be quite fair! Nah, I actually wrote it for myself to play six years ago, no ego I was just like, this film has to represent now and I think those boys represent now. They’re known as social media stars but I think they’re stars that went on to do social media and I want people to really understand that these boys are special, what’s going to come ahead of them from this is going to be greatness. Not only are they great actors but they’re very intelligent, they’ve seen the world and they know where I’m trying to get to. The fact these three have natural chemistry, and it’s not Mandem On The Wall anymore, they’re actors, they’re grown now and they’re coming to show people this is the new wall! This film was made for them.
SM: I loved working with the lads. They have great presence and soul about them. They were willing to try new things and listen, and they pushed themselves whenever they could, to give not only good performances, but great performances. I’ve got massive respect and love for them.
What was the filming process like, were there any stressful times?
Leo Watson Roberts (LWR) – plays ‘cousin Leo’: I loved it! It was stressful but everything that is beautiful and takes time to perfect will be stressful. It was so much fun working with Kojo and the guys from Mandem On The Wall, we’ve worked together before and this was an idea he had when we first worked together and we wasn’t sure if it was going to happen but we’re here now and it’s so nice to see.
Frankie Clarence (FC) plays, ‘The Butcher’ which is an absolute mental name for a character. Tell us a bit about him?
FC: The three boys find a bag of money and later have to return it to its owner (me). So I’m one of the most significant people in the film that has a pretty huge effect on the outcome.
What was your most favourite scene to shoot?
SM: I think my favourite was definitely the ‘traffic warden’ scene with A Dot the Comedian who is brilliant and the three lead boys (Joivan, Percy, Dee). I literally couldn’t stop laughing.
LWR: I would probably say the party scene. There were so many people coming out to support us, half the extras said to us that they didn’t even realise we were filming! In the end it was all just one big party that we were shooting,
FC: One that I’m quite fond of is Arnold George’s scene as, ‘Streets’, solely because he has a sensational career online, it’s his first TV/film credit so now a lot of people are going to be able to see what he’s capable of doing so I’m excited for everyone to see that.
What are your future hopes for this film?
SM: I would love to screen The Weekend at a few festivals. Going to wait and see.
What do you want viewers to gain from The Weekend?
SM: I wanted to create entertainment that will have you leaving the cinema, or your front room and with a great feeling. I believe there’s not enough of these types of films in the UK and wanted to make something light and appealing for all age groups.
What were your inspirations behind making, The Weekend?
KA: I grew up watching The Real McCoy and Desmond’s, we watched all that as a family. [Now] I can’t remember the last thing me and the family watched together apart from EastEnders, which is bloody miserable as hell. To see a beautiful cast, one of the most attractive casts that anyone’s ever seen is great. We just wanted to do the level of what the Americans are doing, it’s great to idolise them but if we’re not doing greatness here then we’re just wasting our time. We can look anyone in the eye and tell them we made history in terms of the quality of this film.
SM: I definitely took inspiration from early films like the, Goonies and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Whilst also getting inspiration from films such as, Friday and, House Party. I really like the comedy characters in all these films.
Tell me about the Mandem on the Wall / Wall of Comedy and why you guys created it? What was the inspiration?
Joivan: The Wall Of Comedy came about because we were sick and tired of having to trust broadcasters and not get anything commissioned. So we decided to create something that not only gave us opportunities but also for other creatives in the UK scene. Kind of imitate what the Americans are doing and try and grow something out of nothing.
Industry experts or non-industry experts who do you look up to?
Dee: God almighty.
Joivan: Will Smith; Idris Elba. I look up to black role models not only in the UK but in America too.
Percelle: My parents, my friends standing right beside me, these brothers right here. I look up to anyone who’s ever persevered in their journeys and they’ve achieved great things and left a legacy.
Any messages to supporters and fans?
Joivan: Just a big thank you man, to everyone who’s ever supported us. Please keep supporting us and this movie so that we can create more and give more opportunity and cast a new light on film.
Percelle: It’s been five years, so love to our family man, we love them.
In three words, describe, The Weekend…
SM: Crazy, Funny, aspirational comedy.
Interview by @
The Weekend is in cinemas until December 23rd 2016. Screening times are different depending on the cinema. Tickets can be purchased in advance from: Our Screens.
The Weekend will be available on DVD, Blue Ray and iTunes January 2017
TBB rated, The Weekend 90% Out of 100 read our review here