March 17, 2011 Interviews

LEGACY: BLACK OPS Released has just been released in the UK this week – Exclusive Interview with one of its stars Mem Ferda.

No stranger to Screen, TV and Radio, Mem Ferda’s versatility and perceptive intelligence has landed him a diversity of roles over the years. At 6ft 2’ with a brawler’s physique he’s become notorious for playing the villain. This time, coupled with a perfect Russian accent, he’s ripping up the screen as Andriy in LEGACY: Black Ops, opposite Idris Elba who you’ll recognise as TV’s detective Luther.

LEGACY: Black Ops is an espionage thriller about Black Ops operative Malcolm (Idris Elba) who returns home after a botched mission in Eastern Europe.  Pitched up in a Brooklyn motel room, he is torn between retribution and personal salvation, as he mentally unravels and starts putting together a plan for revenge on those he believes have betrayed his trust.

LEGACY: Black Ops is now on general release in the UK this week.  Mem Ferda tells us more about the movie, and his role –

Why LEGACY: Black Ops?

“Of course the opportunity to work alongside an amazing ensemble of actors like Idris Elba and Clarke Peters from the cult series The Wire and Monique Gabriela Curnen who starred in The Dark Knight was very alluring.  Moreover, the fact that BAFTA winning Black Camel pictures were producing made it even more tempting.”

You pack a mean punch. There are some riveting fight scenes with you and Elba, did you train for them?

“The role was physically demanding and I certainly had to prepare to get into shape for the film. I perform most of my own stunts, but risky, difficult, actions I must say; the work the stunt men do is admirable in making us actors look cool.”

You hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a MBA, how did Mem Ferda the actor come to be?

“As a Psychology student, I landed a few TV roles. Then to perfect my craft I trained at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Even as a child, I was always fascinated with the art of acting.”

You have a particular affinity for the bad guy character.

“I guess it was a natural progression, bound to happen. As a child, villainous and immoral characters excited me to no end, now here I am, portraying such types. It’s interesting how life has prepared me somewhat for these roles, as a child I witnessed an assassination attempt on my father and as a rebellious teenager I narrowly avoided being the getaway driver in a real life heist.”

You have a string of feature films due for release this year.

“Yes, I’ve just finished filming on Ill Manors, which was directed by Ben Drew aka Plan B. The film is a ‘hip hop musical’ and certainly unique.

“I also play Kamel Hannah in The Devils Double, directed by Lee Tamahori, which has received rave reviews so far, and looks set to win some awards later in the year.

“I can also be seen in The Veteran due out for theatrical release soon, which stars Toby Kebbell.

“In the pipeline, I have the feature, Gridiron UK, which is a British comedy about American Football, to be directed by Ed Bye.”

Tell us about your other creative ambitions

“I have recently Executive produced a feature film entitled Emulsion with White Lantern Film in which I also play the role of a gangster, Egor.

“Currently, I am writing my autobiography ‘Happy Agony’ – due to be published next year along with my collection of poems, ‘Life’s Pleasures’. There is also a screenplay I started writing a number of years ago which I am trying to finish.”