The Press got an inside look into the character of actor, AML AMEEN. Ameen is the lead of Idris Elba’s directorial debut YARDIE. The Studio Canal film hit UK theaters on August 24th (the film originally premieres in the U.S. at Sundance and then again at Berlin Film Festival). Based on Victor Headley’s 1992 cult novel, the story is about a young Jamaican (“D,” played by Ameen) who arrives in London in the early 1980’s and unexpectedly discovers the man who assassinated his revered brother in Jamaica a decade earlier. When his quest for justice explodes into a violent street war, he puts both himself and the lives of his loved ones in peril.
The Press: Which talent would you most like to have?
Aml Ameen: I would genuinely wish to be a musician. Both singer and songwriter, with ability to play the piano. Music is life. It’s the number one art form. It hits the bloodstream immediately. Maybe there’s time : )
TP: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
AA: The things that need changing either have happened or are in the process. Perhaps I should develop more patience, but I genuinely loathe the idea of wasting time, even though time is on its own clock, not mine.
TP: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
AA: That I’m able to stand close to thing I most want in life and remain still. And make decisions based on my integrity and not my desire.
TP: What is your most treasured possession?
AA: Life. My imagination, my sense of hope and possibility about it all. One day she will leave me, and I’ll leave her, but until that time, I love life, and she teaches me.
TP: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
AA: Poverty and disappear. Both are difficult for me to witness in other people’s lives.
TP: What is your favourite occupation?
AA: The alchemy of content creation. Having an idea in the mind, and making it a reality. You’re playing god when you make movies, it’s fun.
TP: What is your most marked characteristic?
AA: I’m a huge romantic. Both in love but even more in life. I genuinely believe that those seeded dreams in our mind are not only possible but necessary for our evolution and growth.
TP: What do you most value in your friends?
AA: Brotherhood. If we choose each other, truly choose each other as friends, that soon disappears and we become family. I have a group of friends that I met the first month of living here in LA in 2010. We all went out one night and we’ve been rocking ever since. They gave me a family in America and I gave them international perspective. We’ve done weddings together, holidays, Sundance, and now the London Premiere of my film YARDIE.
TP: Who are your favourite writers?
AA: Kwame Kwei-Armah and Mikel Ameen. I also love my own written work.
TP: Who is your hero of fiction?
AA: Marty Mcfly from Back to the Future.
TP: Which historical figure do you most identify with?
AA: Frank Sinatra and Bob Marley.
TP: Who are your heroes in real life?
AA: It’s always changing. Right now it’s my mate Issa Rae. She’s genuinely making moves that I’d love to do as well.
TP: What are your favourite names?
AA: Aretha, Alysha, Marva, Bilal, Mikel (my family)
TP: What is it that you most dislike?
AA: When I feel someone is not pulling their weight, and instead of doing better, they give you a passionate diatribe of excuses.
TP: What is your greatest regret?
AA: Being in long romantic relationships as a teenager. Waste of time. I’d advice my children against it.
TP: How would you like to die?
AA: I’d like to be put into a giant bowl and relive all of life’s pleasures, including the joys and sweetest memories. After I’m filled to the brim with love, I’d like to transition into the next life, in a similar way to Captain Kirk in Star Trek. “Beam me up” and just fade into the next life.
TP: What is your motto?
AA: I say to my boys in a toast, always, “To the good life. It’s all we know.”