Kidulthood actor Femi Oyeniran turns director for new film
PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 November 2013
An actor and chat show host who grew up on an Islington estate has directed his first film.
Femi Oyeniran’s It’s A Lot premiered in Leicester Square last Friday (October 25) and is now showing in 25 cinemas across the UK – including 10 in London.
Mr Oyeniran, 26, grew up in Hornsey Road – where his mother still lives – and used his experience of life on the streets of Islington to land a role in urban blockbuster Kidulthood while studying his A-levels.
He went on to study law at the London School of Economics before deciding acting was his calling.
Now a spokesman for youth culture and host of online chat show Cut The Chat out of D&Ls barbers shop in Hornsey Road, the former St Aloysius College student says directing has helped him grow up.
Mr Oyeniran said: “There’s a lot more pressure directing, but I think it’s improved me as an actor.
“When I was on Kidulthood I was always the one messing around on set and playing pranks but directing has helped me to grow up and appreciate the importance of being professional.”
It’s A Lot, in which Mr Oyeniran also plays the lead role, tells the story of an, upper middle class college boy who borrows his parents Bentley to impress a girl.
The comedy is a far cry from the street lifestyle displayed in Kidulthood,
Mr Oyeniran, who has now been married for two years and has two young children, Samuel, 2, and seven-month-old Joseph, said: “I’m trying to change perceptions, my character in Kidulthood is what people expect of me because I grew up on a council estate.
“Lots of other kids from council estates go on to great universities and do really well.”
The actor’s passion for changing perceptions of young people from working class backgrounds saw him speak about thug culture alongside David Cameron in 2006.
He said: “I remember that event, it was one of these Iain Duncan Smith think-tanks. David Cameron was saying my name like he was my best friend.
“After it happened I was supposed to do an interview with ITV, but they wanted me to wear a hoody for it, so I turned them down.”
The profits from the film will go to charity ACLT which is helping to increase the number of black or mixed race people on the UK bone marrow registers.
Cinemas in London showing the film include the Odeon in Lee Valley and Greenwich and Vue in Stratford, Acton and Harrow,