A Hundred Streets premiered at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival. The British film is an ensemble piece starring Idris Elba and Gemma Arterton as a couple dealing with infidelity, Franz Drameh as a gang member who forms a relationship with an older man (Ken Stott), and Kierston Wareing and Charlie Creed-Miles as a married couple trying to adopt. It all takes place, as the title suggests, within 100 streets of London.
Drameh and Wareing were in Los Angeles for the LAFF premiere of A Hundred Streets and we got to speak with them while they were in town. See also our interview with writer Leon Butler and director Jim O’Hanlon.
Leon and Jim said they see Kingsley as the main character of the film. How do you feel about that?
FD: I can see him as sort of the throughline. I saw that he had the most interaction with the other characters in it. It feels very much like a big ensemble piece so I don’t know.
How did you each get involved with A Hundred Streets?
KW: It was an audition through Jan Hubbard. If I’m going to be honest, what happened was I got the part and then I got phone call saying that the part wasn’t mine. I don’t know whether it was because they changed directors or something or other. I was really disappointed. Obviously, I really wanted it and then they cast Idris, even though I’d worked with Idris before on Luther, but Gemma and Steven McIntosh, etc. So I was really disappointed and then suddenly, they forgot all about it and they phoned up my agent again and said, “Oh, by the way, the part is yours now.” I was like, what? I’ve never actually got a part, lost it and then got it again. I think there was a movement in directors. I’m not 100% sure. I don’t know really behind the scenes. I was thrilled obviously just to be working with such a good cast, director and writer.
FD: I got sent the script and I read it and I was captured by the story of Kingsley. I’m always interested in these multi-storyline movies because it’s that whole thing of you have these characters living out their lives, kind of in their own little sort of worlds and not really realizing just how what they do impacts on others around them that they don’t see. Everyone’s sort of connected and the fact that Kingsley is this young man at a crossroads, unhappy with his circumstances in life and trying to turn the corner. We didn’t want to make it two dimensional “this is a drug dealer in a gang so he’ll be a hard man, thug.” We didn’t want to do that. Yet, that whole realistic take on life is what drew me to the project.
How does the portrayal of London in A Hundred Streets compare to your experiences living in London?
KW: I think it’s extremely real, to be honest. I’m more on the East London side so obviously my circumstances are completely different, but I certainly know that area. The gangster side which is your side, I’ve crossed over with that side. I do know that side. The Chelsea side, what I see on TV to do with Chelsea is programs. I did one particular job which was Chelsea but was very real. The backgrounds and things you’re talking about, it seemed very real.
FD: I feel like anyone who is familiar with London or has lived in London will definitely be able to relate to the way this film is setup. London is almost like a character itself. You’ve got these different characters from different backgrounds and walks of life all living their lives out in close proximity to each other. That’s how London is. You’ve got very affluent areas right next to more distressed areas.
Kierston, did you have instant chemistry with Charlie Creed-Miles?
KW: Yeah, I knew of him. I knew he was a great actor so I was really thrilled to be working with him. I suppose I did. I didn’t really think about it too much. I tend to just do the job and learn the lines and listen to the director and just get on with it, but I enjoyed working with him. I haven’t seen the film. Is there chemistry between us? James kept saying, “I just want it clear, I want the audience to know that you both really do love each other.” He was giving us that note so I just subconsciously took that on board while doing the scenes with him, which was another reason why I liked Kathy actually. I don’t usually get those sort of parts. I get people that are meddling about a lot, so I don’t usually get a solid unit as such.
Did you have to run a lot for the takes at the marathon?
KW: No. You just brought back memories. No, we didn’t apart from one particular day, yes, we did. That was because right next door, they were having building work done and it was horrendous. That was the only time. It was like stop, cut, stop, wait. Other than that, no. The rest of it ran very smoothly. I just learned the blocking and it was a couple of takes and it was done.
Did either of you interact with the story that was cut from the film?
FD: Yeah, briefly. I had a brief interaction with that.
KW: I didn’t cross paths with any other characters. I think Charlie might have done. All my scenes are with Charlie as far as I remember.
Franz, did you do A Hundred Streets long before Legends of Tomorrow?
FD: Yeah, it was like a year before. It’s been a while. It was a long time.
What do you think or hope is going to happen for Jax in season two?
FD: Well, we’re definitely going to see, in the finale Jax just got his new transmutation powers, Firestorm got the transmutation powers. So I think we’re going to see him exploring these powers a lot more. Also Vixen is coming to the show so we’ll see how that affects the dynamic. Yeah, season two, there’s a lot of cool stuff that’s going to be happening.
Leon is planning a TV series of A Hundred Streets. Would you each reprise your roles?
KW: Abso-bloody-lutely. I would love to.
FD: Most definitely if I was available I’d definitely be up for that.
KW: I would love to. I’m very excited about that.