Reggie Yates’ debut feature film ‘PIRATES’ brings Black & Asian male joy to the big screen.
Driving around London in a yellow Peugeot 205 nicknamed the Custard Cream. The three leading gentlemen of Reggie Yates’ debut feature film, Pirates, are 18-year old boys searching for a New Year’s Eve Party to welcome them into the new Millennium.
For the school friends, the turn of the century does not only mark the end of an era, but to them, it’s a dramatic change in their friendships as they decide whether or not to branch off into worlds outside their borough to find themselves.
The film’s story revolves around a much simpler time of young adulthood, where your only priority was what you were doing that night. However, as a moment that comes every hundred years becomes nearer. The stakes rise as the three friends do whatever it takes to find tickets to a sold-out New Year’s Eve Millenium party which are sourced with great difficulty and then lost again.
Although he is behind the camera, Reggie Yates’ love of London is apparent in the film. It is a London romanticised for the young, Black and Asian characters whose joy for friendship, vibes and music is welcomed with cheerful laughter in the cinema room.
The experience of young, black and Asian males in London are rarely documented as one of joy, goofiness and innocence, which is often the reality. The comical trio that includes Cappo (Elliot Edusah), Kidda (Reda Elazouar) and Two Tonne (Jordan Peters) are undoubtedly the driving force of this piece.
We had the chance to spend the day with the trio and get ready for our very own motive. Without the turn of the century to pressure us into any high stakes decision making, we spoke to Elliot, Reda and Jordan about their top tips on getting ready for a night out and more about their journeys from acting school to the big screen.
How did you get into acting?
Jordan: I started acting when I was ten years old and did a production of Romeo and Juliet. I played Romeo. At secondary school, I fell off, but I fancied this girl who was doing some acting courses, so I got back into it. Then the teacher was like; You know what, you’re good at this, you should apply for National Youth Theatre. I didn’t get in, so I applied for Brit. And then I got in. From being at Brit school and being surrounded by people who loved acting and other creatives. I just felt like it was the place I wanted to be and a career I wanted to pursue.
What were your thoughts when you first read the script for Pirates?
Elliot: When I first read it, I was just like, ‘wow’. A story about three ethnic boys from London, growing up on an estate around various parts of North London, with no guns, knives, violence, drugs, sex. So a wholesome story about boys who grew up together, love each other and go through teething problems in their relationship, but ultimately, stick strong together, and I could connect to that.
What was your experience and relationship with Reggie as a director?
Reda: I say it started in the audition room, just the way he was. We can’t pretend like we don’t know who he is. We all grew up with Reggie on our screens. So, you know, he’s very mindful, and understanding of that, and the way he just kind of makes you feel relaxed is a talent in itself, man. So the relationship grew from there. He’s kind of like, our brother. There were four of us in a group chat; we kept in constant conversation, so it didn’t feel like we were being told what to do. It felt like we were being slowly guided by a very, very competent director.
PIRATES heads to UK cinemas via Picturehouse on 26 November.
Video Director – Sam Adjaye [swrv.studios]
Photographer – Shenell Kennedy [@shenellkennedy]
Stylist – Tiyana Henriques [@yanaalae]
Make-Up Artist – Vaneza Lopez [@vanezalondono]
Nail Artist – Monica Villanueva [@heyymonicaaa]
Arts & Culture Editor & Producer – Chelsea Mtada [@chelseamtada]
Jacket: @avirex_us @att_a_girl
Hoodie: Maharishi @maharishi
Jacket and trousers: @dailypaper
Jacket and Jeans: @dailypaper