We caught up with the star of the new British comedy Amar, Akbar and Tony to find out more about this new and exciting film. Rez shares why he loves film, how his role as Amar reflects modern Britain and how some of Britain’s best loved actors joined the cast to support the film.
Set in present-day London, Amar, Akbar and Tony follows the lives of three childhood friends Amar (Rez Kempton), Akbar (Sam Vincenti) and Tony (Martin Delaney), as they stumble through life from their carefree twenties into adulthood. The film tracks the friends over a decade and follows their every move. The characters face sudden and unforeseen changes to their idealistic and trouble-free young lives. With hilarious and sometimes tragic consequences, the brotherly bond shared by the trio is called into question and we witness the highs and lows as they attempt to come to terms with their adult lives. Amar, Akbar and Tony is directed by Atul Malhotra and produced by Victoria Wood.
Congratulations on getting the role of Amar, in the new British Comedy ‘Amar, Akbar and Tony’. Please could you tell us a bit about the film?
Thank you. The movie follows the story of three childhood friends and their journey into mature adulthood. They are from different cultures and religions and we get to see how they get on and face the challenges of love, loss & redemption
How would you describe your character Amar?
Amar is the “sensible” one of the three. He’s ambitious and wants to make his family proud by doing well and pursuing a career as a lawyer and make a break away from the family restaurant business.
What attracted you to get involved in the film?
I felt this was one of the first scripts I had read that actually reflected back to me what it is like to live and grow up in modern Britain. It’s not a British gangster film like many before but more in the mold of East Is East & Full Monty. It’s what I feel Britain does so well making poignant films with humour. For me, it felt like a very realistic depiction of contemporary British life where people from different backgrounds live side by side and get on. It’s one of the many things that make me proud of being British.
“I felt this was one of the first scripts I had read that actually reflected back to me what it is like to live and grow up in modern Britain.”
Although it is a British film, the Asian culture has very much been brought into the film. Have you enjoyed incorporating both cultures into the film?
Absolutely, Atul Malhotra, our director wanted the film to celebrate being proud of the Asian culture and all that it has done to enrich Britain. The film I feel shows how we can all celebrate in coming from diverse cultures and yet enjoy and share in all.
Have you faced any challenges when filming?
Amar is a Sikh and so I had to get used to not only having a beard but wearing a turban – which I can tell you, when is properly tied by our fantastic turban wrangler – Dev Sandhu (ex Indian army) You certainly feel it. I often had to get him to re adjust it, as sometimes the pressure of it would bring on quite a severe headache. Guys that regularly wear them I suppose get used to it over time. Me, I had one on for only a few weeks. I also was asked by Atul our director to lean down a bit for the part – so had to give up the “sweets and cake”
Do you share any similarities with your character Amar?
Amar in the film feels the responsibility of honour and protecting his family and friends. I certainly could relate to that by using my own experiences. My father passed away at quite a young age and all of sudden, I was being told by members of my family and friends that I had the responsibility for looking after my mother and sisters. It was probably the moment I went from being a boy to a man.
What have you enjoyed most about being a part of the film?
It’s been an amazing journey with a fabulous cast and crew. We were sad when the film wrapped because we’ve been like a family. I’ve made genuine friends on this project and that doesn’t always happen on all jobs. During the shoot we’ve laughed so very much. We’ve had some of Britain’s best loved actors like Meera Syal, Nina Wadia & Ace Bhatti come and support our film & people will genuinely be surprised how amazing and funny their contributions will be. I don’t want to spoil anything for our audiences but you will be pleasantly surprised. Martin Delany gets a lot of the laughs in this film. He plays Tony and Tony is the “loveable buffoon” I do get a few moments along the way, but he’s definitely the funny one.
“We’ve had some of Britain’s best loved actors like Meera Syal, Nina Wadia & Ace Bhatti come and support our film & people will genuinely be surprised how amazing and funny their contributions will be.”
When can we watch ‘Amar, Akbar and Tony’?
It’ll be out next year. We’ve only just finished principle photography. Atul is now reviewing rushes and we’ll most likely have to come back in for some pick ups, which is totally normal then there’s the music to be sorted and then our audiences can enjoy it.
You have some very commendable credits, such as Spooks, Banged up Abroad, Brother’s in Trouble, and multi award winning films Life goes on and I can’t think straight. What has been your favourite role to play in your career so far?
It’s difficult to choose which role I’ve liked best because I feel that’s up to audiences to decide because as any actor will tell you, one invests a lot of oneself into each and every part. An actor has to wholly identify with the role we are given, no matter what our own personal feelings or thoughts might be. I’ve loved the challenge of every part I’ve played. (I hope this keeps all the directors I’ve worked with happy! If I were to choose any one particular part, they’d probably be onto me saying “Wasn’t the role I gave you your favorite?!” I wouldn’t want to upset any of them because as you know “artists” can be sensitive souls!)
“An actor has to wholly identify with the role we are given, no matter what our own personal feelings or thoughts might be.”
As well as being in British TV shows and Films, you have also performed in Bollywood films just as Umar and Hari Puttar. How different is the Bollywood industry?
I grew up watching films so I’d say film is my passion. Every industry is different and the working methods are too but essentially it’s about telling a story with characters an audience care about. So no matter whether it be Hollywood, Bollywood or European cinema its the narrative that has to excite. Yes I’ve been fortunate to do a couple of Bollywood films and was amazed at the speed those guys work. It looks like chaos on the outside as there is so many crew all running around like ants but it all comes together. You only have to see their films to see that they work.
How would you sum up the acting industry in 3 words?
Passionate, Demanding & ultimately so Rewarding!
Do you have any acting plans for the future?
I’d like to take a well-earned rest after this tough shooting schedule but honestly I loved every moment of it and it never felt like work. I’ve got another film coming out soon – Chakara which we shot out in India, Spain and the UK so I’ll be doing some promotion for that as well as later in the summer I’m working on another movie with debut feature film director, Rosa Fong. We’re due to workshop her script soon and aim to shoot late summer.