Aml Ameen and Shantol Jackson spill the beans about making Yardie

This week Aml Ameen and Shantol Jackson, the stars of Idris Elba‘s directorial debut Yardie, sat down for a post-screening Q&A and spilled the beans about making the movie, and here are some of the highlights.

Ameen revealed that his character D, who leaves Jamaica after his brother is killed and starts a new life in London, is very different to the D in Victor Headley’s book, which the film is based on.

“D’s not the same D (from the book). He’s beyond ruthless, there’s certain things I don’t think we could get away with and I don’t think people would even want to see. There’s certain aspects to his personality and a particular scene that happens that you just lose all sympathy for him once it goes there. So I’m glad Idris reshaped the book and made it palatable for a wide audience.”

Jackson, a Jamaican actress, said that Jamaicans really appreciated that Elba cast them in his film and wanted to make it as authentic as possible, using their language and mannerisms. She said everybody was very excited knowing that an authentic film about Jamaica was being shot there and they “wanted to be a part of” it but they “respected the shoot, respected the actors”, getting out of the shot when they needed to.

Ameen barely spoke to co-star Stephen Graham, who plays Rico, in real-life because he was going method as D, who is Rico’s enemy

“I didn’t speak to Stevie much about anything. I wasn’t really being me during the course of this. I know that sounds like a weird concept, I wasn’t in my mindset. The only thing I remember is Stevie going at the end of it all was, ‘Fucking well done son’. That was about it. I was welcoming to those in my life in the context of D.”

Jackson also praised Elba for the music he picked for the film, saying, “Jamaicans will appreciate the authenticity” and adding, “I’m really looking forward to Jamaicans watching the film in Jamaica.”

Ameen also revealed that he lived with family in Jamaica for two months before the shoot to prepare his character and accent, that he and Jackson would exchange emails as their characters once they got cast, and that he needed to “Englishify” his accent because it was difficult to understand.

Yardie comes out on 31 August – here’s my review.


  1. […] SEE ALSO: Aml Ameen and Shantol Jackson sat down for Yardie Q&A – see highlights […]


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