‘BABY DRIVER’ STAR ALLISON KING TALKS UPCOMING ROLES, AMY SCHUMER AND SOCIAL MEDIA 90

With TV credits including appearances in Revenge, Secrets & Lies and Finding Carter and soon to be seen on the big screen in Baby Driver alongside Angel Elgort and Jon Hamm, Allison King has always had a passion for performing. With several upcoming projects and a long-standing desire to work with Madeline Kahn, the next few months are going to be very busy indeed for this hugely talented actress and she kindly chatted to Thisisthelatest about favourite childhood films, Amy Schumer and her advice for aspiring stars.

TITL: At what age did you decide you wanted to be an actress? Was there a film or a star you admired at the time that inspired you?

Allison King: Very young. My earliest memories are of performing for my somewhat unwilling family. I wanted to either be an explorer like Lewis & Clark or an actor, and honestly, I see them as very similar. I was the kid who ran off in the park to find the deep recesses of the tree groves, or the secret path that lead to a homeless encampment. Acting is the same – it’s an active and passionate exploration of the human experience. I’m drawn to the dark shadowy corners and hidden away nooks of our lives.

TITL: Which films did you grow up watching up and how, if at all, have your tastes in film changed over the years?

AK: ClueGoonies and Romancing the Stone were on constant replay in my life and I still love a good adventure story or mystery. Although, certainly my tastes have matured. Right now, I’m drawn to the emotionally connected and cinematic story telling being done by Jill Soloway and Jim Frohna or Barry Jenkins. I also love the gritty poetic style of Terrence Malick and Andrea Arnold.

TITL: Tell me a bit about your role in Baby Driver and what drew you to the film.

AK: Edgar Wright was directing! When I got the opportunity to audition, I honestly had to stop myself from wanting the role so I just do my best work without the nervous attachment to getting the job. I had already been a massive fan of his singular approach to storytelling and the idea of working with him was almost too much to consider. My role is someone who forces Baby to look at how his bad behavior has consequences in the larger world. And I think that’s one of the wonderful themes of the movie and speaks to Edgar’s brilliance: our behavior and choices have profound effects on all the people in the world around us. But Edgar cloaks it in this fun, glossy, fast paced movie that’s full of music and joy. Such a talent!

TITL: What can you tell me about your upcoming film Thank You For Your Service, and did you get to work with Amy Schumer?

AK: I didn’t get to work with Amy, which is probably for the best because I might have humped her leg. Don’t tell her that. TYFYS is a film about the ways in which war has changed. Wounds aren’t always on the surface these days. We’re still learning about how to treat PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury and sadly these guys who have risked everything, are suffering as a result. I think it’s the kind of war movie that has a real bone crunching heart that will affect a lot of people. I worked mostly with Beulah Koale, a wonderful New Zealand actor who will probably be a huge star after this movie comes out. He is incredible in this.

TITL: Do you favour TV over film or are you just happy to be able to balance both?

AK: Balance is a struggle for me. Honestly, for an actor it’s all about working – the format matters very little to the creative work that goes into it. I’d love to get back to the theater and am looking at a few opportunities to do that. But of course, I’d love the opportunity to explore a character over a longer period, like in a serialized TV drama. If the BBC called I’d hop on a plane in a heartbeat. Someone bring back The Hour!

TITL: Are there any other projects in the pipeline you can tell me about?

AK: Horse Soldiers is another project that’s coming out in 2018. I got the opportunity to work with Nicolai Fuglsig who is such an amazing, kinetic director. And I got to work with Michael Shannon who I’ve been a fan of since my acting conservatory days in New York. It was an all-around amazing experience. It’s also a war movie set just after September 11th.

TITL: If you could star in any film with any actor or actress, living or dead, which and who would it be and why?

AK: Oh my god… can it be an ensemble piece because I am such a fangirl?! By far my favorite would have to be Madeline Kahn. Her comedic ability just reaches through the screen into your guts. Then we could get Andrea Arnold to direct… and it would be this super weird artsy screwball comedy with a huge heart.

TITL: What advice would you give to aspiring actors/actresses looking to make their way in the industry? Is there anything you wish you’d ever been told before you started on this journey?

AK: Great question! Firstly, fall in love with the joyful and painful process of creation. Get in class with the best teachers in your area, work hard to find your inner voice and point of view as an actor, and trust the journey. After you train, if you’re not slightly nauseous, you’re playing it too safe. And when you start working, learn how to take excellent care of yourself. Your body and heart are your instrument and working is all about taking excellent care of them so they’re fully available at show time. Also, therapy helps!

TITL: To what extent, if at all, has social media impacted your career, and what part would you say it plays in the promotion and advertising of those in the industry and their projects?

AK: I’m not sure yet, I’m still exploring it and trying to do it in a healthy way. But I think we’re at a moment in time where women are finding they have a voice and it needs to be heard. I was so moved by the women’s marches around the world. And for that reason, I think it’s important for women – whether in the industry or not – to speak out about their world and their experience in it. We’re aching for half of the world’s population to speak up!

TITL: What’s your ultimate ambition as an actress and, whose career would you most like to emulate? Why?

AK: I try not to think in these terms because it can be harmful to compare your journey to anyone else’s in this industry. I think as an actor – someone who speaks someone else’s words for a living – it’s essential to find your own voice and your own path. So, my ultimate goal is to continue to find my voice in the characters I play. I’m also working on several writing projects and I really want to lift other women who have done great work in the shadows. I think it’s time for women to tell their stories.

For more information on and to keep up to date with Allison King, follow her on Twitter. Header photo credit: Dana Patrick.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

STOLEN CITY TALK NEW SINGLE “LAST NIGHT” & ARTISTIC INSPIRATIONS 66

With Ireland’s globally successful music history – here’s looking at you, U2 and The Script – you might think that up and coming Dublin trio Stolen City would be feeling the pressure. Instead, the three friends, Sean, Dave and Ian, are paving their own way in the industry. With big plans in the works for the coming year, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with the band to find out more about their musical influences, their thoughts on social media and their dreams of touring the world.

TITL: First of all, please introduce yourselves and tell us a little about your role in the band.

Stolen City: We are Stolen City, we consist of 3 members Sean, Ian (Bailey) and Dave. Sean is the lead singer and rhythm guitar player of the band, Bailey is the drummer of the band and Dave plays rhythm guitar and mandolin.

TITL: How do the three of you know each other/how did you meet?

SC: Sean and Dave met in college in Dublin where they were both studying music, performance and production and formed an instant friendship that they never thought would turn into what it has. They started performing together as a duo early into the year and with continued success decided to form a band. They invited Bailey into the band and have been together since.

TITL: Which bands and artists are you most inspired and influenced by and how do those artists impact the music you make?

SC: We have so many different influences and bring so many different styles into our music. Sean`s influences mainly come from singer-songwriters and solo performers such as Foy Vance, JP Cooper and Gavin James. Dave’s influences are mainly bands such as Mumford & Sons, The 1975 and The XX. Bailey brings a style that mainly comes from his favorite band, Green Day, and he also loves Swing and big band music.

TITL: What would you say is your unique selling point as a band?

SC: Our unique selling point is our music. There`s nothing like it in the market today and it`s something completely unique to us and we are so passionate about it.

TITL: Is there a story behind your latest track “Last Night”? Can you recall where you were when you wrote it?

SC: “Last Night” is a song we wrote in early 2017 to put on our EP but when we recorded it and heard it back it was too special to us to just release it on our EP so we saved it to be released on its own as a single.

TITL: Have you an album in the works and if so, is there anything you can tease us with about it?

SC: We can`t say exactly what we do have in the works but there is something coming towards the end of this year. However we can tell you that we are spending a good amount of time in the recording studio and writing music this year.

TITL: If you could collaborate with any other band or artist, who would you choose and why?

SC: Oh god, that`s a really hard question to answer there`s so many incredible artists out there at the moment. We all have different answers Sean would love to collaborate with Gavin James, Dave would love to collaborate with Mumford & Sons and Bailey would love to collaborate with Green Day.

TITL: Of the shows you’ve played so far in your career, is there one that stands out? If so, which is it and why is/was it so memorable for you?

SC: Dave and Bailey`s favourite show was definitely a festival we played in Co.Mayo Ireland called “Band on The Strand” there was a crowd of over 4,000 people where we played a set of our original songs and got an incredible reaction and had the crowd so interested in the show we put on.

Sean`s favorite show was a more intimate gig we played on the main stage in Whelan`s Dublin. There was a sold out crowd on the night and we were the headline act. We played a full set of our original songs and had the crowd singing them back to us it was amazing and unforgettable.

TITL: For those who haven’t seen you live yet, how would you describe a Stolen City show?

SC: A Stolen City show guarantees to entertain – it`s full of surprises and fun. We are extremely energetic and really know how to get a crowd going. Trust us if you miss a Stolen City show, you are missing something special.

TITL: If you could play one venue, anywhere in the world, with three artists/bands living or dead, where would it be and who would be on the bill?

SC: Oh this one’s easy we would love to play Red Rocks Amphitheatre and on the bill would be Queen, The Beatles, Ourselves and Thin Lizzy.

TITL: Will you be hitting the road again later this year?

SC: We will be hitting the road again this year if all of our plans fall into place but we can’t say dates or venues yet.

TITL: You’re earning yourselves a considerable following on social media, notably Twitter. To what extent has that impacted/boosted your career?

SC: Social media boosts our listeners, fans, friends and also opens up opportunities for us all around the world because it has such a broad spectrum and such a wide reach it really is incredible and drives us to work harder and harder every-day.

TITL: Given the success of Irish bands such as U2 and more recently, The Script, do you ever feel any pressure to ‘have’ to follow in their footsteps and achieve the same levels of popularity and success they’ve earned over the years? Or, are you more a ‘let’s enjoy the ride while it lasts and see where it goes’ kind of band?

SC: We don`t feel any pressure at all to follow in the footsteps of other bands because we`re so different. We really believe that what we do makes a difference not just to us but to others and that’s all we can ask for. We work harder than anyone out there we push our limits and we are not afraid to take risks and we will hopefully make our own pathway to success.

TITL: Finally then, where would you like to yourselves 5 years from now? What’s the long-term objective for the band and what would you have to achieve in order to turn to one another and say ‘We’ve made it.’?

SC: In 5 years’ time we would love to be touring the world and we would love our music to be reaching millions upon millions of people. We are confident in what we do and we know if we push ourselves and if we work hard we will someday get to where we want to be. For us to say “We`ve made it” we would have to play a sold out show to thousands of people who know every word to every song, that`s the dream and that`s what drives us.

Check out the video for Stolen City’s new single “Last Night” below and for more information on the band, give their page a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Y.O.U.N.G. OPEN UP ABOUT NEW SINGLE “EXPOSURE” & SOCIAL MEDIA 61

With an array of artistic and musical influences between them, Manchester quintet Y.O.U.N.G. don’t quite fit into any particular genre, but they certainly don’t seem to mind. Having earned themselves a considerable following throughout 2017, largely thanks to their impressive live performances, the band are starting 2018 on a high – one that’s set to continue when the group release their debut album later in the year. ThisIsTheLatest caught up with rapper and keyboardist Ben to find about more exactly to chat about how the band came together and what fans can expect from them in the coming months.

TITL: How do the five of you know each other/how did you meet?

Ben: Jamie and Chez actually worked at a music studio. I met Chez’s dad when at a film festival with my uncle Wiggy, who did choreography for Take That and 911. He invited me down to meet the boys. We connected as mates and gave a few tracks a go. It felt great, but looking back these tracks were awful. Haha! We all agree! Eventually there came a time where we needed a drummer and a bassist, luckily for us we knew the two lemons for the job. Grae has known Chez from primary school, same with tom. We’d all worked for the company teaching kids drums in schools, all of a sudden we we’re all playing in the same building we all trained. It was like some fate shit.  We jammed it felt good, more energetic, so we became, officially a 5.

TITL: What would you say Y.O.U.N.G’s unique selling point is?

B: The combination of musical elements. I don’t hear rap on guitar like I want to hear it nowadays. Every rappers trappin’. Of course guitars and rap isn’t new. But the way in which we do it, I believe is unique. Come watch us I’ll show you!

TITL: How different/similar are your personal music tastes and how have you been able to bring those influences to the table in order to create your sound?

B: We like a lot of the same things, but it’s evolving all the time as we listen to new things. It’s not always what you think. For example, recently Chez has been listening to lots of reggae, whereas I have been jogging to Slipknot. Our sounds are slowly merging over each other over time. For an idea to get into a song we generally just go on the strength of the idea; you can’t turn up to rehearsals and start playing folk and talking about the Norwegian charts….but if the bassline gets me, then I’m in, wherever it came from! We all have to feel it or we don’t do it. It’s actually quite easy to bring our influences to the table, no one’s getting a guitar thrown at them for trying something in practice. We just try bring strong ideas to rehearsals, some things work, some don’t. The songs are coming together nicely at the moment though, I believe they always will.

TITL: If you were to say you sounded similar to any band or artist, which or who would it be?

B: I’ve read Lethal Bizzle vs Twenty One Pilots – I’ll take that, although I prefer to think of myself more rap-wise as a young Method Man with a sprinkle of Will Smith. Just a sprinkle. I can’t act.

TITL: Tell me a little about your latest track “Exposure.” Is there a story behind it?

B: It’s just about outing people who need outing. We all feel it.

TITL: Which song do you wish you’d written and why?

B: I don’t wish I’d written any song, that belongs to someone else. I’m sure we’ll have ours.

TITL: You’ve toured fairly extensively this past year – any favourite shows or highlights?

B: We did a Sofar sounds acoustic gig in a front room somewhere in South London. That was an experience, insence and Jeremy Vine sat cross-legged in the front row. We even got him on an improvised ”oooops there it isssss’, as we decided to do a song which I haven’t even done a rap for yet. Give me time fellas!

TITL: You’re heading back out on the road in February and March. For those who have never seen you before, what can they expect from a Y.O.U.N.G. show?

B: Energy, moments of madness, chaos, the proof of practice, all undercut with some off the cuff light hearted tongue in cheek.

TITL: You’ve also got an album coming out. Is there anything you can tell me about it? Any favourite tracks perhaps?

B: Just that we’re all very proud of it. Happy to be a part of it. Every moment in each of our lives leads us right to our first album release. Deeep! I’ll be weeping like a baby if it does well! My personal favourite track is “What I Gotta Do”, because the rap is easy to shout, and sometimes on Monday mornings, I like to shout.

TITL: What impact has social media had on your career so far? Do you think you’d have the following and support you do without it? How big of a part do you think it’ll play as you move forward?

B: It impacts it greatly. It’s nice to have a platform where people care what you say. But for me, it’s just a pathway to attract people to the music. If I wasn’t in a band, I’d really be trying to cut it out pretty much all together; when you are on there you aren’t here. It’s all about the moment for me, and sometimes social media can help you miss that. I know at least me and Chez wouldn’t mind being born with no phones and no internet. It’s nice on some levels, fans can connect easier, and so maybe it’s easier to feel part of something. However, it’s hard to say if the number of followers would be the different with or without social media. If people were still coming to the gigs I like to think word of mouth would spread. There’s almost too much for fans to look at now, everyone’s someone, everyone’s verified. I wouldn’t mind if it was just like, I won’t update you all what I’ve been doing all week, I’ll see you and 10,000 others on that park at that time and we’ll all talk about it then.

TITL: What’s the ultimate career goal for you guys as a band? Whose career would you most like to emulate and why?

B: We want to have enough money own a zoo together, with big giraffes and lions. Or maybe a coffee shop in Amsterdam if we can’t afford the zoo. Jay-Z and Beyonce. We 4 can be jay z, and Jamie can be Queen B.

TITL: Finally then, with so much new talent around, as we head into 2018, if you had to give music fans one reason to listen to you rather than your many counterparts, what would you say?

B: FREE FOOD FREE FOOD FREE FOOD. Now I have your attention, LISTEN TO YOUNG, the music will do the talking.

Check out the video for “Exposure” below and for more information on Y.O.U.N.G., give their page a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Header photo credit: Carsten Windhorst.