Sebastian De Souza is set to make his big screen debut this week as he teams up with Ed Speleers, Will Poulter, Alfie Allen, and Emma Rigby for new film Plastic.

We caught up with the young actor to chat about working on the movie, and his plans to work behind the camera as well as in front of it.

- Plastic is about to be released on the big screen, so can you tell me a bit about the film?

Plastic is a true story, which follows four friends who commit a great big diamond heist. They are young crooks who are on the make: but they are not crooks in the sense that they are baddies.

They are kids who know that there is a financial crisis and it is very difficult for anyone to make good money anywhere - especially if you are a young person and at university.

So they start to defraud credit cards. However, they get into trouble because they defraud the wrong person's credit card. He tells them that they need to make him a lot of money, and they do it. At the end, they actually get one over on him. They do succeed in the end.

- You take on the role of Rafa in the film, so what was it about the character and the script that drew you to the project?

I think that there is a great deal of heart in the character of Rafa - not that the other characters are heartless bastards.

I think Rafa's storyline has a great amount of sadness, in the fact that he is a very loyal friend, who is dragged into this ordeal. Despite everything, he would still go the ends of the earth for all of them.

He comes out at the end with a great amount of perspective on the world, but with the battle scars of it all. I think he is a good guy.

What also attracted me to the role of Rafa was also the fact that I never saw myself playing that kind of character. It was an attractive proposition for me.

- You have slightly touched on my next question. I was wondering how we are going to see the character of Rafa develop throughout the film?

Rafa does start out as the joker: he is a bit idiotic, goes along with it all, cracks jokes and is the butt of all the jokes as well. He seems like a mindless idiot at the beginning, I suppose.

He goes through this process of letting the good times roll and having a great time. This is a true story and so it was great to be able to check off what we were doing against their reality of the situation.

They had this extraordinary period of prosperity, where they were defrauding all of these cards: they were literally going from one credit card company to the next.

The difference with Rafa is I don't think he was ever in it for the money, I think he was in it for the friendship. At the end, when it all goes tits up, he is left with this great hollow feeling in his heart.

I really hope that comes across on screen as well as the fact that he is a good guy who is led down the garden path.

- Plastic is based on this incredible true story, how familiar were you with the true events? And what kind of research did you do as you prepared for the film?

I wasn't familiar with it at all. It is based on a documentary, but I hadn't seen the documentary and I hadn't heard of these guys: it is slightly before my time.

I had no idea that these people even existed or that it was possible for this kind of thing to go on. The true story - this movie is really only the top of the iceberg - is that there were many many more heists that were extraordinarily successful and very dangerous.

It was very useful to have the guys involved with the heists on set and available to have their brains picked. I am a sucker for a great story, and I was fascinated with what they had to say.

- The movie sees Julian Gilbey return to the director's chair, so how did you find working with him?

Fantastic, Julian is a brilliant director. For an independent film, this is a big movie as there are car chases, stunts and gunfights, but he was incredibly relaxed about it all.

He is able to make what seems very big, very manageable. It was just a joy to work with him because it was such a relaxed environment. I am sure he is not relaxed underneath (laughs). He is probably like a swan: all glamorous and calm on the surface, but underneath they are paddling furiously.

I am sure his mind is going like the clappers, but he is as serene as ever when he is talking to you as an actor. He really was great.

- How collaborative was he as a filmmaker? How open was he to you bringing your own ideas to the character and scenes?

Yes, certainly. We spent a long time work shopping it, in the December before we shot. We sat down and went through the script: we did have a conventional read through, but it was more like a workshop where we all sat down and he was interested in what we had to say.

It was strangely collaborative, as, having written the movie; he was fascinated in what our interpretations of the characters were. He was very welcoming and open to our ideas.

Everything that you see on screen is collaboration, and it certainly was not a precious dictator saying 'this is how it is going to be'.

- A terrific young cast has been assembled including Ed Speeler, Will Poulter, Alfie Allen, so how did you find working alongside them? Friendship is very key to this movie.

I think that that is a really interesting question, as none of us knew each other - perhaps Will and Alfie had come across each other - but I didn't know any of them. I have since become great friends with all of them. I hope that when you see the film, you will get this sense of camaraderie, which should feel relatively natural.

I haven't done a lot of projects in my time, but it is unusual for everyone on a film set to get on and the environment to be so great. Maybe because we are so young, maybe it was the vibe, or maybe it was just because it was sunny in Miami: we did shoot four weeks in Watford where it was pissing it down with snow. Something was right and something was working.

They are just amazing people. Alfie is extraordinarily honest and very funny. Will is one of the most extraordinary friends that you could ever have: he is a sweet man. Ed is the same.

The lovely thing that I found with all of the actors is that they were very down to earth people. More often than not, you find film sets are peppered with people who have a greater sense of importance than they should.

Everyone was so easy with being part of this great thing; it was such a nice experience. Everyone was so happy and relaxed about the whole thing. It was great, really lovely.

- Plastic marks your feature film debut, so how did you find the move from television?

I found it to be a very seamless transition: it didn't feel strange at all. The only difference between film and TV, is that you are working towards one particular date, and then everything is done.

With film, you are working towards your movie opening, and when it opens that is it. With TV, it is an ongoing and serialised process. It has been interesting working up to something in the way that we have with Plastic.

- Finally, what's next for you?

At the moment, I am just locking a movie that I wrote with my friend Preston, called Kids in Love: that will be out at the end of the year.

That is being sound mixed, and is in the last stages of the edit. So that is really exciting.

- How much is being behind that camera something that interests you?

It fascinates me, and it is something that I would like to do in equal measure to being in front of the camera. What has been amazing about the whole process, is the level of understanding that you acquire.

You get a much better perspective of being in front of the camera when you have worked behind it.

For example, when we were casting the film, I very quickly came to realise why it is that I haven't got various jobs in the past, despite the fact that I thought I was perfect for the role. When you cast your own film, you realise that it is not as black and white.

It was fascinating, and it has been the most extraordinary learning curve. I am so so grateful to have had it. It is something that I would love to carry on doing, and I plan to carry on doing in equal measure.

Plastic is released 30th April.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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