Louis​ ​Lagayette​ ​& ​Edward​ ​Akrout on new film ‘Trendy’

Louis​ ​Lagayette​ ​&​ ​Edward​ ​Akrout on new film Trendy – words Charlotte Jablonski

French​ ​director​ ​Louis​ ​Lagayette​ ​and​ ​actor​ ​Edward​ ​Akrout​ ​are​ ​deep​ ​in​ ​conversation.​ ​As they​ ​sit​ ​in​ ​the​ ​member’s​ ​club​ ​of​ ​Hotel​ ​Cafe​ ​Royal​ ​in​ ​Piccadilly​ ​Circus,​ ​they​ ​switch between​ ​their​ ​mother​ ​tongue​ ​and​ ​English,​ ​each​ ​with​ ​affected​ ​accents.​ ​

Louis​ ​sounds slightly​ ​Mancunian,​ ​which​ ​he​ ​says​ ​he​ ​picked​ ​up​ ​from​ ​his​ ​friend​ ​and​ ​director​ ​of photography​ ​on​ ​his​ ​latest​ ​film,​ ​and​ ​Edward​ ​has​ ​a​ ​trained​ ​Queen’s​ ​English​ ​from​ ​his​ ​time at​ ​the​ ​London​ ​Academy​ ​of​ ​Music​ ​and​ ​Dramatic​ ​Art.​ ​

 

The​ ​pair​ ​are​ ​debuting​ ​​Trendy​ ​in​ ​the official​ ​selection​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Raindance​ ​Film​ ​Festival​.​​ ​The​ independent film​ ​is​ ​a​ ​​social​ ​thriller​ ​​written​ ​and directed​ ​by​ ​Lagayette​ ​that​ ​stars​ ​Akrout,​ ​​Lachlan​ ​Nieboer​,​ ​Alan​ ​Ford​ ​and​ ​Haluk​ ​Bilginer. I​ ​joined​ ​the​ ​gentlemen​ ​to​ ​discuss​ ​cinema​ ​and​ ​their​ ​thoughts​ ​on​ ​indie​ ​filmmaking.

Lagayette​ ​is​ ​25,​ ​ambitious​ ​and​ ​fresh-faced.​ ​After​ ​being​ ​raised​ ​in​ ​Paris,​ ​he​ ​moved​ ​to​ ​the UK​ ​to​ ​study​ ​film​ ​at​ ​Queen​ ​Mary​ ​University.​ ​This​ ​is​ ​his​ ​first​ ​feature​ ​following​ ​a​ ​series​ ​of music​ ​videos​ ​and​ ​shorts.​ ​Akrout​ ​is​ ​10​ ​years​ ​his​ ​senior,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​fellow​ ​Parisian​ ​has​ ​a proficient​ ​body​ ​of​ ​work​ ​in​ ​television,​ ​theatre​ ​and​ ​film.​ ​Lagayette​ ​is​ ​quick​ ​to​ ​sound​ ​off about​ ​Akrout’s​ ​acting​ ​abilities,​ ​specifically​ ​his​ ​gift​ ​for​ ​improvising​ ​on​ ​set.​ ​“One​ ​of​ ​the best​ ​parts​ ​of​ ​the​ ​film​ ​is​ ​when​ ​Ed​ ​went​ ​completely​ ​off​ ​book.​ ​He​ ​brought​ ​the​ ​scene​ ​to​ ​life.”

Edward Akrout​ ​earned​ ​himself​ ​a​ ​writing​ ​credit​ ​for​ ​this​ ​improvisation​ ​in​ ​the​ ​film.​ ​He​ ​adds,​ ​“It​ ​takes a​ ​selfless​ ​and​ ​trusting​ ​director​ ​to​ ​give​ ​you​ ​that​ ​opportunity.”

Regarding​ ​their​ ​first​ ​meeting,​ ​Lagayette​ ​recalls​ ​the​ ​casting​ ​process.​ ​“Edward​ ​was​ ​the last​ ​person​ ​to​ ​be​ ​cast​ ​in​ ​the​ ​film,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​surprising​ ​as​ ​he​ ​has​ ​a​ ​leading​ ​role.​ ​But initially,​ ​our​ ​producer​ ​was​ ​meant​ ​to​ ​play​ ​his​ ​part,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​wasn’t​ ​until​ ​the​ ​week​ ​before filming​ ​when​ ​we​ ​got​ ​everyone​ ​in​ ​the​ ​room​ ​that​ ​we​ ​learned​ ​it​ ​just​ ​didn’t​ ​work.​ ​We​ ​needed someone​ ​else.”

So​ ​Akrout​ ​took​ ​the​ ​audition​ ​room​ ​by​ ​charge​ ​and​ ​was​ ​confirmed​ ​immediately.​ ​Akrout laughs​ ​that​ ​it​ ​was​ ​“most​ ​likely​ ​due​ ​to​ ​the​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​production​ ​had​ ​already​ ​started!”

“No!​ ​You​ ​blew​ ​us​ ​away.”​ ​Lagayette​ ​confirms.​ ​It’s​ ​evident​ ​that​ ​there’s​ ​a​ ​sort​ ​of​ ​brotherly love​ ​between​ ​them.

It​ ​took​ ​Lagayette​ ​roughly​ ​two​ ​years​ ​to​ ​write​ ​the​ ​script​ ​and​ ​another​ ​three​ ​to​ ​gather​ ​the funding.​ ​​The​ ​project​ ​was​ ​shot​ ​over​ ​six​ ​weeks​ ​beginning​ ​in​ ​May​ ​2016​ ​and​ ​involved​ ​over sixty​ ​sets​ ​in​ ​various​ ​interior​ ​and​ ​exterior​ ​locations​ ​across​ ​London.

The​ ​psychological​ ​drama​ ​follows​ ​​Richard​ ​(Lachlan​ ​Nieboer),​ ​a​ ​school​ ​teacher​ ​who moves​ ​to​ ​present-day​ ​London​ ​to​ ​escape​ ​a​ ​recent​ ​allegation​ ​against​ ​a​ ​former​ ​student. The​ ​plot​ ​seizes​ ​audience​ ​with​ ​a​ ​gripping​ ​turn​ ​of​ ​events​ ​that’s​ ​anything​ ​but​ ​expected. Drug-filled​ ​basement​ ​raves​ ​and​ ​dog​ ​fights​ ​make​ ​the​ ​audience​ ​hold​ ​onto​ ​their​ ​seats​ ​as tension​ ​and​ ​violence​ ​rise,​ ​matched​ ​with​ ​a​ ​killer​ ​(no​ ​pun​ ​intended)​ ​soundtrack​ ​of​ ​techno and​ ​house​ ​music.​ ​​With​ ​the​ ​film​ ​set​ ​in​ ​the​ ​East-End,​ ​it​ ​seemed​ ​only​ ​right​ ​to​ ​announce the​ ​world​ ​premiere​ ​at​ ​Raindance​ ​before​ ​hitting​ ​the​ ​international​ ​festival​ ​circuit.

When​ ​asked​ ​how​ ​they​ ​feel​ ​about​ ​the​ ​production​ ​now​ ​that​ ​it’s​ ​finished.​ ​“I​ ​haven’t​ ​seen​ ​it yet!”​ ​Akrout​ ​exclaims,​ ​while​ ​Lagayette​ ​smiles​ ​and​ ​says,​ ​“I​ ​can’t​ ​wait​ ​to​ ​see​ ​your​ ​reaction in​ ​the​ ​cinema.”​ ​With​ ​sold​ ​out​ ​screenings,​ ​I’ll​ ​have​ ​to​ ​wait​ ​for​ ​the​ ​wide​ ​release​ ​like​ ​most eager​ ​fans.

Louis​ ​Lagayette​ ​&​ ​Edward​ ​Akrout on new independent film Trendy – words Charlotte Jablonski