Victim hit cinemas today and was launched in London's West End last night with support from a host of cast and friends
Cast members Adam Deacon, Ashley Chin, Michael ‘Buck’ Maris, Jason Maza and Anna Nightingale joined Wretch 32, Tom Parker from The Wanted, Ashley Walters, Dionne Bromfield and Jamal Edwards for the evening.
Ashley Chin, who plays the lead Tyson, explained the inspiration behind the film: "I remember someone saying, ‘Don’t allow the place you come from, affect the place you end up.’ So, just because you were born in the ghetto, it doesn’t mean you have to be ghetto. I didn’t go to college, I didn’t go to university, am I going to let that affect my out come on life? The answer is ‘No’’
Supporting lead Michael Maris, better known as music star Buck, added: "I was doing a youth project with Kickstart, myself and Ashley Chin. There was a mug shot of someone in the South London press. Everyone’s reaction was like, ‘Scum’. But what we knew about the person was that he was a lovely person. We wanted to write a film that really gets behind the character. Not everyone who does a bad thing is a bad person."
The film follows Tyson (Ashley Chin), Mannie (Jason Maza) and Jason (Michael Maris) who grew up together in a tough inner-city world, where opportunities are limited and crime pays the bills.
Desperate to escape this world of gang culture and violence, Tyson meets Tia (Ashley Madekwe), who helps him see there are other ways to escape the cycle of poverty he is trying to break for the sake of his little sister, Nyla (Letitia Wright). But Tyson soon learns that once you’re in the gang, it’s hard to get out and the final job with the biggest pay threatens to make him lose everything.
The film is very close to the home and heart of the actors, especially Ashley Chin who’s recent conversion to Islam has drastically impacted his life choices: "I could relate to that criminal and I wanted to go inside the mind of that criminal. You realise that the one who is committing the crime is also a victim; a victim of his environment, his upbringing, his own ignorance."
Anna Nightingale, who plays the female ring leader in the gang added: "It’s an important film insomuch that you get to know the people who really live in this environment and hopefully we shed the light on why people do the things that they do"
Victim is in cinemas now.