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netribution > features > interview with luke de woolfson, enzo cilenti & james lance

Luke de Woolfson (Sean), James Lance (Vincent) and Enzo Cilenti (Lenny) are the trio of young stars in Saul Metzstein's refreshing new comedy Late Night Shopping, which was released on Friday. Luke may be familiar to some of you as the lead from UIP and FilmFour's Birmingham gross-out, Large. This time around he is the focal character (supported effortlessly at times by Kate Ashfield) of the group of disenfranchised slackers, numbingly serving their twenties in MacJobs and only thinking about yearning for love.
James is a very dapper young man (excellent taste in footwear) from Brighton, with no formal training he was picked up for his debut film role by Metzstein after a stage performance in London. His character, Vincent, is a shameless womaniser in very real denial of his lack of prospects - it's the toughest role and he passed the test as a scumbag with ease.
I'd seen Enzo Cilenti in a stunning (and bloody disturbing) short film called Dish just prior to the screening and his characters in both were submissive, lacking in confidence and wearing an immovable grimace of discomfort in the face of confrontation. His Lenny will really infuriate you if only because he evokes piteous schadenfreude with every sentence. Maintaining a distant relationship with a demure work colleague who believes him to be a jetsetting entrepreneur, Lady Luck was always going to force his hand.

| by tom fogg|
| photos by tom fogg |
| in london |

What did your parents have planned for you Enzo?
Enzo: They thought I'd be an academic. Up to and during university I wanted do a PhD and be a sociolinguist, then I spent a year abroad to Cannes and Mexico City. When I came back all my friends had jobs and it was really depressing. I had to make knew friends so I went to the theatre, one of my mates from their was at Drama school and he suggested I do the same. I auditioned, got in and got picked up pretty quickly so I was really very lucky.

Did you study drama James?
James: No. I was working as an actor anyway and all my mates told me not to bother seeing as I was already working and had an agent. I wanted to and sometimes I wish I had.

Luke: Yeah, I studied performing arts at Middlesex university. I finished in '97 and managed to scrape some money together to get some photos and it's all happened in the last year really. My parents were supportive of everything I ever said I wanted to do, they've been fantastic all the way.

Which actors inspire you?
Luke: I always thought River Phoenix had something, Johnny Depp's pretty cool and everything Michael Caine does I enjoy.

Even Blue Ice?
Luke: We'll forget about that one but, to be honest I don't respond to particular actors but rather to specific performances.

What were you doing before Late Night Shopping?
James: I was doing a play at The Bush, in Shepherds Bush, called A Place at the Table and Saul came down to see it. That's how I got the part.

Tell us about Lenny.
Enzo: Well he drives a Mercedes wearing brown leather gloves and he has no confidence with women. It's very easy to be modest in front of hundreds of people on set and say, 'I'm playing a character who has no luck with women, please believe me.' It's far more difficult with Jimmy (Lance) who has to convince people that he's irresistible to the opposite. That wasn't difficult and they both wanted the same thing in love and companionship.

Can you relate to your character's position in twenties limbo?
James: Well it's about being bombarded by the media and about how you should look and act. It must be really hard for those who never have the opportunity whisked away for a weekend or eat at a nice restaurant every now and then.

You strike me as an unlikely actor Luke, if you don't mind me saying. Is this what you always wanted to do?
Luke: No I wanted to play football, I was playing a lot at county level until I discovered drinking, women and sleeping on Sundays. I was 15 when I realised I wanted to act.
Have we met before by the way?

(laughs) No we haven't but you remind me of someone I knew years ago.
Luke: Same here, must be one of those weird ones.

Would you have chosen the part of Lenny ahead of one of the others?
Enzo: We were asked to make a choice of characters during the casting process, which is quite rare. I couldn't have done James and Luke's roles as well as they did but, if Jimmy was the big star and he had to be Lenny I would have played Vincent it wouldn't have made that much difference because we get on so well. It was the easiest for me to play because I don't have a problem with being shy. He travels the furthest I think, in that he has the brightest future and he can respond very quickly because he maintains a strong moral standpoint throughout

Compared to your character in the movie Luke, how happy are you in what you do?
Luke: I'm very happy, I'm in an incredibly privileged position. There's so much choice these days in life and career that people don't know what to do. By the time they hit 25 they panic because they haven't achieved what they wanted to do, but then they didn't know what they wanted in the first place.

What did you think of the happy ending?
Enzo: I didn't like to see them kissing because I thought it was a crap way to end it, in my eyes it means that they are doomed. In my twenty something, Late Night Shopping sort of way it means that they are doomed, but I've a feeling that FilmFour demanded or requested that ending.

How about your relationship with Kate Ashfield's character Jodie?
Enzo: Well we all that we'd fancy her, we decided that in rehearsals because she'd be a brilliant girlfriend for all three of them. Jodie's ending is the least satisfactory for me. She has to find another job and there's no love element there, I wouldn't want anything particularly nice to happen to her although she's a fantastic character.

What else would you like to do in life apart from, or maybe after acting James?
James: I think it's too early to say but if I make heaps of cash then I'll definitely end up chilling out on an island somewhere.

I talked to Saul about the listlessness of the characters, how much do you relate to that, as an actor especially?
Enzo: Well I do between parts, you spend so much time hoping and praying for good work because you feel that's the only way you can define yourself. In rare moments of clarity you realise what a stupid existence that is and I ask myself, 'what do I do?'

What is that humbling job for you then?
Enzo: I'd like to be a cobbler, I'd like to make people's shoes.

James, how challenging was it to play someone so convinced of his infallibility with women?
James: It was a huge challenge and I was incredibly nervous because it was my first film. First film and biggest part and I was working with Brian Tufano - I'm a big movie fan and I knew a lot of his work. Apart from anything I didn't know if I could pull the part off but as the process went on I became more confident with it.

You are in Paul McGuigan's Morality Play are you not?
Luke: Yeah, I had a relatively small role in that with Paul Bettany and Willem Defoe.

Did you see Gangster Number One?
Luke: I did yes, great performance from him.

Are you all still in touch?
Luke: Not so much, that's often the way it goes though because the work is so sporadic. You work one place and make friends before moving on somewhere else.

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