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Interview: Rising star Stephen Odubola on gritty prison drama ‘A Violent Man’

by Paul Heath

In select cinemas and on digital from this Friday, 4th February is A Violent Man, the impressive directorial debut from Ross McCall. The film stars Craig Fairbrass as a prison inmate doing time for a double murder, while rising star Stephen Odubola appears alongside him as new cellmate Marcus, a young offender caught in the system and a revenge plot against him. We caught up with Odubola, who had a break-out role in the superb 2019 British film Blue Story, to talk about his new role.

A Violent Man is terrifying, brutally realistic, and skilfully staged, all of the narrative playing out in one claustrophobic setting: Steve and Marcus’ cramped prison cell.

Steve Mackleson (Fairbrass) is a violent and dangerous prisoner, incarcerated for double murder in a maximum security prison, and wracked with inner turmoil about his past sins and unquenchable need for carnage. When Marcus (Odubola) becomes his new cell mate, and a daughter he has never met finally requests a chance to meet her estranged father, Steve must reconsider his nihilistic outlook and brutal outbursts. When Marcus becomes the victim of a revenge attack, Steve steps in to save him and they both become marked men, their sentences set to be cut short, the hard way.

In my interview with Stephen, posted below, we talk about playing the role of Marcus, shooting the film during a global pandemic, and working with screen icons like Fairbrass and writer/ director Ross McCall, who also features in the film as another inmate named ‘Luke’.

Watch the full interview below and catch A Violent Man on screens through Vertigo Releasing from 4th February.

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