Who Needs Enemies: Michael Mckell Interview

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Who Needs Enemies: Michael Mckell Interview

By Annie Rooke.

Michael Mckell stars in the new gangsta film ‘Who Needs Enemies’ which follows the character Ian in his twisted actions to make money. Michael is an acclaimed actor who has appeared as numerous characters in such things as Emmerdale, Doctors and Essex Boys.

What initially interested you as the character of Ian in ‘Who Needs Enemies’?



The product was first spawned to me by Ian Pirie (Tom). Ian and I had met about 10 years ago in a workshop and we became friends. He had a script and he told me to have a read of it and I really liked it. I wanted to play Ian because originally the producers wanted me to play Tom, for me the more interesting part was Ian. Ian has children, he has been with his wife from the beginning and he wants to create a good home. What’s interesting about Ian is he has all those qualities of a normal business man but there’s a very dark side of how he makes money.

Do you prefer playing the bad guy?

In the past I’ve been flipped, people ask why do I like playing the bad guy and I say it’s because they have better suits, but for me they are the more interesting parts to play. For me to play the hero doesn’t sit well on my shoulders. Playing what I call ‘good looking acting’ isn’t really what I want to do.

Do you enjoy working with your friend Ian Pirie?, Have you worked together before?

Before no, as I said we were in a workshop together and I did say one day we will do something together. I was shooting a pilot for a thing called ‘The Open’, that’s when I read it. Because were mates it adds layers, when we are on screen you can tell at one stage we have been very close friends, those layers are there already.

 Also your children are in the film

They were looking to cast for the martial arts scene and both my kids have won national championships, I said you might as well have people who can actually do it! If you want to create that family vibe it does make sense.

You’re a highly accomplished musician, is your interest more in music or acting?

Music is a great love of mine. I had a solo deal with Warner Brothers and that’s when I had a big car crash. Because it was highly unlikely I was going to get on my feet very quickly I reinvented myself much like the style of David Bowie. I looked at all my favourite actors to see where they trained which was Lee Strasberg Institute, so that s where I went and became an actor.

Do you prefer working in locations rather than studios?

I do prefer locations to studios, I prefer being in the real place. I had never done green screen before, I recently done a commercial for Sony PlayStation in Budapest and that’s the weirdest thing, you’re acting in nothing.

Is there any advice you could give to future actors?

Advice I always give actors is only do it if you love it, it’s the only industry I know where people work for nothing. I always say especially to young actors don’t make it hard for yourself, go to the right schools and don’t be shy to do a commercial and to be pro-active! No one’s going to do it for you.


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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