The Movie Waffler Interview - STRANGEWAYS HERE WE COME Actor/Producer Stephen Lord | The Movie Waffler

Interview - STRANGEWAYS HERE WE COME Actor/Producer Stephen Lord

We chatted to actor Stephen Lord, who stars in and coproduces new comedy Strangeways Here We Come.

Interview by Benjamin Poole

Strangeways Here We Come is a black comedy set within a tower block. It touches upon social issues such as poverty, drugs and pay day loans. Could you touch upon what attracted you to the script? Do you feel that Strangeways Here We Come could be an important film?

Real issues are always important. 

Most of the acting talent involved in Strangeways Here We Come first found work in television before transitioning to this feature length production. Could you talk a little about the difference experiences of acting for television and acting for a film?

I think when it comes to acting on screen there is no real major difference, however generally when acting on film you maybe get more time when doing individual scenes.

The famous British writer J.G. Ballard once wrote about high rise flats and the people who live in them that, ‘the more arid and affectless life became in the high-rise, the greater the possibilities it offered. By its very efficiency, the high-rise took over the task of maintaining the social structure that supported them all. For the first time, it removed the need to suppress every kind of anti-social behaviour and left them free to explore any deviant or wayward impulses. It was precisely in these areas where the most important and interesting aspects of their lives would take place. Secure within the shell of the high-rise, like passengers on board an automatically-piloted airliner, they were free to behave in any way they wished, explore the darkest corners they could find’. How far do Ballard’s words square with the plot and characters of Strangeways Here We Come?

What fantastic writing by Ballard, and it’s very true and poignant.

As it would happen, the Prime Minister has recently announced £2bn for Housing Associations. Having performed in a film which takes this social issue as a narrative impetus, do you believe that this is a welcome development, or is there a danger that the money will simply line the pockets of executives who are reputably paid a king’s ransom for managing ex-council houses? Is there an argument to be made that such estates ghettoise people and give way to division within the community or is this sort of housing a vital social initiative that allows the disadvantaged much needed support?

I think any money going into a community is a positive but sadly money always seems to get skimmed off the top from people who are placed in a position of power. I do believe though, social housing is essential, especially for those who are the most vulnerable. There is clearly a demand for more social housing. 

Imagine that you are in Asda, it is Saturday and you are in the part that sells DVDs. A couple are pondering over what film to get in to watch with their evening takeaway. Strangeways Here We Come is right there on the shelf. You cannot help it, you have to step in. Along with promising to sign the cover, how else do you sell Strangeways Here We Come to them?

It will make you laugh for a start… 

And c’mon, it's a film for real people who are more than happy to shop in ASDA, so buy it, get home safely and enjoy the film.

Strangeways Here We Come is in UK cinemas October 5th. More info can be found at