I’m talking about the hilarious British comedy Eaten By Lions, which hit UK cinemas on the 29 March.
A story about brothers Omar (Antonio Aakeel) and Pete (Jack Carroll) on a journey to Blackpool to find Omar’s long-lost dad, it’s a gem of a film about what family means today. It’s also got a top-notch cast, who still – when I interviewed them this week – came across as one big, slightly crazy family.
Beforehand I was so nervous being eaten by a lion felt preferable – these are my first video interviews and any wobbles (literal and figurative) are all mine.
Check out my interviews below: Antonio Aakeel (Omar), Jack Carroll (Pete), Johnny Vegas (Ray), Natalie Davies (Parveen), Hayley Tamaddon (Sara), Tom Binns (the fortune teller), Darshan Jariwala (Saftar), and Jason Wingard. (You can also read my review of the film and my longer interview with director Jason Wingard.)
Antonio Aakeel plays Omar, who – along with his younger brother Pete (Jack Carroll) – is on a search to find his absent dad in Blackpool:
Comedian and actor Jack Carroll plays Pete, Omar’s younger brother. Jack was also in Jason Wingard’s short film Going To Mecca, on which Eaten by Lions is based:
Johnny Vegas is Ray, the owner of a down-at-heel B&B in Blackpool which becomes something of a haven for Omar and Pete:
In a film full of terrific characters, Parveen, played by the wonderful Natalie Davies, was my favourite. Initially utterly silent and apparently introverted, she’s very different underneath… (put it this way, Pete certainly meets his match):
Blackpool-born Hayley Tamaddon is Sara, the real head of the family, whatever her husband Malik (Nitin Ganatra) and father-in-law Saftar (Darshan Jariwala) think:
Tom Binns, aka the fortune teller with no name. He’s a terrible fortune teller, but he does have a booth on Blackpool pier and a cool outfit. Omar and Pete think he can help in their search (for some reason):
Darshan Jariwala (Saftar, Malik and Irfan’s father) spoke to me about being the patriarch of this crazy family, and why the movie’s message of multiculturalism is so important now:
Director Jason Wingard on the story’s eight-year journey to the big screen, finding his dream cast, Blackpool nostalgia, and what he’s got coming up:
Watch the Eaten By Lions trailer now: