Adam Deacon has high hopes for the next generation of home-grown filmmakers
Coming out of a conversation with Adam Deacon it's difficult not to feel hopeful - not just for him, but for the UK. And right now it feels like that hope is really needed.
Since breaking onto the scene with Kidulthood in 2006, Adam is someone a lot of people would feel they've grown up alongside. We've seen him reach astounding highs, but have also witnessed some of the lows too.
"I've always wanted to just be honest and real with people - and that goes with your ups and your downs. You've got to be honest about it all," he told SBTV News.
Adam is coming off the back of making a grime mockumentary, Dropperz, on ITV November 2, and the project saw him reunited with close friend and fellow Kidulthood star Femi Oyeniran in a professional capacity. But along with the (still young) older heads like him and Femi, he feels the future looks bright for British film.
"There's a lot of talent coming through, it's good to see. There are so many people coming through. It feels like the industry has become easier now, it wasn't always so accepting when me and Femi came through.
"And I think with youngsters now, there are so many other ways of getting your talent out there with YouTube and social media. So if you've got an idea you don't have to wait for someone to fund you, you can just pick up a camera and do it yourself," he said.
A decade-plus into his acting career, Adam definitely has plans to continue the work he started with directorial debut Anuvahood, but he also wants to see the kids coming through try their hand at something different.
"Part of it is coming up with new ideas, creative ideas, that isn't just the same type of film getting released over and over again. Come up with some new ideas.
"That's where it got killed off last time around, with the UK films, too much rubbish was being put out. If we can keep quality high, the talent will shine through. We're in a good place."
In many ways it feels like Adam's never been away, but after a public falling out with Adulthood director Noel Clarke and coming to terms with previously undiagnosed bipolar disorder, we know that's not the case. There were some difficult years.
On the mental health aspect, the 33-year-old is incredibly thankful for the support he received from fans. Throughout the conversation, his tone of voice never changes from that of someone who's been through something and is grateful to now be on the other side of it.
"The support has been mad, I didn't realise how many people there were out there going through the same kind of thing. It just kind of inspired me to know that you've got the support out there from these people. It was just a lot of love and support. I can't thank the people enough for that."
As for the future, we can expect new music and more films from Adam, and he hopes the UK's "urban" scene reaches a place where it's able to put out its own content.
"Where we need to get to is where we're putting out our own content so it can't get watered down. That's what's great about the internet, you can just put out what you want. If you look at what Femi did with The Intent, people were saying 'there's no audience for this, no one wants to watch it'.
"They had a platform to put it out through iTunes and it went number three, so it clearly can be done without watering it down. I think we just have to come with a do-it-yourself attitude and make the content ourselves.
"The power has been given to the audience now so they will decide what content they want to watch."
Dropperz, which follows, in Adam's words, "the most deadest grime MC you could ever, ever imagine", is on ITV2 at 8.30pm on November 2.