An Aberystwyth man and an actress who graduated from the town’s university are thrilled to have worked on Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey’s latest film.
Jamie Walker, well-known in Aberystwyth for his photography and film work, is Director of Photography for Control, while actress Lauren Metcalfe co-stars with Kevin Spacey.
The feature film from Cupsogue Pictures is being sold worldwide, with Tri-coast media looking at a theatrical release in December.
In the film, Lauren’s character, British Home Secretary Stella Simmons, is having an affair with the Prime Minister, played by Mark Hampton. When Stella drives home one night, a mysterious man (played by Kevin Spacey) remotely hijacks her self-driving car, forcing her on a rampage through London.
The film is garnering attention worldwide, especially since Spacey was cleared of sexual assault last month. Lauren has released an statement on social media praising Spacey who “put his private life aside and focused on the job at hand”, but admitted it was an “apprehensive” time for the cast and crew as Spacey fought in court to clear his name.
“It was an extremely apprehensive time for everyone, including Kevin I imagine. But when I met him, he was nothing but professional, and welcoming, and ultimately after a lot of discussion with the team about the situation, we had the opportunity to work with a two-time Oscar winner who at the time had been cleared of any charges in the US. We didn’t want to enter cancel culture and wanted to base our decision on facts.”
Jamie, who is originally from Aberystwyth, also attended Aberystwyth University. He said working with the double Oscar winner, “especially through such a controversial time for him, has been quite the journey for the whole crew”.
Lauren is also a film producer. She trained at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts before continuing her acting studies at Aberystwyth University. She is also qualified in screen combat with The British Action Academy.
Lauren has been in several musicals and stage productions and moved into film and television in 2019 appearing in a number of TV shows including Bridgerton, The Trial of Christine Keeler and His Dark Materials.
Now focusing predominantly on film work, Lauren will soon start work on her next lead role with a different production company, whilst also producing the next feature with Cupsogue Pictures, in which again will have a prominent role.
Recalling how she got involved with Control, Lauren said: “I joined Cupsogue Pictures on a previous film to begin my producing journey and learn all that I could.
“The film we were working on then got placed on hold, and we had some time to kill before going back to that project. The team and I are intrinsically creative and hard working, we all hate to sit still so we decided to just do an interim film on a low budget to keep the cogs ticking over.
“This then escalated, Gene [director Gene Fallaize] created a fantastic, gripping script and asked me to read it, then asked if I would consider being his leading lady, Stella. I of course happily accepted.
“This was the first time I had worked with the team at Cupsogue in an acting capacity, so the faith they had in me was very humbling, especially then when Kevin Spacey came on board as my co-star.
“From there our team grew with Cinenorth, and I have to say the only reason we all managed to pull off a Kevin Spacey feature film in a few months was because we all clicked, worked hard, knew what needed to be done and built and strong trusting relationships.
“Control wouldn’t be happening without each and every one of this team and I’m extremely proud of all of them.”
Jamie is a cinematographer, Editor and professional drone pilot based in Cardiff, who is originally from Aberystwyth. He went to Coleg Ceredigion to study Photography, and Aberystwyth University to study film and media, and it has been his passion ever since. Jamie has established a film production company in Aberystwyth/Cardiff (AMP Digital) with business partner Charles Symons. Working with many clients ranging from the NHS to Napapjiri clothing, AMP have become a well respected marketing agency in Aberystwyth and the surrounding area.
CineNorth Studios was set up by Maria Lee Metheringham (Directer/Writer) and Jamie Walker (Cinematographer/Editor) during lockdown 2020. Maria wrote a number of scripts for short films to shoot with Jamie in a short space of time and under restrictions.
“This has led us to work on Control, said Jamie.
“For me personally, being part of this film has been an absolute pleasure from the start. Not only have I managed to work with a two-time Oscar winner, I have made friends for life. I have been asked many times what’s it like to work with Kevin Spacey, and I reply with the same answer. It was amazing!
“I was aware there was accusations surrounding his private life. For me, I felt the opportunity to work with an actor of whom I have been a fan of since a child, was a no brainer. From the moment we arrived to record Kevin’s part in the film, we felt at ease. At the end of the day, he to was there to do a job, like us, and the utmost professionalism was on show.
“I will always stick by my decision to work with Kevin, and with the latest not guilty verdict from his trial, that decision is justified.
“Control went to the Cannes Film Festival back in May, has sold in multiple territories all over the world, and is due for theatrical release in December.
“I will be forever grateful for this opportunity, an look forward to future projects with Cupsogue Pictures and the whole team. “Working with a fellow alumni of Aberystwyth university has been great. Reminiscing about our student days on campus, and the nights in the Angel and Pier.
“Aberystwyth homes a load of creative talent, hopefully this can inspire more to pursue a career in the arts.”
See Lauren on set in the picture below, and watch the trailer for the film here.