EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Plan B

Posted by Dean Piper On January 16th, 2011

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Plan B’s second album The Defamation of Strickland Banks was rarely off my iPod last year so I’m chuffed that the singer’s now in the running for Best Album, Best British Male and Best Single at the BRIT Awards next month.
But Plan B, aka Ben Drew, isn’t just a sharp suited fella who sings and raps. He has just finished off his first directorial debut Ill Manors and is priming his clappers again to start work on a film version of his No 1 album ….Strickland Banks. His film expertise has led to him being snapped up by Bafta to be on the panel for the Orange Wednesday Rising Star award. Among the nominees he helped to whittle down are Gemma Arterton and Tom Hardy. Vote for your favourite at orange.co.uk/bafta

Why do you think Bafta were so keen on getting you on the judging panel?
When they first asked me I didn’t think I was worthy of being a judge. I guess they felt I was worthy of being a part of the panel but when they first asked me I was a bit worried about what some of the actors in contention would think about me judging them. But then when I looked at it I have directed a small budget film and went out and found the emerging talent myself. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and I think it makes me now have the right to call myself a director.

Are you hoping that one day you’ll be receiving award nods for your film career?
I don’t do it for the accolades. If you did it for that then you’re in it for the wrong reason. People will just see through you. You do it because you want to be creative and you love it. I have these visions and want to express them.

Mr Gucci and fashion supremo, Tom Ford was on the panel alongside you. Did he speak to you about doing any modelling for him?
I may wear sharp suits but I don’t think so man. I need to lose a few pounds and get on a few sunbeds first.

And congratulations on being up for three gongs at the BRITs.
I thought that if I wasn’t an award this year then something had gone wrong on the judging panel. I thought I should be up for one as we’ve smashed it this year. I’ve never been to the BRITs before so it’s just an honour to go. Even if I don’t get an award it’s massive exposure just to perform.

You’re also going to be performing on the night – what have you got planned for your routine so far?
I only had one hour of sleep last night as I was designing the sets and sorting out the choreography. We are going to do it on a big scale and there’s going to be lots of dancers. It may be similar to the EMA’s where I had dancing policeman. I’m back in the UK February 8 so just need to go through with organisers about what will and won’t work with it so can’t say too much for now.

Who are you also pleased to see up for an award?
I loved seeing that Tinie Tempah is also up for awards as he’s broken through massively this year. If I lose to him then I wouldn’t mind as it would be losing to a worthy winner. I’d have liked to have seen Foals up for an award but I guess they’re a bit too left-field for the BRITs.

I hear you’re off to Australia on tour soon.
Yeah, I’ve also bought my brother a ticket to Australia as I decided that I’m just going to leave him there. He’s doesn’t do anything except doss around. He doesn’t have a job so I thought this would be a good idea as he’s going to have to get up and get work otherwise he’s going to have to live in a s**t-hole with loads of snakes. When you look outside and see that the weather looks s**t then you don’t want to get up and go down the job centre. My brother looks like Jesus and is a proper Italian Stallion. I’ve got a bearded dragon as a pet and I was also going to bring him with me to Oz and set him free as that’s his natural habitat – and it’s kind of the same with my brother. It would be good to see him turn up on Neighbours or something.

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