April 23 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Lee Allen went to prison for drug offences in 2004
A resident who became embroiled in violence and drug dealing during a tough upbringing has turned his life around and landed a lead role in a movie.
Lee Allen, of Hiley Road, Kensal Green, spent three years in prison after living a life of crime on the streets of Brent.
The 32-year-old appears in ILL Manors, the directorial debut of rapper and songwriter Plan B which was released last week.
Speaking to the Times, Mr Allen described how he was cast for the film.
He said: “I already knew him [Plan B] from working on the production of another film and he told me he was working on new a script and that he had a character in mind for me.”
The film centres on eight characters and their own personal stories, interspersed with rap music.
Mr Allen plays Chris, who is out to avenge the murder of his sister.
He said: “It focuses on decisions people take in life and how they affect them. Sometimes you take the right one and sometimes not.”
“I think I made a lot of bad decisions in my life so I can relate to the character in that sense,” he added.
Mr Allen was jailed in 2004 for intent to supply drugs including Ecstasy and Cocaine
However, he believes it was the decisions he made in his early life which led to him spending time inside.
He said: “My parents died of cancer when I was still at college, I had hopes and dreams like anyone else but I became angry and frustrated and so turned to crime.
“I would have drugs on me and would be dealing and always getting into fights on the street or a night out.”
However, he said it was three years spent in prison which he described as “torture” that encouraged him to better his life.
He said: “People have a misconception of prison that it is full of violence and bullying but the worst thing is not being able to do anything all day.
“You have so much time to think yet don’t have the opportunity to take steps towards achieving your goals.
“It really is like a form of torture so I made up my mind that I would pursue something creative when I got out.”
After securing the role in the film, his aim now is to pursue his acting career and encourage youngsters to achieve their goals in life.
He said: “Every young person out there has a dream and ambition, no matter what you might think of them.
“I think schools need to be encouraged to offer more in terms of work experience to young people; I was lucky enough to be given an opportunity and other people should be given the chance to discover their passion too.”
Mr Allen is keen to visit local schools to talk to them about his experience, to contact him call 07405964617 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
ILL Manors is out at cinemas now.