Jason Statham’s latest flick BLITZ- a fast paced thriller centered around a London police force hunting a psychotic cop-killer - hits cinemas next week. We caught up with leading lady (and hottest new actress on the block) Zawe Ashton to talk sexy co-stars and secret fashion haunts:
You play WPC Falls- a police officer who’s also an ex drug addict. What attracted you to such a gritty role?
I liked that she’s not just the token woman looking sexy in a police uniform- she’s a strong woman with a back story. When I auditioned for the part loads of big name actresses – from both the UK and the US – were up for the role too. I think they wanted a much bigger name than myself for it!
How did you prepare for the role?
I spent time in rehab with recovering addicts – including ex police officers. I asked them how it felt physically to be doing drugs like crack– then before filming one of the scenes I rolled around on the cold stone floor outside to try and recreate the feeling they described.
Wow, that must’ve been exhausting! So when filming wrapped how did you chill yourself out?
Retail therapy! I love the shops around Stoke Newington, where I live – particularly two independent vintage boutiques called Strut and Stroll. Strut is amazing for second-hand designer one-offs.
Your co-star was Jason Statham – is he anything like the hard man he plays in all his films?
No he’s such a softie! He’s courteous and professional and gave me a great tip for becoming successful – he said always stay loyal to the people who champion you early on.
And there’s no denying he’s rather hot! Doesn’t that make it difficult to work with him?
He is ALL man – he’s great with women! But our characters have a really sensitive platonic relationship and that followed us on to the set.
And he has a very hot girlfriend too, Rosie Huntington Whitely…
Yes, isn’t she stunning! I saw them together recently at Sarah Harding’s engagement party. They’re great together- a very gorgeous couple!
As a born and bred Londoner filming Blitz all over London must have been rather cool?
We actually, very weirdly, filmed on the same road as the Rio Cinema in Dalston – which is where I used to work when I was younger!
So you must know London pretty well – give us your tips for the best places to check out in the Capital:
Dalston has loads of cool cafes – I love Tina, We Salute You. Selfridges is the best place for an entire day of shopping and the food at Asia De Cuba in the St Martins Lane Hotel is amazing – very luxe.
You’ve been tipped by all the film critics as the face of the future – does that put the pressure on?
Well I’ve been acting since I was 6 – 20 years – so I feel prepared for whatever lies ahead. It’d be really easy to get above myself but I don’t want to be flavour of the month – I want to still be doing this when I’m 80!
Which actor are you putting your money on making it huge in 2012?
Tom Byam Shaw. We were in a play together last year and now he’s in New York filming his first feature film, Grand Street. Keep an eye out for him, I predict big things!
What’s next for you – Hollywood?!
That’s definitely the aim! My dream role would be opposite Vincent Cassel. A 3 hour film with 2 characters - just me and him. Now that would be a good day at work!
Blitz will be in cinemas nationwide from May 20th
By Sarah Statman