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Noel Clarke exclusive interview!

Storage 24

Noel Clarke (the man behind Kidulthood and 4,3,2,1) talks to Nuts about going toe to toe with a moody alien in his latest film, chats about the Star Trek sequel and spills the beans about the MMA movie he's making with Mike Bispin!


What's the score with Storage 24?

The corridors in self-storage centres are kind of freaky and I'm a real sci-fi nut and love Alien so I came up with the idea of a group of people trapped in one of these places when a government cargo plane crash lands releasing a dangerous lifeform... So they've got to fight their way to freedom up against an extra-terrestrial beast! I wanted to do for these places what Jaws did for the beach!


Tell us about the alien... Were you scared during filming?

I was scared it could be the end of my career! I wanted a 10ft humanoid so on set it was played by a guy on stilts in a rubber suit... At the time I'm thinking 'Why did I write this f***ing film?' But with the creature effects guys who worked on Attack the Block weaving their magic it looks amazing.


How would you welcome beings from another dimension? Are we alone?

It depends what they're here for but there's no way we can be alone in the Universe! If our Sun is just a star and you look up and see millions of them it shows the arrogance of humanity to believe Earth can be the only planet with life. It's ridiculous! We're just not advanced enough to find them but maybe they are and think let's just leave those primitive f***ers alone until they invent warp speed!


Can the Brit's do sci-fi?

Why not? I've been f***ing itching to break out of the box that people put me in and do something different! You can't let your ambition get squashed when people say you can't do something because it's not been done before... No one's brave enough. I had the chance with 4,3,2,1 and Storage 24 to try and change people's perceptions and not just make another ghetto film. 


What's the worst job you've ever had?

My jobs have all lead to another so I've never seen any job as crappy. If you've taken a job then do it the best you can. I'd shovel s*** for my family! If I was a road sweeper my streets would be clean as f***! That's how I am. My first job was as a waterslide attendant at a sports centre. I was the don man. I took that s*** seriously. Then I was a lifeguard and became a gym instructor and personal trainer.


What would you be doing if a career in the movie business hadn't worked out?

I was doing a media degree before my acting career took off so was thinking about being a journalist. But weirdly if I could go back knowing what I know now... I'd fight and do MMA. That, or be a gigolo!


We heard you were doing MMA training for a movie. What's happening with that?

I'm a massive MMA fan and I've written a film I'm going to star in with Mike Bispin. But when Warrior came out and didn't do brilliantly the moneymen thought if Tom Hardy couldn't make it happen at the box office how will Noel Clarke? So I'm rewriting and working on the budget so we can start shooting next year.


What's your training regime like?

I've been staying in shape for the film so I do a lot of Jiu-Jitsu and stand up striking with my trainer. . I've put on over a stone in muscle. I've been 11 stone most of my life and now I'm twelve and a half. We do full contact sparring and he clouts the hell out of me! I got a whack in the solar plexus the other day and dropped like a stone. If you go down you're done so you've got to learn to suck it up and not tap out.


You're a Liverpool fan. How does a London boy end up supporting the Reds?

I grew up near QPR but my Mum was a Liverpool fan because of John Barnes. I remember watching him play for Watford and England and then when he started playing at Anfield I followed him and being a Liverpool fan just stuck. I've got an affinity for QPR and live near the ground but it's Liverpool every time when they play each other in the Premier League.


Will you make your son support the Scousers too?

He's only four but I said to him the other day, 'Right boy, you're Dad made a cardinal mistake and supported a team that wasn't his local team. So we live near QPR and Chelsea, who's it gonna be?' I told him to say a name and he chose QPR so he'll have to stick with them now through thick and thin!


Tell us something Nuts readers would be surprised to learn about you?

I still read comics. DC have re-launched the whole universe and I'm getting on all that stuff. Batman is a favourite and I'm into the all girl adventure Birds of Prey.


What can you tell us about Star Trek 2 and your role in it?

Nothing! I'm in it and that's all I'm allowed to say. But it was an honour working with JJ Abrams - he's the Spielberg of our times. That guy's a genius. He must be an alien because he's so smart! He makes you wanna quit because he's at the pinnacle and if you can't get there what are you doing it for? Yes, I know Steven Spielberg's still alive... Sorry, I'm not trying to kill you off Stevie!


What helps you dream up your stories?

I've just got a crazy imagination. Literally, right now I'm thinking about eight ninjas bursting into the room and us fighting them. Seriously! I'm thinking, 'Me and him could handle them ninjas.' I was on a boat trip out to Alcatraz in San Francisco and I'm looking around wondering who might try and hijack the boat. And if they do, how will I stop them?


Sounds like you've been playing too many computer games...

Yeah, I'm a big gamer. I'm still enjoying COD, Red dead Redemption and really like the deeper filmic games like Batman: Arkham City and Heavy Rain. And right now my sport games are Fifa and the UFC game. And I went to some Dodgers games in LA so I've got into Major League Baseball on the Xbox.


Do you play online?

Can't be doing with that man! I'll get some ten-year-old in Alaska whipping me 12-nil at Fifa and cheering through his headset. And I'm like, 'I'm gonna buy a f***ing plane ticket and come over there and smash your little head in!'


Who's the most famous person in your phone?

I met Benedict Cumberbatch working on Star Trek and he's pretty big now and Sasha Grey (the ex-porn star turned actress).


What's the weirdest thing that's happened to you thanks to your fame?

The press aren't interested in me because I'm quite boring and I've done the unthinkable thing of only having one wife! When you're in the public eye you encounter ladies with loose morals offering goodies and you go, 'That's very nice of you but no thanks.' Part of you is like, 'Yeah!' But your brain's going, 'You're married, don't be silly!'


You're pretty famous now but when was the last time you used a voucher?

In LA there's a supermarket chain called Ralphs that's a bit like Tesco. So I got my points card because the savings with a Ralphs card are amazing. See, I've not gone all Hollywood yet!

Storage 24 is available on Blu-ray and DVD now.


Interview by Dan Brightmore