Mckell David’s Growth as a Person Through His Acting
Written by: Vaughn Stewart
Photographer: Jemima Marriott
Stylist: Luci Ellis @ The Wall Group
Grooming: Maria Comparetto @ The Only Agency using AJ Crimson
Not only is McKell David playing a character he loves in the Irregulars, he also feels his character is shining a light on mental health, and he’s absolutely thrilled about that.
Before we talk about The Irregulars, let’s talk about how you got involved in acting? Did you always know you wanted to be an actor?
I didn’t know what I wanted to do, like most kids, but I knew entertainment was for me. Where I come from in North West London, the thought of being an Actor just wasn’t fathomable, it’s more realistic to want to become a footballer! I started at 12 years old on YouTube where I created a character called LIL MCKELL who was this cheeky, charismatic youngster living a bachelor lifestyle in London LOL! We made pranks and sketch videos which had a little bit of success and led me to an open audition for a film called ‘MY BROTHER THE DEVIL’ & ‘BLACK MIRROR’ – experiences that inspired me to take acting up properly. Since then, it has been hours of graft in workshops, on set and in drama school.
“Mental health is finally getting talked about openly.”
Tell us about your character, Spike, in The Irregulars. What draws you to the character?
Spike is the skeleton of the group, he’s the light in a dark place. He uses his humour and light-hearted comedic aura to lift the groups mood and overall moral. Playing Spike meant a lot to me, mental health is finally getting talked about openly and I feel like we all need a friend like Spike in our lives, to pull the sunshine up on those cloudy days.
Tell us about the day that you found out that you got cast for the part?
I remember it was a hot day, I had just finished playing footy when my agent called me saying “you’ve got the part!” I was over the moon, but I was all out of breath and panting on the phone ahah pretty funny day! I just couldn’t wait to get the scripts and start to prep!
What is it like working with the cast and crew of The Irregulars?
It was such a joy! The cast was amazing to work with and get to know. They’ve all become lifelong friends, we had top times [THE KINGS, T BIRD & D BONES] are nicknames we came up within the first few weeks ahah! The crew were amazing as well, such kind and fun people to work with, The Irregulars is one big family!
“Hollywood is the premier league of the acting world.”
Have you considered working as an actor in America?
100%, Hollywood is the premier league of the acting world. I was out in LA 2 years ago just auditioning, doing some meetings, getting familiar with the states and I will soon be back. I love America!
What director, actor and actress are you dying to work with?
This is such a hard question! There are so many amazing directors I’d love to work with such as, Ryan Cooglar, Jordan Peele, Quentin Tarantino, Ari Aster – the list goes on but I’m going to say Martin Scorsese, this would be a dream come true! It’s the same with actors and actress. There as so many I watch and they just blow me away but I really admire Daniel Kaluuya and his work, he’s inspiring a lot of young black actors! And Jennifer Lawrence, she always mesmerises me with her performances, she’s so good!
In the perfect scenario, where do you see your career in 5 years?
In five years, I would have liked to have made the link across the water to the States and establish myself but all I can do is work hard and trust the process, the rest is up to God, my friend.
“For me, acting is linked to psychology.”
What have you learned most since working as an actor?
I have learned so much that it is hard to tell you everything in this short answer, but I will say
you learn a lot about yourself. For me, acting is linked to psychology.
If you had to do anything besides acting, what would it be?
I think I’d be a lawyer. I love a productive argument and I sort of feel I’d be good at it aha!
What tips can you give an aspiring actor/actress to help them along their way of finding their own success?
Create your own content! I cannot stress this enough. When I did Lil Mckell that was over 10 years ago and that allowed me to open the door as an actor. Now with technology and social media, it has never been easier to self-promote. Download scripts or write your own and create your content. This will only make you a better filmmaker and actor!
I know that you’re not American, but we like to ask this question in our interviews – What do you think is cool about America?
Coolest thing is it’s the land of the free and home of the brave! But it’s also the culture. I feel growing up in London you’re very inspired by American culture, movies, fashion, music. It’s strange because whenever I’ve been to America, I always feel like the culture is familiar even though I haven’t grown up there.