10 THE UST 12-15 Sept 1997

Wired for sound: Damon Albarn makes his acting debut in Face

He has topped the pop charts with Blur, now he's making his acting debut as a wannabe criminal in Face. When DAMON ALBARN made a recent trip to Scotland, The List was there in the limo beside him.

Words: Sophy Bristow

DAMON ALBARN SMOKES shiftily in a stuffy corner of Edinburgh‘s (‘aledonian Hotel. He‘s here for the liilm Festival premiere of new British movie l'ilt'l’. in which he makes his acting debut alongside Robert Carlyle.

For now, though. it’s the pre—premiere ‘do‘, and everybody is painfully aware of Damon‘s presence. The tense atmosphere and the long. winding corridors of the Caledonian make it feel as though we‘re in The .S'lzining. You keep expecting to see a crazed child on a tricycle pedalling frantically past.

Bobby hasn‘t turned tip yet. Damon wears sunglasses. Publicists are perspiring heavily. Finally everyone is released. and a flotilla of impatient limousines ferries the stars to the ABC cinema. On arrival. the scenes are frantic. Damon manages to fight his way through the screaming hordes and is escorted to the bar. He is last seen shuffling into the cinema. beer in hand. shades still on. Perhaps it is easier to watch your big screen debut with as many visual impairments as possible . . .

Face is an edgy. dark thriller set in the seedier side of London. it revolves around greed. crime and politics. The morning after the premiere. we slide around on the plush leather interior of a particularly sleek Mercedes on its way to lidinburgh Airport. where a plane is waiting to whisk Damon off to an appearance with Blur at the (‘helmsford V97 Festival. In these surroumlings. the ‘greed‘ aspect of [Vary might be an appropriate place to start.

In Jerry ziluguin'. a cute American kid squeals ‘Show me the moneyl‘. ln I’m-e. an angry Phil Davies shricks ‘Where‘s my fucking moneyl'. Let‘s take the straight— forward British approach: Damon. are you greedy? ‘If I'd been a greedy person. I‘d never have agreed to do a film with such appalling money.’ he replies. 'l don‘t need to act to earn a living. I did it purely for enjoyment.’ And what about the criminal element of the film —-- have you ever com- mitted a crime. even a small one'.’ ‘l‘ve been locked up three times for being out of my head.’ he admits.

During the conversation. lidinburgh's distinctive brewery smell floats in through the car window. ‘llopsf Damon sniffs. ‘lt‘s about the worst fucking smell in the world today. I had enough of those last night.‘ He and Steven Waddington (another actor in I’m-e currently heading for the airportl recount the large amounts of painkillers they have been passing to each other throughout the morning. After the screening of the film. they had ended up in one of lidinburgh's tackier nightspots. where Damon reports he ventured out of his sealed VIP enclosure to strut his stuff on the dancelloor to ‘80s lissex boy funk‘.