Home Arts & Entertainment Q&A: Writer-Director Ninian Doff and Leading Cast Talk Behind-the-Scenes of “Get Duked!”

Q&A: Writer-Director Ninian Doff and Leading Cast Talk Behind-the-Scenes of “Get Duked!”

by Art U News

Samuel Bottomley, Viraj Juneja, Rian Gordon, and Lewis Gribben 

How did you apply your past experience to this film? 

Samuel Bottomley: I think, for me, really, you just take everything from every job you’ve done onto the next one. 

Rian Gordon: For me, I’ve been [acting] for like five years, and I really consider this my first real thing, so that really puts into perspective how long it takes to get to do something. I think it’s a lot of hard work, and if it pays off, it pays off, but I think you should always have your aspirations open to every aspect of our business and maybe not just straight on the money. 

Viraj Juneja: For me, my past experiences were just a lot of theater work. But that’s where the dream started, that’s where I kind of fell in love with everything that we do and doing comedy and stuff I feel like is what I was most suited to. I mean, what have you got to say? We just had this dream job. It really was. Working with these three boys was just like going out with a mate, just having fun. 

Lewis Gribben: I would say very similar. I did a lot of theater and a lot of amateur dramatics and stuff like that. So, I never really even was in a film or television. So, this was like the first thing I ever proper went for and got very lucky. And I always felt the role really suited me, like the person anyway, I really [lent] myself to the film. But I want to do more dramatic stuff as well. What I’d love to do is more comedy, but I want to show that I can do more than [being] boxed into just comedy. 

Samuel Bottomley, Viraj Juneja, Lewis Gribben, and Rian Gordon star in “Get Duked!” Photo by Brian Sweeney/Amazon Studios.

In what ways could you relate to your character? 

LB: Duncan is sort of me, the person. It’s very hard to see the difference. I mean, I like to think I’m not as gullible in real life. 

SB: We’ve been saying throughout filming like how similar our characters are to each other. Like Duncan—Lewis is a wacky, mad, solid character, you know what I mean? Viraj is like a very outgoing, confident guy. Rian’s like a proper laddy-lad like Dean is. 

RG: Thank you, I’ll take that. 

VJ: Looking at DJ Beatroot, from the outside, I guess you could just pass the judgment and say he’s a wannabe hip-hop star. When in fact, he’s not motivated by the money or showing off, he’s motivated by performing and he loves hip-hop, and he loves the thrill of it. And I feel like me, as a person as well, I love performing. I do like being the center of attention. I’ll say that, and I think he does as well. So there’s definitely similarities. 

How do you think audiences will react to the film’s “fight the powers that be” message, especially as it releases globally during this especially fraught time in history? 

SB: I think it depends on who you are. If you’re the older generation watching it, you may have a completely different outlook to a 24-year-old. The satire is directionally towards making fun of the older generation. 

VJ: We want to empower people, we’re saying it doesn’t matter where you come from, your background, and the circumstances that you may be having—be who you want to be. 

RG: Yeah, I think humor-wise, there are just many different styles of humor in the film, so I think there will be a joke that will land with different types of people. And they might not like other ones. 

SB: You made me laugh more than anyone else in the film, Lewis. 

“Get Duked!” is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. 

These Q+As have been edited for length and clarity.

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