What would you do if shortly after losing your job you receive an offer to hack into a computer for $5 million? This concept is explored in the new British heist film The Pay Day (Vertical Entertainment, November 11). The post-pandemic story was developed and written by award-winning actors Sam Benjamin and Kyla Frye, who co-star in the movie as Jennifer and George.
“It’s a working class tale about characters who decide to change what they’ve been doing in order to get the rewards they feel like they deserve,” Benjamin tells SBC. “It’s got a bit of everything. It’s about going out of your comfort zone, getting the rewards for it, facing the challenges of it, and perhaps finding love on the way as well.”
Pay Day, directed by Sam Bradford, marks Benjamin’s debut leading role in a movie. His previous credits include Doctor Who, Peaky Blinders, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and The Few. He has won several awards including the Actors Award, Los Angeles; British Urban Film Festival prize; Festigious International Film Festival award; two Los Angeles film awards; two Gold Movie Awards; and the New York Film Award. Projects like Pay Day are what attracted him to the business in the first place.
“It came about through passion and desire,” the screenwriter says. “An element as well of not getting the opportunity to play the roles that we got into the game to play, in the way that Sylvester Stallone did with Rocky or Matt Damon and Ben Affleck did with Good Will Hunting or Michaela Coel did with Chewing Gum. All of these artists or actors that thought ‘You know what? We wanna tell this story and we wanna show what we can do.'”
Check out the conversation to learn more about Benjamin collaborating with Frye and how their previous project Double Cross set the foundation for Pay Day; the inspiration behind the 90s R&B in the film; what drew Benjamin to acting and how his family responded to it; whether he prefers to act with dialogue or body language; if he desires audiences to study or internalize his work; the book that helped him along his journey as an actor; his insight on scripts and more! For more information, visit Benjamin on Instagram or Twitter @SamBenjaminNow.