Aml Eysan Ameen
30 July 1985
Aml Eysan Ameen (/ /; born 30 July 1985) is a British actor and filmmaker. He is best known for his roles as Trevor (Trife) in Kidulthood (2006), Malcolm Davies in Harry's Law, Lewis Hardy in the ITV television series The Bill, Capheus in the first season of the Netflix original series Sense8, and Alby in The Maze Runner (2014).
Ameen was born in London, England, to Jamaican and Vincentian parents. He studied acting at the Barbara Speake Stage School, an independent school in London. As a child he appeared in the West End in shows such as Oliver! and Jolson. At the age of 11, he performed on stage with Michael Jackson at the 1996 BRIT Awards in a performance famously invaded by Pulp's singer Jarvis Cocker.
Ameen's first acting role came in 2002 ITV police series The Bill, and he made another guest stint in 2004 before joining the series full-time in 2006 as PC Lewis Hardy, his most famous and popular role to date. Lewis Hardy is a headstrong character who has swapped his life as a street kid to try to make a difference on the right side of the law. He has a few problems with authority and regularly bumps heads with his seniors, most especially frequent beat partner PC Roger Valentine. After Hardy was put undercover and was shot, he was transferred to Operation Trident.
Soon after his guest appearance on The Bill in 2004, he portrayed the character Terry in Bella and the Boys, He also made one-off guest appearances in BBC soap EastEnders and medical drama Holby City. He also starred in the British youth-centred film Kidulthood as the central character Trife, while he also appeared in Second Chance and Red Tails for a special appearance.
In April 2008, he played a leading role in the BBC Three teen drama Dis/Connected, playing Anthony, an 18-year-old college student from London who faces gang trouble on the streets, as well as losing his friend when she commits suicide.
Ameen featured in a film on Channel 4 called Fallout, part of their Disarming Britain mini-season. The London Lite paper described this as his most memorable performance. He featured as AJ in Silent Witness Series 12 Parts 1 and 2. He portrayed a youth worker trying to make a difference in the gang and knife community which presides in South London, and became friends with Leo, one of the senior pathologists doing community service for drunk driving.
In June 2008, Ameen began Actors Student Alliance, a drama school set up to discover and teach untapped talent in London. From its inception, the school produced a short film and a theatre showcase for its students. Within its second year, the school expanded into a management company.
Ameen performed at the Tricycle Theatre on the "Not Black and White" season in October 2009. Described as "exceptionally charismatic Aml Ameen the freshest, most inspiring voice in the play" by Time Out London, he received outstanding reviews in the national press. Ameen starred in Jason Barrett's British feature film The Naked Poet, in which he played character Ryan. For this performance, he won Best Actor at the VIPF Awards in 2010.
Ameen's first Hollywood film role is in George Lucas's Red Tails (2012), about the African American Tuskegee airman in World War II. He played Alby in the 2014 film adaptation of the young adult, science-fiction, dystopian novel, The Maze Runner.
In 2015, Ameen was one of the eight central characters in the initial run of the Netflix series Sense8, produced by the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski. However, conflicts with Lana Wachowski resulted in his "abrupt" firing and replacement with Toby Onwumere after filming two episodes of the second season in 2016.
In 2018, Ameen starred as a young Jamaican named "D" in the film Yardie. The film was based on Victor Headley's 1992 cult novel of the same name. Actor Idris Elba made his directorial debut with the film in London and Jamaica.
Ameen's own debut as a director was announced in November 2020. Boxing Day was released on 3 December 2021 and, as the writer, Ameen used elements from his own life, "I kind of draw from inspiration from different moments in my family [..] my parents got divorced when I was 15, not when I was 28, so I just kind of reconstructed everything a little bit to suit the film and to suit the dramatic purposes. But a lot of the characters [...] are based on my real sister, my real father." The film stars Ameen, Aja Naomi King, Leigh-Anne Pinnock (in her film debut), Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Stephen Dillane and Martina Laird. Boxing Day received mixed reviews. He also played the role of Tom in the podcast The Left Right Game.
He was named one of The Times newspaper's "Ones To Watch" for 2006, and won "Best actor in a TV performance" at the 2007 Screen Nation Awards. Additionally, he presented an award at the Mobo Awards 2006.
|†||Denotes works that have not yet been released|
|2006||Kidulthood||Trevor "Trife" Hector|
|2010||Second Chance||Aaron Bently||Short film|
|2012||Red Tails||"Bag O'Bones"|
|2012||The Naked Poet||Ryan|
|2013||The Butler||Young Cecil Gaines|
|2014||The Maze Runner||Alby|
|2014||Beyond the Lights||Trey|
|2015||Lila & Eve||Stephon|
|2017||The Price||Seyi Ogunde|
|2018||Yardie||Dennis "D" Campbell|
|2019||Inside Man: Most Wanted||NYPD Detective Remy Darbonne|
|2020||Run Sweetheart Run||Quidda|
|2021||Charming the Hearts of Men||Walter|
|2023||Rustin||Martin Luther King Jr.|
|Little Britain||Pupil||1 episode|
|2004||Bella and the Boys||Terry||TV movie|
|2004||Holby City||Bradley Norris||1 episode|
|2006–2007||The Bill||PC Lewis Hardy||Main role|
|2008||Fallout||Dwayne Edmons||TV movie|
|2008||Silent Witness||A.J.||2 episodes|
|2011–2012||Harry's Law||Malcolm Davies||Main cast (season 1), Guest star (season 2)|
|2012||CSI: Miami||Jack Brody||1 episode|
|2015||Sense8||Capheus||Main role (season 1)|
|2020||I May Destroy You||Simon||4 episodes|
|2022||The Porter||Junior Massey||Main role, 8 episodes|
|TBA||A Man in Full||Roger White||Upcoming miniseries|
- "Search results: Aml Ameen". Findmypast.com. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
- "How collaborating with Idris Elba helped actor Aml Ameen connect with his roots". PBS NewsHour. 1 August 2019. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
- "Aml Ameen". Archived from the original on 31 July 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
- "Bella and the Boys (2004) (TV)". IMDb. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
- "BBC – BBC Three Programmes – Dis/Connected". Retrieved 1 August 2008.
- "Channel 4 – Disarming Britain". Archived from the original on 15 July 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
- "Actors Student Alliance". Archived from the original on 5 April 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
- "NBC Adds To New Scripted Lineup With Four New Series – 'The Cape,' 'Outlaw,' 'Harry's Law' And 'Friends With Benefits' – And Renews 'Chuck' For Fourth Season In 2010–11" (Press release). NBC Universal. 14 May 2010. Archived from the original on 17 May 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
- O'Keefe, Meghan (27 April 2016). "'Sense 8' Fires Lead Actor After "Hate" Filled Rift With Transgender Series Creator Lana Wachowski". Decider. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- Andreeva, Nellie (26 April 2016). "'Sense8': Aml Ameen Replaced By Toby Onwumere in Wachowskis' Netflix Series". Retrieved 21 November 2016.
- Sarachan, Risa (11 March 2019). "Actor Aml Ameen Talks 'Yardie', Jamaican Rum And Idris Elba's Thousand-Yard Stare". Forbes. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- Golding, Shenequa (18 March 2019). "The Ying and Yang of 'Yardie' Star Aml Ameen". Vibe. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- Mitchell, Robert (16 May 2017). "Idris Elba Begins Production on Directorial Debut 'Yardie'". Variety. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
- Alexander, Brenda (17 December 2021). "'I May Destroy You' Actor Aml Ameen Talks 'Boxing Day,' the Holiday Rom-Com Inspired by His Real Life (Exclusive)". Pop Culture. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- N'Duka, Amanda (24 November 2020). "Aml Ameen To Direct & Star in Boxing Day 'Rom-Com'". Deadline. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
- Ide, Wendy (5 December 2021). "Boxing Day review – black British romcom plays it safe". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Boxing Day review: Aml Ameen revives festive rom-coms with a fun celebration of Black British culture". Metro. 3 December 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- Wilkinson, Amber (6 December 2021). "'Boxing Day': Review". Screen Daily. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Actor Ricardo P Lloyd to star in BBC documentary exploring race in theatre". The Stage. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
- Oluwalana, Ayokunle; Updated (5 July 2022). "'I was given a spliff as a prop just because I'm young and Black'". MyLondon. Retrieved 7 July 2022.