HE’S one of the world’s biggest music superstars, but it turns out Ed Sheeran didn’t need much convincing to take on his first major film role.
The Shape Of You singer, who has 14 No. 1 singles and seven No. 1 albums under his belt, stars in Adam Deacon’s latest film Sumotherhood.
And in an exclusive chat as he takes over Bizarre HQ, Adam admitted he had no idea how keen Ed was to get on screen.
Adam said: “I included him in the original script but it was a much smaller part. I just wasn’t sure how I was going to do it.
“In the end I had a personal conversation with him and it was very clear to him that he didn’t want to play himself, he just wanted to act.
“We went to his house and rehearsed in his pub. He realized that we don’t try to take ourselves too seriously. There were a lot of dialogues and he learned them word for word.
“I felt like he trusted me, which I really respect.”
Ed plays a homeless drug addict in the film and will be seen elevating himself while singing his 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud.”
And incredibly, Adam admits that it was all Ed’s quick thinking as he improvised during the hilarious scene in the film, out October 13th.
Adam said: “He was a bit nervous on set but as the shoot progressed he just came out of his shell and was a lot more confident.
“He even improvised and started singing the Thinking Out Loud remix, which I wanted to keep in the film.
“I think he should act more, I think he has that talent.”
One thing is certain: if Adam manages to get Ed back on board, they will have to tighten security on site.
Adam, who also cast Jaime Winstone and Jennifer Saunders for the film, recalled filming alongside Ed and said they had to leave early one day after a horde of schoolchildren discovered their location.
Adam laughed: “We filmed on a street in east London and it was really quiet, a bit too quiet.
“Suddenly about 400 school children came out of nowhere and literally bombarded the set.
“Ed couldn’t say goodbye to anyone and had no choice but to get in a taxi and run.”
Sumotherhood is the third part of his cult series, which Adam began with Kidulthood in 2006 and Adulthood in 2008.
But while Adam’s career took off after winning the Bafta Rising Star Award in 2012, he admitted he had gone through a number of personal problems, including one with his mental health.
Two years after winning the coveted gong, he had a necropsy and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Since then, Adam has continued to raise awareness of men’s mental health issues using his Sumotherhood character Riko.
When asked if Riko was an extension of himself, Adam said, “We’re completely different, but I knew I wanted certain aspects to touch on certain things that I’ve been through myself, like my bipolar disorder.”
“We had to do it in a way that didn’t feel preachy or pretentious, but in an authentic way to get people talking about men’s mental health.”
Adam spoke openly about his personal struggles and why it was important for him to highlight them in the film: “What I went through was so public back then.
“I remember sitting there and thinking to myself: If I get out of here or get to the other side, I have to try to raise awareness.
“It’s okay for young men to talk about it with their friends. It’s okay if you know someone who has bipolar disorder or another mental health issue.
“Take it a step further and check on your friends.”
Adam first gained credit as a producer on Sumotherhood, which was eight years in the making.
And he has big plans for the future.
He said: “I definitely want to direct more. I love directing. I love acting, but I really want to work on other people’s work.
“Everything I directed was always what I wrote. I would love to take someone else’s work and put my own stamp on it.
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“I have been going through a difficult phase and I feel that with this film I am once again proving to the industry that I can do my job and be professional.
“I’m back, I feel healthy and have confidence, so I just want to work and act.”
Some of the biggest names in British rap star in the film, including Lethal Bizzle and Charlie Sloth.
But when it came to the soundtrack, Adam decided to push forward with some of his own work.
He explained: “I actually got a few titles at the end of the credits, which was lovely.
“I love music – I find it very therapeutic. I just love being creative.”
JEREMY Corbyn makes a surprise cameo in Sumotherhood – but he changed a rude line in the script.
The unlikely duo met years ago when Jeremy went to see a play Adam was in.
Adam explained: “The script said, ‘Let it happen, pussyhole,’ and he said, ‘No, I can’t say that.’
In the film, Jeremy instead says, “Allow it, garbage man.”