Must Watch: 'My Brother the Devil'

3.22.2013

By Jerry Portwood

James Floyd plays a riveting gay Muslim gang member in Welsh-Egyptian filmmaker Sally El Hosaini's brave film

Set in the estate violence (aka the projects) of East London, director Sally El Hosaini's film My Brother the Devil is about Egyptian immigrants, their son Rashid who begins dealing drugs while exploring his sexuality, and Rashid’s relationship with his younger brother, Mo, whom he tries to steer away from the seductive gangland rites of passage.

Actor James Floyd, who plays Rashid, is the breakout star of Devil, who told us, "The only way to do it was to go ‘method’ on it." We featured Floyd, who is straight, in our March issue of Out, and he explained one afternoon near Ramadan, sitting in an illegally occupied Dalston council flat watching the cartoon Family Guy. When a male character began playfully rubbing another’s nipples, “the whole room went schizo,” he says. “ ‘Faggot!’ this, ‘faggot!’ that. ‘What the fuck?!’ They turned it off and didn’t watch it again. They felt violated.”

As writer Paul Flynn wrote: 

Devil contains echoes of My Beautiful Laundrette, the 1985 masterwork centering around a British-Asian subculture. As that movie featured a star-making turn from Daniel Day-Lewis, Floyd’s staggering portrayal was easily one of the highlights of the performances from young actors at Sundance last year. It also won him the Most Promising Newcomer award at the 2012 British Independent Film Awards, landed him a U.S. agent, and pivoted him into contention for parts later snagged by Robert Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Jake Gyllenhaal. “I’m losing roles to ridiculous names,” Floyd says. Still, his own fame now feels like a given.

The film opens today in New York City. Watch the trailer below:

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