By David Hennessy
Bula Quo, the new film that features Status Quo, has just hit cinemas and The Irish World caught up with one of its stars, Kilburn girl Laura Aikman. In addition to Status Quo rockers Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, Laura is joined on the cast of the light hearted comedy by movie hard man Craig Fairbrass and Jon Lovitz whose credits include Friends and The Simpsons.
27 year old Laura has a long and impressive CV that includes acting in a movie with Anthony Hopkins when she was in her early teens and more recent appearances in television series Way to Go, Casualty, Teenage Kicks and Personal Affairs. Laura is very well known for playing Rosie, Keith Lemon’s long suffering girlfriend in Lemon La Vida Loca.
With Bula Quo now in cinemas, has Laura been pleased with its response? “Yeah, it’s been good. I think a lot of people are taking it in the spirit that it’s supposed to be which is that it’s just a fun film. We’re not trying to make Schindler’s List or anything. It’s a romp with Status Quo, if you like.”
It may have been filmed in an exotic setting but the biggest language barrier Laura had was with the rockers, Francis and Rick: “They have almost their own language, I suppose they’ve been working together for such a long time. They do talk in old rhyming slang but then also they just have ones (phrases) that they’ve made up which make absolutely no sense, but they’ve known them together for a really long time so they just use them with you like it’s completely normal. The first day, I was just staring at Rick like: ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about’.”
All filmed in Fiji which Laura describes as “paradise”, how much time off Laura get to enjoy the setting? “I was quite busy to be honest. I had about three or four days off but a lot of the time we were off because we were shooting at night time so you’re kind of knackered trying to go on a boat to do a catamaran tour and falling asleep going: ‘Yeah, it’s really beautiful. I need to go to bed!’”
Was Laura familiar with Status Quo before this project came up? “Yeah, apparently I was but I wasn’t aware that I was. I bought their greatest hits and I just knew all the words and I didn’t even realise.”
Also in the cast of Bula Quo is Laura’s boyfriend, Matt Kennard. Of course, Laura has just come out of another relationship although a make believe one, as she no longer features on Lemon La Vida Loca: “Rosie and Keith have broken up. It was a very sad time. Rosie was obviously a big part of my life for over a year so it was weird when we stopped working together but a year was probably enough. I don’t know, we’ll see. A lot of the fans were sad to see Rosie go but I’m sure he’ll come up with some new crazy antics to keep them entertained. He seems to be on the prowl for a new lady in his life.”
Laura has been acting since she was “tiny” and explains how she came to join a cast that included Anthony Hopkins, Natasha McElhone, Julianne Moore and Dominic West at a very young age: “My dad was a stunt co-ordinator when I was a kid so I had an agent when I was really tiny. I did some commercials and stuff and then I did a film called Surviving Picasso with Anthony Hopkins when I was about 11 and got flown out to France and stuff. I was like: ‘This is ace, this is a job for grown ups? This is what I’m gonna do.’ I was sold from then. It’s all been downhill from there,” she laughs.
Laura acted with Chris O’Dowd in radio station sitcom FM in 2009 and has been delighted to see the success that has come the Roscommon funny man’s way: “He was really funny actually, Chris. I really enjoyed working with him. I had a great time with him on FM. Oh my God, he’s done amazingly well (since then). That doesn’t even seem like it was that long ago that I did an episode of that show. And he’s a really nice guy so I’m just thrilled about the whole thing.”
For the full interview, see the July 13 print edition of The Irish World.