Alfred Enoch made his name as Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter franchise before turning his sites to the theatre, a role on the popular television series How to Get Away With Murder, and is now set in his first starring role in a feature film Executive Order directed by Lázaro Ramos. Enoch is joined by international musical icon Seu Jorge and Taís Araújo a leading Brazilian actress in this timely and poignant film. Here’s more details on the film:
Set in a dystopian near future in Rio de Janeiro, a lawyer (Enoch) sues the Brazilian government for reparation of all descendants of African slaves in the country. The authoritarian regime responds by signing an executive order forcing all black citizens to move to Africa. While the army and police enforce martial law, he inspires an underground movement, enlisting his cousin (Jorge) and wife (Araújo). The three of them fight the madness that has taken over the country and spark a resistance that changes the nation.
Executive Order is the directorial debut for Ramos, one of Brazil’s most acclaimed actors who has received over 70 awards in his 20 years in the film industry. The message of the film is important as the world’s eyes are opened to the inequality so many still face even today.
On the timeliness of the film, Ramos says, “Politically – though it was unintended because it was written seven years ago – it dialogues with fundamental questions of today, latent questions of our country: racism, the way of expressing affection, the relationship between the law and the people’s desires, how we – Black people – want to be represented dramaturgically… It’s all there!”
Ramos also spoke on bringing together this powerhouse cast. On Enoch’s character he shared, “Alfred’s character is the one everybody thought I was supposed to play in the movie, but I didn’t want to act and direct it. During some time I searched for actors with particular features: heroism, idealism and, at the same, pave the way for the film out of Brazil. I’m conscious it’s a story that goes beyond borders. Alfred has those features. We passed one year talking to make it possible for him to come. It was definitely the right choice because his work and his dedication are moving.”
The film also includes musical icon Seu Jorge as André, Antonio’s cousin. Ramos states that, “At the same time, [Jorge’s] done only few characters that have this humorous tone. In great part of his movies, he plays dense characters. Since I know him personally, I knew he had this facet. For a film that blends genres to have the possibility of counting on an actor like this, dense and comic at the same time, was really what I needed.”
Ramos also spoke on casting his wife, Taís Araújo as Antonio’s missing wife: “Taís is one of the actresses I most admire. I say this in complete tranquility because before being my wife I’d already admired her. She’s intelligent, visceral and a great partner, in life and on screen.”
Executive Order debuts at SXSW on Tuesday, March 16.