Netflix’s ‘I Used to Be Famous‘ is a British musical drama film that follows Vinnie and Stevie, who form an unlikely bond through their love for music. The film is directed by Eddie Sternberg and sees Vinnie, a former boy band member fading into obscurity. However, after he meets Stevie, a teenager with autism with a penchant for playing the drums. Together, Vinnie and Stevie work on their music and set out to make it big in the music industry. Given the music-heavy narrative, viewers must be wondering whether the actor playing Vinnie and Stevie have any musical training in real-life. In that case, allow us to share everything we know about the actors in ‘I Used to Be Famous.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!
Who Plays Vinnie and Stevie in I Used to Be Famous?
In ‘I Used to Be Famous,’ Vinnie is a musician who used to be a part of the boy band known as Stereo Dreams. However, Vinnie leaves the band after his brother’s death, and his musical career suffers. Vinnie fails to make it in the business and starts fading into obscurity. Actor Ed Skrein essays the role of Vinnie. Skrein is arguably best known for portraying Daario Naharis in the third season of the fantasy television series ‘Game of Thrones.’ His other credits include films such as ‘If Beale Street Could Talk, ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ and ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.’
On the other hand, Stevie is an autistic teenager who deals with agoraphobia and dislikes crowded faces. However, he likes playing drums and dreams of playing for a large crowd. After Stevie meets Vinnie, the two realize that they make a great team and start a band called Tin Men. In the film, young actor Leo Long essays the role of Stevie. ‘I Used to Be Famous’ marks Long’s feature film debut.
Are Ed Skrein and Leo Long Real-Life Musicians?
Ed Skrein is primarily an actor but also dabbles in direction and writing. The actor was born in Camden, London, and grew up in the city. He studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art, a public tertiary art school, and graduated with a BA Hons degree in fine art painting. After college, Skrein ventured into rapping and tried to make a career for himself as a musician. His first studio album, titled ‘The Eat Up,’ was released in 2007 by Dented Records. Moreover, the actor has provided the vocals for most of his character’s songs in ‘I Used to Be Famous.’ hence, it is safe to say that Skrein has received some formal training in music.
In contrast, Leo Long is primarily a musician and has proficiency in playing multiple instruments. Long has been diagnosed with a speech and language disorder and an autistic spectrum disorder. Therefore, he mirrors the character of Stevie in the film. Long auditioned for the part of Stevie by playing a bodhran (an Irish drum) and a banjo. The casting directors were impressed with Long’s musical and acting talents and cast him in the film. Long has played music with the London Youth Folk Ensemble and National Open Youth Orchestra. As a result, Long’s musical talents led him to land his first major acting role in a feature film.