A student starring in a short film about drug abuse has just returned from Los Angeles where he has been meeting with casting directors.

Oliver Mascarenhas, 22, from Bounds Green, is part of a new film and production company called MTN films, created by students with “a passion for film and acting”.

While in America he met with professionals at both Disney and Warner Brothers with the trailer for the new film, Veins.

I spoke to him to find out more…

Did theatre and performance play a big part in your childhood?

Yes I was acting in plays and musicals at performing arts school from the age of 9.

Where are you studying?

I am currently at the Identity School of Acting [near Clerkenwell]. John Boyega is one of our alumni.

Tell me about the film?

The film centres on Jay (my character) who is a drug addict. He is forced to make a choice between the drugs and his future with his pregnant girlfriend Alice. He locks himself in a room and suffers psychotic hallucinations during the process.

We shot the film in under a week with a very tight schedule and no rehearsal time. We relied a lot on improvisation, but that was part of the fun.

What is your role?

Jay is a lifeless, ghostly character. It was a difficult role to play as an actor because you want the character to be truthful but you also want to hold the attention of the audience and engage with the other characters. He is the complete opposite of me - he’s antisocial, depressed and apathetic.

Drugs are often romanticised in film and we wanted to show a truthful portrayal of drug abuse and the effects it has not only on the individual, but the people around them.

What was your inspiration?

I drew inspiration mainly from Christian Bale’s character in the Machinist. As well as watching some documentaries on drug abuse. The general message I got was that addicts don’t necessarily stand out, on the surface they seem like regular people.

Tell me about visiting LA, was it a difficult process?

I am very fortunate to have family that work in the entertainment business in Hollywood. I networked with some great people out there, got some solid career advice and will be returning early next year to attend some classes.

Anything to add?

MTN is the film company behind this project. We are a group of young actors, writers, directors and cinematographers. We are part of an exciting movement of film makers creating original concepts and bringing them to life. We’ve got many films and web series coming up are discussing opportunities with film studios in the UK and USA.