Rafferty Law: “Joe Strummer would be wicked to play in a biopic”

His dad's Jude, his mum's Sadie Frost – and he's the Soho socialite turned louche punk rocker making waves in the acting world

A London lad raised by social scene royalty, Rafferty Law was destined to have a remarkable life. You could look at photos of him with one eye closed and still see the burning, baby blue-eyed resemblance to his father Jude, who he fondly refers to as his “best mate”. Raff’s mum, Sadie Frost, is also a staunch champion of his work. She even stepped into the director’s chair for the music video of ‘Bad Times’, performed by Law’s band Outer Stellar Overdrive, which also features Damon Albarn’s nephew Rudy on the drums.

With an EP launching imminently and two albums in the bag, Law could rest on his musical talents and call it a day. Instead, he’s following in his parent’s footsteps and pursuing an acting career as well. His first major role sees him star opposite Michael Caine and Rita Ora in Twist, a modern, streetwise reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic.

Speaking to NME from his flat in south London, Law talks about his artistic upbringing, the thrill of live music, and his perfect day in the city.

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Rafferty Law
Credit: Sky

When did you decide you wanted to act?

“I think that acting’s always been in me and the need to get into film. Then about two years ago I started going to auditions – I already had my band, but I wanted to push out and focus on more projects. I’d get some good feedback but nothing happened. I’m quite competitive with myself, and so I decided to really put the work in and do some acting and movement coaching. Then Twist came along and it felt like a good connection for me. I loved the vision and script.”

Did you parents give you any tips?

“When I was younger I would go and visit mum and dad on their film sets if I wasn’t in school which was really cool. Films were always around me growing up; I was obsessed with Indiana Jones when I was little and my grandma would film me reenacting the films with my grandad when I’d go and visit them in France.”

Jude Law
With dad Jude at a football match in 2017. Credit: Getty

What were your fave films growing up?

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was a real eye-opener for me, and classic gangster films like Goodfellas. But the films that really inspired me from a young age were always about movements and why people dressed and talked a certain way, like This Is England and Quadrophenia.”

You star opposite Michael Caine in Twist, which is a massive deal for your first major film. What was it like?

“I picked up a lot from working alongside him, not just in front of the camera but on the set. Whenever I was waiting to do a scene I’d tense up and overthink things, then I’d look over at Michael and he would always be sitting down having a chat with someone and shaking off the tension.”

He starred opposite your dad in Kenneth Branagh’s film ‘Sleuth’, did they share any stories with you about the other?

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“There was a day when I brought my dad onto set, which was a really nice moment for me. When he saw Michael they stopped to have a catch up; they hadn’t seen each other for about 15 years up to that point.”

Michael Caine
With Michael Caine, co-star of ‘Twist’. Credit: Sky

You’re lead singer and guitarist in your band, Outer Stellar Overdrive, with Rudy Albarn. How did that happen?

“I met Kelvin (Bueno, the band’s bassist) out and about in London. He had a really similar music vibe, so we started writing together for fun. I reached out to Rudy to drum for me, we met in a pub in Soho for a chat and then we started jamming together.”

Any new music in the pipeline?

“I feel like the journey is just starting. We’ve been putting out singles for the last two years and touring in and out of London when we could. I really miss that live feel; plugging in my guitar and having that kind of vibration in the room. But we’re about to release our first EP, and we’ve written two whole albums that are ready to go out.”

Are there any musicians that you’d love to play in a biopic?

The Clash have been a big band in my life; I love the way they dress and their music. Joe Strummer could be a wicked person to play.”

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when lockdown ends?

“I’d start the day by getting a real greasy spoon breakfast. I miss getting a fry up with my mates. I’d go to Portobello Road. I spent a lot of my teens and twenties in Soho so I’d probably head up there. I think in a sense though, lockdown’s made us all adapt in our own ways. For me, it’s taught me that I put a lot of pressure on myself to always go out and meet people or go out to parties. It’s taught me to have a bit of patience and to take some time for myself.”

‘Twist’ arrives on Sky Cinema from January 29

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