Film-maker and FITLORD Reggie Yates chats to heatworld about his upcoming documentaries, who the next Doctor Who should be, and why he doesn't care about Harry Styles's new song
Hey Reggie! What have you got in the pipeline at the mo?
I'm literally on my way to the airport now for my next series of the Insider! We’ve already shot one episode and I'm on my way to shoot the second.
I've got a few other bits and pieces cooking, so once I'm not with this series there's a couple of things I might go onto next.
Can you tell us about the projects?
On the first episode of Insider I'm actually in a refugee camp in Iraq and I'm living as a refugee for a week there.
I'm on my way to North Carolina to work as a prison guard for a week. Last series I was an inmate, and this series I'm on the other side of the fence, so it's gonna be a really interesting new experience I think this time around.
What was it like being a refugee for a week?
It was intense and difficult at times, but a really eye opening experience and a fantastic opportunity to understand the refugee crisis from the group up.
What's your favourite documentary you've made so far?
I think the Chicago film that I made was probably the best one yet in terms of the style and what we were trying to say, the subject matter and the timing of it.
It was an incredibly bloody year for Chicago, so to be there was it was a really therapeutic thing – to be able to make those statements and ask those questions at a time when it needed to be done. And it was shot beautifully by an incredible director so there was a lot that came from it.
Is there a subject matter you really want to cover?
I'm fascinated by identity. I really want to make some films about that. I think there's a lot to be said about mental health, particularly in young men. There's lots of things I'd like to revisit actually.
I'd really like to re-visit masculinity because I think young men specifically are changing dramatically and what it means to be a man now is more different to how it's ever been. So, there's a lot to unpack in that world.
What’s been your proudest moment?
My proudest moment is not necessarily to do with the film, it's to do with the reaction to the films.
I constantly get stopped on the street by people who want to have conversations about the films as opposed to just telling me they just like it and give me a thumbs up – now it's people genuinely wanting to talk about specific films and how it affected them.
When I make a film about being an ethnic minority and being gay in the UK, and off the back of that film people come out to their parents during the credits because they watched it with their parents and they feel like it gave them an opportunity to have that conversation.
So, when you get these films right they actually can do something really positive and can shift a needle, and that is why I'm so drawn to putting myself through what I need to put myself through to make a point or start a conversation because things can actually happen that affect lives off the back of these films and it's the best feeling.
And what about your most awkward moment?
When I was making the documentary about the millionaire preacher, he would go out of his way in front of his congregation of 10,000 people to try and embarrass me by putting me on the spot and getting me on stage and getting me to dance and do crazy things.
I dunno if it was awkward it was more embarrassing, but it all made for a better film I think.
On another note – who will be the next Doctor Who?!
I think just being open to new ideas I think would be a help. There are a lot of names that have been thrown around, I love the idea of some of them and some of them I don’t get.
So, I dunno, so long as there's someone interesting and fresh in the role with the scarf as it were I think people will choose them.
Could it be Phoebe Waller-Bridge?
I just met Phoebe for the first time today, actually, I've just come from a shoot we were both in together and I shook her hand and told her how much of a fan I am.
Honestly, I think it could be a woman, it could be a guy, it could be anybody, so long as they embrace the role and embrace the world that's all that matters, you know I think you can tell when the Doctor really wants to be there and that's the most important thing.
We love reality telly at heat – would you ever do any?
Um, right now? Definitely not. I've been asked in the past and it's not really my bag and I've not said yes up until this point. I don’t really see it being a for me, if I'm honest. It's not really the kind of TV I watch and I can’t imagine wanting to be on it.
And, most importantly, what do you think of Harry Styles's new song?
I haven’t heard it so I don’t know whether it's good or not. You know when you don't work on a playlisted show, you choose the music that you listen to and the music that you choose is the music that you love and stuff that isn’t on your radar isn't on your radar for a reason – and I don't think that I'm the audience that he is trying to make his music for.
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