ALFIE’S BIG BREAK IN TV’S BLUE LIGHTS ACTING ROLE

A DONAGHADEE boy is enjoying screen stardom in his second ever acting role which saw him appearing in the second season of the hit BBC police drama Blue Lights.

Twelve year-old Alfie Lawless, a student at St Columbanus College, will become a familiar face on television screens this spring when he makes his television debut in the acclaimed drama.

Blue Lights is a gritty drama based in Belfast which follows the story of three rookie probation officers – Grace Ellis, played by Welsh actress Siân Brooke, Annie Conlon (Katherine Devlin), and Tommy Foster (Nathan Braniff).

The trio are assigned to the fictional Blackthorn station in Belfast.

With acting in his blood as the great-nephew of stage actress and voice over artist, Laura Hughes, young Alfie is a true natural at his craft. Though he had no formal training, he wowed casting directors and audiences in his first ever role in the short film, Stanley, which came out earlier this year.

The film tells the tale of the titular character, Stanley, who recently lost his wife but who kindles a friendship with his grandson Frank, who was played by Alfie.

The young actor was put forward for this part by his great-aunt Laura after she was approached by a casting director in search of the perfect boy to play the grandson.

This sparked a passion for Alfie, who was keen to take on his next role in the setting of Blue Lights, this time as one of an antagonist’s nephews.

Alfie’s mother, Emma Schofield, who is also a teacher at Alfie’s school, recalls how her son was scouted for the role.

“He hasn’t done anything in terms of formal acting training, we did a school production of Beauty and the Beast, and he wasn’t even in it,” said Emma.

“My aunt Laura, obviously she has an agent, and she knows the casting director for Stanley.

“The short film was only filmed over a weekend. Alfie really enjoyed it, and thought this may be something he would like to do.

“I was on set with him on the Sunday and obviously there is a lot of hanging about. I asked him ‘were you not bored’? He said: ‘No, I really enjoyed it’.

“When he went for Blue Lights, the same casting agent was like ‘we really need to send Alfie up to just read a wee part’. The director said to me afterwards, before he even left the room, they knew he was the one for the job,” said Emma.

Filming for the crime drama took place over the course of five months. Alfie says he loved every minute of it, though confesses the early rises were a challenge.

“My role is the main antagonist’s nephew. My character’s name is Henry and we filmed from August to December for Blue Lights.

“I loved the experience, it was incredible. I loved every minute of it, except for getting up early.

“I really enjoyed working with everyone, they were very nice. I hope to get an agent, as acting is something I would like to do in future,” added the young actor.