Interview with Allan "Seapa" Mustafa - Co-writer and plays Albert Fantoni

Category: Press Pack Article

Where do we find Albert at the start of this series?

Albert has always been one of those people who’s happy to be led and trodden on a bit within his relationship. Series one took him out of his little world, that adrenaline and excitement giving him a bit of confidence as well as a new lease of life. He feels like a boss now with his new hotel in this new environment and people working underneath him, but very quickly you realise that he is just lonely. He hasn't got his friends to take the piss out of him, which he sort of enjoyed, and because Tash has fully gone for it to lead the business side, Albert feels like he hasn't got much to do. He's got no one to hang out with, which gives him the thirst for a little bit more adrenaline,


What does he think of Tash’s (Emer Kenny) business plans?

I don't think Albert ever wants to be the leader, but he does want to be a part of it. If he was a good communicator then he would have a conversation with Tash and be more open about it, but he's not. He hints towards wanting to be a part of leading things, but because of his track record, it's deemed laughable and he’s not given the chance. In her mind, he owns the restaurant so he should stick to that.


What’s the state of their marriage?

Well, Tash’s pregnancy wasn't planned – they had sex once at Christmas. They probably feel like having a kid's going to sort everything out, because there are so many things brewing beneath. Albert doesn't feel like her equal and she doesn't realise that. It was interesting because it raises the jeopardy when you’re showing a pregnant woman being a boss, and she doesn’t hold back.


Do they think they've got away with the robbery now?

At the beginning, maybe. That's why Albert can have those anxieties about his ego, or he’d have real anxiety instead! You'd see it at a surface level if he was thinking about it.


Have they blended in on the Costa Del Crime?

Yeah, especially with the influx of British expats and criminals because of the extradition laws. They’ve blended in pretty well and they don't really stick out.


He hasn’t had a shave, though.

We did speak about that. It’s not great for me personally, because I've got to walk around looking like a paedophile for six or seven weeks of filming. Filming in Spain actually worked out all right though, I blended in with the big hair and moustache and it made me start dressing differently. Wearing that with a tracksuit makes you look like you own a bike shop in Shoreditch. With a Cuban shirt, it works.


How was the filming in Gran Canaria?

It's such an amazing island. I thought it was going to be fry-ups on the beach everywhere, and parts of it are like that, but there's so much natural beauty there. Parts of it look like Colombia, parts of it look like the desert, the nature is incredible and diverse. The architecture is still stuck in the 70s and 80s, which was perfect for us. And being able to go swimming in the sea before you're shooting didn’t feel like work.


Did you let your hair down?

I let my hair up! Yeah, we had a few moments. Most people stayed for the duration, so we had good bonding with all the other actors – especially Michael Smiley (playing Ronnie Gatlin), who was only in for a day or two on series one. This time it was amazing to hear his stories and learn from him.


Why are people so fascinated by heist stories?

It's all to do with social politics. The 1970s and 1980s were big for bank robbers, then when the cameras started coming in, people would get into the drugs trade instead. These weren’t high-level technical criminals, they were London geezers that would run into places with brute force. It’s similar to why we like gangster films or westerns – it's something that we would never have the balls to do. It also feels like more of a victimless crime in that you're robbing big corporations, so there's the anti-establishment thing as well. You can root for them a bit.


What would you what would you do with all that money?

I would feed the world. No, I’d buy everyone I know a place, get my mum a bigger place… People say “feed the world”, but how do you go about it?


How did you pull the amazing soundtrack together?

We all make a private playlist on Spotify and send it into our WhatsApp group. Obviously, me and Steve are a bit younger than James and Tom, so sometimes they wouldn't work. Me and Steve and Hugo love a lot of 90s hip hop, which uses a lot of 70s and 80s samples, so between all of us, we just chuck it in the pot.


Have you had any feedback from any coppers or genuine faces?

That’s what we were worried about! Some of us don’t have that many degrees of separation from that sort of world, so through the grapevine I’ve heard a few things but, because it's a comedy and none of it's based on specific characters, it’s all good.


So will Albert be rocking a mullet?

Yeah, maybe long hair, pony tail, hoop earrings. I wonder if we ever shave the ’tache? It would be a proper statement to keep that in the 90s.