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Leech: Good to shed nice-guy image


Allen Leech plays the mysterious Max in In Fear

Allen Leech plays the mysterious Max in In Fear

Allen Leech plays the mysterious Max in In Fear

Allen Leech has said his co-stars on new chilling British horror film In Fear started to avoid him once they realised how creepy his character was.

In the big screen debut from Sherlock director Jeremy Lovering, Iain De Caestecker and Alice Englert play a young couple who, on their way to a music festival, become lost and, as darkness beckons, increasingly unnerved by oddball local Max, played by Allen.

To keep the tension as real as possible, only Allen was given the full storylines upfront.

"At first, the other actors weren't quite sure whether to trust me or not," he explained, laughing. "I played the game that I didn't know what was happening either. It was only in the last couple of days that they turned around and went, 'You're quite evil'. And that's when they didn't really hang around with me so much."

Director Lovering was inspired to write the film after getting lost in rural Ireland and repeatedly ending up back at the same pub. The landlord told him that locals played a long-standing joke whereby they'd turn signs around so that visitors always came back to the same place.

Allen welcomed the chance to shed his nice-guy image, after becoming a familiar face on the small screen as Downton Abbey's chaffeur-turned-gentleman Tom Branson.

"Playing someone who's so different from anything I've done before is really lovely, because you get to stretch yourself," he said. "I got to go to a part of myself that, thankfully, I normally wouldn't."

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: : In Fear is released in cinemas on Friday, November 15.

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