Lauryn Ajufo is the rising thespian poised to emerge amongst the biggest stars in the UK film and TV industry. A striking talent, Ajufo’s first big breakthrough came in the shape of the terrific 2021 drama, Boiling Point, which saw her star alongside British royalty Stephen Graham in a heated offering that placed the viewer right at the centre of the intense existence of high end restaurants. Excelling in the role of Andrea, Lauryn’s performance earned her a nomination at the 2021 BIFA Awards in the Breakthrough Performance category.
Ajufo has also already made her mark in the world of TV, starring in Tell Me Everything, the startlingly authentic and vibrant teen drama that critics are defining as ‘Skins for Gen Z’. Illustrating her versatility of performance, it’s an incredible achievement for Ajufo to be involved in a show that looks set to go down as a cult classic in years to come. Perhaps most excitingly, the rising star can be seen in cinemas right now in Luther: The Fallen Sun, the much anticipated feature length follow up to the acclaimed BBC crime drama. Starring alongside legends of the game Idris Elba, Andy Serkis and Cynthia Erivo – her on-screen mother – Ajufo demands the audience’s attention, stealing her scenes and flaunting her ability to perform alongside some of the UK’s most cherished actors.
Flicking between film and TV, Ajufo will shortly be back on the small screen in a leading role. The hotly tipped upcoming Netflix show, The Fuck It Bucket, looks set to be a cathartic, hard hitting and uplifting series about a teenager’s battle with anorexia, with Lauryn set to exercise her acting chops in yet another starkly different role.
Stopping by on her climb to acclaim, we spoke to Ajufo about her acting origins, the differences between TV and film, being BIFA nominated, and the various roles that she has undertaken.
Watch the trailer for Luther: The Fallen Sun.
Read the full interview below!
Hey Lauryn! Where are we speaking to you from?
Hi! You’re speaking to me from the city everyone has a love hate relationship with, London.
What are your interests outside of the industry?
Anything pertaining to music. If I’m not on set you are bound to find me at a festival, concert, making a playlist, teaching myself how to DJ. It’s either that or I’m stuffing my face at a new restaurant I’ve found, after I’ve taken the pic of course haha.
Who inspires you?
Every single black woman who’s currently kicking ass in this showbiz world. Absolute queens and legends in the making. If I start writing names down we might as well pull out the Christmas tree. Also can’t forget ma and pa!
Could you talk us through how you got your start in acting? Did you always know, or was there a lightbulb moment?
I actually didn’t want to be an actor funnily enough. There was always an interest there I had shows and films I admired but I didn’t see the bigger picture of it being a career until I’d completed GCSE drama and attended Brit School…and had the little push from my parents. I went on to study musical theatre there whilst being a part of Stratford East Youth Company and that’s pretty much where it all started to kick off. Monologue Slam, an industry showcase for actors, was hosted at Stratford East and after a lot of persuasion (because I really can’t think for myself) I decided to participate. Fortunately, I became the Youth Round National Champion of 2018 and that’s where I signed with my first ever agent. From then I’ve had the pleasure of working on many amazing projects.
You were nominated for the BIFA Breakthrough Performance award in 2022 for your role as Andrea in Boiling Point. What was that experience like?
Shocking. Hahaha very very shocking I didn’t expect it honestly. I feel like everyone says that but I kid you not. I was surrounded by so much love and support though it was great.
You’ve worked in both film and TV, how do those experiences compare? Do you approach acting differently?
I find with TV I grow into my character more and more as the project progresses simply because so many things change everyday whereas with film your character is kind of established already. Yes yes there are changes but I feel they’re little in comparison to TV. So yes I do approach acting differently I guess.
You’ve starred in teen shows like Tell Me Everything. What attracts you to these kinds of roles?
I grew up watching Gossip Girl, 90210, Teen Wolf, Vampire Diaries, I think you know where I’m going with this hahaha and I just wanted to be them. Once I knew acting was for me I was like yeah sign me up for all the gritty, messy, romance-based teen stuff! I loved it and when I get that in a script my inner 13 year old is just screaming.
Critics have called Tell Me Everything the “Skins for Gen Z”, would you agree?
Yes totally! Only difference is the social media. The grittiness, awkwardness, britishness of Skins is there in Tell Me Everything.
We can’t wait for Netflix’s The Fuck It Bucket, what can we expect from the upcoming project?
A cast that you’re bound to fall in love with.
We are obsessed with the Luther movie, in which you are starring alongside Cynthia Erivo as her daughter. What can you tell us about its iconic transition from the small to big screen?
It’s super exciting. Those who watched Luther know how iconic it is and how heavily a part of British TV it was. You’re all in for a treat with it!
The cast also includes none other than Idris Elba. How does it feel to have your name attached to such a big project?
I try not to think about it really if I’m being honest. It’s mainly my friends who make a big deal about it then I’m like oh yeah…
Lastly, what’s next for you?
You’ll have to wait and see!
LUTHER: THE FALLEN SUN is in cinemas now and on Netflix from March 10th.