Producer-director Lovelace Lee III spent the last six months searching for someone to fill the lead role in an action film before finding British-born Allan Sealy who was on holiday this month in Los Angeles, home to famed Tinseltown.
Struck by Sealy's close fit for the tough guy part, Lee chose him to star in the soon to be filmed Presidential Dilemma. Lee said: “I take pride in discovering new talent. Seeing Allan as Dobbie (the main character) is a complete no-brainer. He’s rugged, good-looking and has prepared himself for the role.”
Sealy was born at Leytonstone, East London, to Barbadian parents. He began his career in the fashion and design industries before getting a job in publishing. In 2007 he decided to go into acting and enrolled at the London Academy of Media, Film and Television where he received rave reviews from director Milly Ellis.
He went on to work with the Actor Themselves company, where he developed his stage craft in their theatre shows. In 2009 he moved to Los Angeles to study the Meisner technique of acting. When he returned to London, he landed the lead role in the short sci-fi film Beyond 12 months ago, which was followed this year by the role of Jason in the psycho-drama feature film David is Dying.
Highly skilled in judo, ju-jitsu and kick boxing, the accomplished actor is in the kind of physical shape that would make any special forces soldier proud. After reading the Presidential Dilemma screenplay for the eighth time, Sealy began to expertly act out the role of Dobbie.
Speaking from Los Angeles, he told The-Latest: “I was instantly drawn to the character, not just for the sheer physicality of the part, but also the moments of tenderness that an actor can really sink his teeth into.”
Sealy has to use an American Southern twang for the role but said: “I have studied great actors who have overcome their accents. Rutger Hauer, Helen Mirren and Sir Anthony Hopkins top the list of actors who have successfully done this for films. It’s just another level of preparation for me.”
He added. “And I always give my all.”
Like Lee a committed Christian, Sealy is founder of the Ministry In Art Media, a company that uses various forms of creative and inspirational media in order to give its clients the winning edge. One of his more notable success stories was the launching of the UK Gospel Event guide aptly named Spread the Word.
Presidential Dilemma is the story of US Army Colonel Leonard Dobbs Senior called “Dobbie” by his friends. He is unknowingly a pawn in a seedy murder plot and becomes responsible for the life of the most important man in the free world - the American President, during a state visit to an African nation that turns bloody.
Lee sees a remarkable comparison between Sealy and iconic fellow British actor Sir Anthony Hopkins. He said: “Few people remember that before Silence of the Lambs. Hopkins was a relative unknown to American audiences. It’s amazing what a single starring role will do for an actor’s career.”
He added. "Hopkins won an Oscar for his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter. I believe Allan’s career will be launched internationally with our film. This is all really amazing to Allan because he came to Los Angeles on vacation and wasn’t looking for work."
Presidential Dilemma will be introduced to comic book devotees as a slick, graphic novel, first. Lee tagged animator-illustrator Paul McGill to help him create a beautiful book that he believes comic fans will love.
McGill said: "It’s full of action, humour and wonderfully interesting characters. My team and I will work with Lovelace to make his story leap from the page into the minds of the readers.”
Awarding-winning photojournalist Lovelace Lee III has been involved in entertainment and communications for most of his life. After joining the American army, he contributed to Kentucky’s Inside the Turret, said to be the military’s best newspaper.
His work helped the paper win the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award in 1978. Lee left the army and went to Los Angles for a brief stint to assist up-and-coming entertainers with their careers.
He returned home to Chicago to hone his public relations skills and formed The Lee Communications Network in 1980. He credits himself with aiding the election of Chicago’s first Black Mayor, Harold Washington and launching the modeling careers of Jo Wall and Courtney Jolliff.
He also created a coveted La Tasha Was Murdered t-shirt after the controversial killing of a teenaged Black girl. He returned to Los Angeles in 1984 to make movies.
Lee says he has helped further the careers of music stars El DeBarge, Bobby Ross Avila and Boyz II Men and written eight screenplays. He is seeking financial backers to make Presidential Dilemma later this year.
* Read about how the British film industry has promoted Black UK talent in Hollywood.