Lauryn Ajufo’s first screen role turned out to be highly consequential for her career: in 2018, the Brit School graduate landed a part in short film Boiling Point, directed by Philip Barantini.

The director went on to cast her in his debut feature, London crime drama Villain (2020); in the single-shot feature version of Boiling Point (2021); and in his third, upcoming feature Accused, which shot in early 2022.

“He is the first person who had faith in me,” says the now-21-year-old about Barantini. “His work speaks about issues in a way that’s always subtle and beautifully directed and written. That’s what art should be about to me.”

Ajufo found another supporter — her self-described “TV dad” — in Boiling Point’s lead Stephen Graham: “Lauryn is one of the most fantastic, fresh, exciting young talents I’ve had the joy to work with,” says the veteran actor. “Her graciousness on set was lovely to see.” The Bafta-­nominated feature sees Ajufo play waitress Andrea, who faces racial micro-aggressions from a customer. The London-born actress had never waited on tables before the shoot, and spent a night working at the real-life restaurant where Boiling Point was shot in order to prepare — although she admits she still doesn’t know how to uncork a bottle of wine.

Ajufo came to the industry’s attention after she reluctantly entered a monologue slam competition while at the Brit School — winning it, and an agent as well. Now the two-handed thriller Accused will see her step into a more prominent role, playing student Chloe, the girlfriend of a young man (Chaneil Kular) who is falsely accused of being a terrorist. XYZ Films is handling world sales.

In April, Ajufo appeared in UK sci-fi series The Last Bus for Netflix, and she will next be seen in ITV2 teen drama Tell Me Everything, which tackles mental health issues. She also landed a role in Idris Elba’s Luther feature, playing the daughter of Cynthia Erivo’s character. Ajufo aims to do more international projects, and hopes one day to work with her idol Issa Rae. But for the time being, her heart lies in UK storytelling.

Contact: Florence Rose, Independent Talent Group