A Gap Year to Remember || Raf Cross

With his first year of University underway, New Face Raf Cross has just reached the end of an epic Gap Year. Coming face to face with some of the strangest animals on the planet and sleeping amongst some even more dangerous ones, Raf returned to England to act in his first major film… definitely a year to remember!

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You’ve just come to the end of a pretty exciting Gap Year. What did you get up to?

I went travelling around Africa. Me and a friend went to South Africa in April, and spent a week there before jumping on a truck through a company called Oasis Overground. We went all the way up the East Coast to Egypt, through 13 countries in total. There were 19 of us on the truck, we had a great laugh.

What was your favourite moment of the trip?

I went to a place called Ngorongoro crater, it’s basically a huge natural game reserve at the top of a volcano, and the animals can’t get out. They’ve found a way to get in, so once you’re in you see the most incredible things, and the weirdest animals ever because there’s been so much cross breading.

What was the weirdest animal you came across? 

Birds with really long flaps of skin that serve no purpose, and foot long birds with ridiculously long tales. It was incredible to see really strange stuff that I’d never even known existed.

What was your diet like on the trip?

The food was very basic, hardly any meat. I missed bacon a lot! We cooked for ourselves, usually we did it in teams and took it in terms to cook for the rest of the group. It was pretty rural.

Were there any awkward moments?

Yeah, there were a few. In South Africa we got lost and ended up in a place called Cape Flats,. It was really stupid, they’re meant to be very dangerous, the ones surrounding Cape. Another time we were camping, and got approached by some Maasai’s who were like “you can’t be here, a man was killed a coupe of days ago by a lion in this camping area.” We all just got back on the truck and kind of huddled together for the night. Apart form the little scares it all went smoothly.

You also recently starred in a film. Tell me about that?

Yeah, I came back a bit early because I found out I got a part in a film called Maleficent. It’s basically a production about Sleeping Beauty, through the eyes of Maleficent, the evil fairy in the original film. It was my first commercial project really, and was really good fun.

What was your role?

Sleeping beauty’s asleep, and the people in the Kings quarter’s are trying to find someone to wake her up, so I’m one of the guys they bring in, and they say tell me to kiss her. When I kiss her nothing happens so they send me out. It was a great experience, I filmed my scene with three midgets. They had cardboard cutouts of the fairies which will be CGI’d in, so the midget’s in blue morph suits had to hold them out and kind of wiggle them when they were meant to be speaking. It was pretty surreal!

Is this something you’re hoping to move into?

Yeah definitely, but I’m off to Uni tomorrow to study French and Politics. I’m hoping to come back a fair amount though, especially in first year. I love it up here, it would be a shame not to.

Which actors do you admire?

I love Michael Fassbender, I just think he’s awesome.

It sounds like a pretty exciting year. Have you caught the travelling bug?

I’m afraid so, it’s been amazing! I’m actually going on a big family holiday to Indonesia at Christmas. We used to live in Java so we’re going back there, then off to Bali and Singapore. I’m super excited about that.

Contact ryan@models1.co.uk

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