Young, Rich and Out of Control” declared the promo for a 1987 US mini-series starring Judd Nelson. The plot was pure Hollywood: a group of wealthy young men in Los Angeles established an exclusive syndicate – part investment corporation, part private social club – and lived the high life until some of their members were arrested in connection with the murders of a conman and a former Iranian government official. But this cautionary tale of the greed and lack of personal responsibility in the decade of excess is not the result of a scriptwriter’s commission, but a true story, and one that is about to be played out again in the 2016 big screen remake of Billionaire Boys Club.
“It’s a brilliant story,” says British actor and unofficial Chopard ambassador Jeremy Irvine. “And Judd Nelson, who played the Billionaire Boys Club leader Joe Hunt in 1987, came back to play Joe’s dad. I play a character called Kyle Biltmore, although this was not his real name. Kyle and his brother Scott were brought into the club by Joe and his second-in-command Dean Karny. Together they were the party boy rockstars of LA – they bought nightclubs, took copious amounts of cocaine and partied all night and all day. They basically slept their way around 1980s LA.
“It was great fun to be involved in the film and I basically rock up throughout to snort coke and party. The director sent me a Spotify playlist of the music he felt Kyle would be listening to – lots of aggressive post-punk stuff. The costumes were brilliant – amboyant, neon pink shirts with leather jackets. The Biltmores typify excess and sociopathic behaviour – they would buy a Porsche 911, smash it up and think, ‘Fuck it!’ then throw the keys in a ditch and walk away to buy another one. It’s nice to have a role like this. I’ve played some pretty unhappy characters so it’s great to just have a blast for a few months.”