“I didn’t expect to be up against Jude Law,” said a slightly starstruck Mike Beckingham.

The Gloucestershire-bred actor has just recovered from celebrating at the National Film Awards, where his new movie Redwood, in which he plays lead male Josh, picked up Best Thriller.

And, though he didn’t win, Mike was nominated for Best Actor, in the running with the likes of Ewan McGregor, Rupert Grint and Bill Nighy.

It certainly makes for glitzier rivalries than those forged during his time playing for Forest Green Academy and smashing in goals for Hellenic Premier Division Brimsicombe.

But Mike has left the Five Valleys behind for Beverly Hills - the boy from  Stroud, like his brother Simon Pegg, has his sights set on a career in Hollywood.

Well, for Redwood, Mike actually found himself in the forests of Poland. When he wasn’t fending off vampires with co-star Tatjana Nardone (also nominated for Best Actress) on camera, on location he was battling temperatures as low as minus twelve.

From the way Mike tells it, Redwood was by no means a safe bet; a script written just over a day or two; tight filming deadlines; less-than-forthcoming funds.

Yet it seems working with the very challenges posed by independent filmmaking have earned Redwood such acclaim. Horror on a tight budget meant director Tom Paton couldn’t rely on monetarily expensive but cinematically cheap special effects to thrill his audience.

Instead, Mike emphasises that Redwood, at its core, tells a “human story”, despite its supernatural premise. The nest of vampires Mike’s and Tatjana’s characters stumble into while camping are less the villains themselves and more devices to explore the couple’s own demons.

But, at the end of the day, Mike says he and the crew “just wanted to make a good film.”

Mike has plenty of momentum regardless of Redwood’s award - though, of course, it won’t do him any harm. He’s already working with Tom on another collaboration - Black Site, a sci-fi flick - and he recently spent some time filming in Amsterdam working on a film with Derek Jacobi.

For all the newfound fame, he hasn’t forgotten Gloucestershire. “It’s where I cut my acting teeth,” he says. Readers will have to watch Redwood to find out whether they eventually end up as fangs.