Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Egypt & Morocco Ban Ridley Scott's 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' for Historical Inaccuracies Egypt & Morocco Ban Ridley Scott's 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' for Historical Inaccuracies Denzel Washington Is One of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Stars, According to Forbes Denzel Washington Is One of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Stars, According to Forbes Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN) Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN) Watch Trailer for Romcom 'With This Ring' (Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve Star - Coming January 2015) Watch Trailer for Romcom 'With This Ring' (Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve Star - Coming January 2015) Here Are the Top 10 Grossing "Black Films" of 2014... How Many of Them Did You See? Here Are the Top 10 Grossing "Black Films" of 2014... How Many of Them Did You See? Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad Sign Up for 'Arsenic and Old Lace' Playing the Brewster Sisters Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad Sign Up for 'Arsenic and Old Lace' Playing the Brewster Sisters Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it) Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it) Ava DuVernay Has Multi-Episode TV Series on "Black Experience in America" in the Works Ava DuVernay Has Multi-Episode TV Series on "Black Experience in America" in the Works Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Preview: Jessica Williams of 'The Daily Show' Makes Leading Lady Debut in 'Tap Shoes & Violins' Preview: Jessica Williams of 'The Daily Show' Makes Leading Lady Debut in 'Tap Shoes & Violins' '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) 7 More Slave-Themed Films For You To Look Forward To This Year, 2013 7 More Slave-Themed Films For You To Look Forward To This Year, 2013 Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Brit Noel Clarke Addresses "Misconceptions" Of UK Acting Biz + Says "Bad Boys" Project Is Coming Soon

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act January 17, 2012 at 10:31PM

You may have noticed that Brit Noel Clarke has been oddly silent about the black-actors-in-the-UK-film-industry problem, broadly-speaking; a matter that we've covered quite a bit here on S&A, highlighting articles written by British journalists, lamentations from black British actors and actresses on the lack of opportunities for them to utilize their talents, and more.
1
Noel Clarke

You may have noticed that Brit Noel Clarke has been oddly silent about the black-actors-in-the-UK-film-industry problem, broadly-speaking; a matter that we've covered quite a bit here on S&A, highlighting articles written by British journalists, lamentations from black British actors and actresses on the lack of opportunities for them to utilize their talents, and more.

It actually didn't hit me until now - that we haven't posted anything here on S&A from Clarke on the issue that several of his contemporaries in the UK have repeadtedly decried, and continue to criticize.

I was reading THIS summary of a recent interview Clarke did with 1Xtra's Ace on the MTV UK website in which he addressed the matter; the original interview is in audio form but not available for listeners outside the UK, though I wish I had access to it so I could listen to it in full. Alas, I do not.

In short, Clark, whose prolific career we've been following on S&A, as not just an actor, but also a writer, director, producer, and even playwright, certainly doesn't appear to be experiencing much drag. Quite the opposite actually. 

And in the interview, in which the words "misconceptions of the acting industry" were included, the reader should immediately be tipped off as to the direction the interview would take, as Clarke had this to say, alluding to the aforementioned multi-tasking he's been doing as key to his success: "If I did not multitask, if I did not write, direct and act, I would be homeless right now. I’m telling you, the work’s not there... I realised early on in my acting career, when I was borrowing money from my girl to get a travel card, I was like, 'Hold on a second! If I don’t start doing more stuff, I’m going to be living on the street.' So it was a necessity. I HAD to start writing, I HAD to start doing other stuff just to keep my head above water.” 

So essentially, he agrees that the work certainly isn't there; however, he's also suggesting that his black Brit actor/actress comrades in the UK (or maybe all actors/actresses regardless of skin color or heritage) shouldn't rely strictly on their acting abilities to survive in the business; they must also become writers, directors, producers, etc; create work for themselves, as opposed to relying primarily on others to give them pre-packaged projects to act in.

Easier said than done of course, but I suppose he can say it with confidence because he's living it, and not just talking it.

But interestingly, we can say the same thing about black actors/actresses here in the USA; the most recent notable example is Viola Davis taking advantage of the spotlight she's found herself in, forming a production company, optioning books, teaming up with young, promising directors for TV projects, and more. She's creating work for herself.

Idris Elba is one black Brit who's also living by Clarke's credo; Elba not only acts, but he's produced work for himself, taking chances with unproven talent, as he did with Thomas Ikimi and Legacy, and even in the case of Luther, before he became the IDRIS ELBA we all know and love today. He's also producing projects for others - films, web series and TV. And he has a project or two on the horizon that he's planning to direct himself as well.

Multi-tasking. It's not enough just to be one thing anymore I guess; especially if you're not from a group that's, shall we say, *in demand.* But not everyone can be a Noel Clarke or Idris Elba, right?

I'm sure all you actors out there - especially those in the UK - will have something to say about all this.

Clarke also reiterated his plans to produce a UK version of Bad Boys, which he co-wrote with Top Boy's Ashley Walters (another black Brit who also seems to be doing far better than others).

"When I’m back from the US and he [Ashley Walters] finishes 'Top Boy' season two, we have a script that we wrote together with a couple of my boys and it’s looking good. We’re talking a UK 'Bad Boys'," he said.

He's shooting Star Trek 2, which is why he says "when I'm back from the US;" and Top Boy season 2 is scheduled to air this year, so if this Bad Boys take is next for them, as he seems to suggest, they could be looking at late 2012, early 2013 production dates, provided the money is already there, and if not, will be there by then.

This article is related to: Things That Make You Go Hmm...


Shadow & ActNewsletter