Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Complete ‘Extant’ Series w/Halle Berry Coming Out On Blu-Ray DVD in Dec. The Complete ‘Extant’ Series w/Halle Berry Coming Out On Blu-Ray DVD in Dec. 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?) Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) TIFF 2014 Review: 'Top Five' is Chris Rock's Funniest Movie in Years - If Not Ever TIFF 2014 Review: 'Top Five' is Chris Rock's Funniest Movie in Years - If Not Ever What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? Taraji P. Henson Executive Produces Indie ‘Seasons of Love’ (Appears Alongside Gladys Knight, LeToya Luckett) Taraji P. Henson Executive Produces Indie ‘Seasons of Love’ (Appears Alongside Gladys Knight, LeToya Luckett) TV: New Corrections Officer for 'Orange, Another ABC Drama for Shonda Rhimes, SNL's 1st Black 'Weekend Update' Anchor TV: New Corrections Officer for 'Orange, Another ABC Drama for Shonda Rhimes, SNL's 1st Black 'Weekend Update' Anchor 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 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 Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry 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) 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...

Adrian Lester Joins The Growing List Of Black U.K. Actors Fed Up With The Current Opportunities Offered Them

Shadow and Act By Emmanuel Akitobi | Shadow and Act December 27, 2011 at 11:24AM

Adrian Lester, star of BBC One's popular Hustle series, is the latest black British actor to decide that-- with regard to acting opportunities in the U.K.-- he's reached the end of the line.
8
AdrianLester

Adrian Lester, star of BBC One's popular Hustle series, is the latest black British actor to decide that-- with regard to acting opportunities in the U.K.-- he's reached the end of the line.

Here on S&A, this is an issue that has been highlighted on several different occasions; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

According to the several media outlets, Lester recently gave an interview to Radio Times magazine, wherein he expressed his displeasure with the past and current state of the black actor in his home country.

It's reported that Lester told Radio Times:

“As an actor you’re constantly trying to guess how valuable you are to the industry. If you’re a woman you’ll put certain negative things against that, be it age or weight.

“As a black actor you do the same – you’ll only see yourself travelling as far as people like you have travelled. And if no-one like you is doing what you’re doing it’s very hard for you to see yourself going further, and you get frustrated.”

“I left Rada in ’89. Apartheid was still going, it was a very different world. When people leave drama school now saying, ‘It’s frustrating, I want to change things,’ I think, ‘Yeah – but, mate, we’ve done a hell of a lot of work!’

Things have changed. There are kids who, when they speak in whatever accent, you can’t tell what colour – even gender – they are until you actually look. That’s what Britain is. It’s impossible to move backwards.

And anybody who is intent on not moving forwards is moving backwards, and that’s an exercise in futility. At the moment a lot of dramas with non-white actors in them feel as though they have to justify that presence. Fine – but the presence is there, justified or not. We’ve got a long way to go, but it’s getting better.”

Anyone looking at Lester's resume, however, might argue that he's had a pretty successful career, despite his grievances.  In 1998, Lester prominently starred opposite John Travolta and Emma Thompson in the film Primary Colors.  In 2003, Lester briefly joined the cast of the popular U.S. sitcom Girlfriends.  And it goes without saying that Lester leading the cast of the long-running Hustle was a major achievement for him.

“The iron (in the fire) is quite warm after Hustle," Lester added.

“It’s been nice knowing that for the past nine years, every summer there’s this great job....

This is the first time the slate is completely clear. I know I’m definitely going over to America. I’ll spend time doing three meetings a day. There’s lots of talk and stories flying around. We’ll see what lands.”

This article is related to: Adrian Lester, Television


Shadow & ActNewsletter