Homeland’s David Harewood Urges Black British Actors to Head to the States for Better Roles

As far as British actor David Harewood is concerned, there’s no point for young British actors to stay in the U.K. when they could be trying to make a name for themselves in America.

“I would encourage, particularly young, black actors, to get to America or to at least try and have that ambition in your back pocket,” the 46-year-old said while promoting the British premiere of hit Showtime series Homeland. “They do seem to embrace a more diverse palette, and I think that’s sad but that’s just a fact. I would encourage people to get there as quickly as they can.”

Harewood recalled a conversation he once had with Idris Elba, a black British actor who was about to get his first break, thanks to HBO drama The Wire. “I can remember talking to Idris years ago about these frustrations and he told me ‘I’m going to America,’ and I kind of thought, ‘What are you doing that for?’” he said. “Look at him now. He’s a huge star.” 

“Unfortunately there really aren’t that many roles for authoritative, strong, black characters in this country,” Harewood continued. “We just don’t write those characters.”

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