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'Black UK actors told to go to Hollywood to find leading roles'

London , Thu, 02 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 2(ANI): Black British actors should head to Hollywood as quickly as possible because they will not get leading roles in the United Kingdom, an acclaimed National Theatre performer has said.


David Harewood, the first black actor to play Othello at the National Theatre, called on young British actors to follow the example of Idris Elba, Adrian Lester and himself by accepting that they will struggle to find roles that match their talents in the UK.


"There really aren't enough strong, authoritative roles for black actors in this country. A lot of my contemporaries have gone to the US. I would encourage young black British actors to get to America if they have ambition," The Independent quoted Harewood, as saying.


Harewood cited Idris Elba, the Hackney actor, who won the lead in the BBC1 detective drama Luther, after he had established himself as a drug lord in the award-winning HBO series The Wire.


"I was talking to Idris about his frustration and he said 'I'm going to America'. It took him a long time to crack it with The Wire but he wouldn't have been given a role of that weight and authority in the UK. That's a fact," he added.


British black actors who found success in the US include Lennie James and Chiwetel Ejiofor, the Laurence Olivier award-winner who starred in the 200 million dollar Roland Emmerich blockbuster disaster movie, 2012. (ANI)


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