Sunday 25 September 2016

David Harewood hails 'boom' in parts for black actors since Oscars diversity row

Published 22/03/2016 | 13:26

David Harewood said great parts are coming through for black actresses since the Oscars diversity row
David Harewood said great parts are coming through for black actresses since the Oscars diversity row

Homeland star David Harewood has said that since the Oscars diversity row there has been a "real boom" in scripts and parts for black actors and actresses.

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The British actor said there are now "great parts coming through for black actresses" following the controversy that overshadowed the award ceremony this year.

The diversity row saw a number of prominent black stars boycotting the Oscars due to the lack of nominees of colour in the top four categories.

Talking to Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on ITV's This Morning, he said: "Studio heads seem to be getting the message that there is not only an audience out there, but there is a desire for people to see people of colour in central roles and in authoritative roles."

Birmingham-born Harewood is starring in the BBC One spy thriller The Night Manager, based on the John le Carre novel of the same name.

The six-part series also stars Blackadder's Hugh Laurie, Broadchurch star Olivia Colman and Thor's Tom Hiddleston.

Harewood told the This Morning duo that working with Colman was "just lovely" and described Laurie as being a "terror" on set as they discussed his sinister Night Manager character, Richard Onslow Roper.

He said: "W e all know Hugh as this fairly affable guy, but on set he was a bit of a terror. Well, he just kind of, he had this weight to him and that voice that he was using (of his character) was so ... so outlandish and he just became this extreme sort of embodiment."

He added: "I wasn't on set a lot with him because a lot of my scenes weren't around him ... any time he came through the hotel lobby, he was just so into it, he had a presence."

The last episode of the series airs this Sunday, March 27, and Harewood was mum on whether it would be back for a second series, saying only "rumours" hinted at it returning.

:: The Night Manager airs on BBC One at 9pm on March 27.

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