Tuesday 18 September 2018

Crystal Clarke: Ordeal Of Innocence proof black actors can play more than slaves

The Star Wars actress plays Tina Argyll in the BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s story.

Ordeal By Innocence cast (BBC)
Ordeal By Innocence cast (BBC)

By Georgia Humphreys and Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

Star Wars actress Crystal Clarke has said her role in TV drama Ordeal By Innocence is a chance to prove actors of colour can do more than play slaves.

The US star plays Tina Argyll in the BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s story – a role which gave her a something to “sink my teeth into”.

She said: “I think it’s something that I was saying to a friend when I was still auditioning, when I was going into recall for it, it was like, ‘It’s a chance to show that actors of colour aren’t just there to portray the struggling slave, the sad, sad maid, this and that and the other…’

“We can do those everyday emotions that you also have, and everyone else gets to do,” she added.

“Just like an everyday character. And, she’s not necessarily an everyday character, but the way that she’s written kind of allows her to be for a long time before you get the little hints of race.”

The drama had to undergo reshoots after Clarke’s castmember, Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick, was accused of sexual assault.

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Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2017 – Press Room – London

He was replaced by British actor Christian Cooke in the BBC One drama which was pulled from the Christmas schedule after the accusations – which Westwick denies.

Starring Bill Nighy, Eleanor Tomlinson, Anna Chancellor and Matthew Goode, the three-part drama was adapted by Sarah Phelps.

The first episode airs on Sunday April 1.

Press Association

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