Thursday, 1 October 2020

Black History Month: British Acting Talent


Continuing our celebration of Black History, this week we are looking closer to home and spotlighting some of the best British Actors from the Black community.


Michaela Coel



Starting her career as a poet and performance artist, Michaela Coel released her debut album 'Fixing Barbie' in 2009. Coel made her stage debut at the Bush Theatre in 2013, where she wrote and performed 'Chewing Gum Dreams', a play that would go on to become her breakthrough sitcom, its title shortened to 'Chewing Gum', starring Coel in the lead role. This skyrocketed her acting career and she has since starred in comedy-drama 'The Aliens', ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi’. Coel also wrote, co-directed and starred as the lead in the thrill ride of a series ‘I May Destroy You’.

Buy ‘Chewing Gum’ on DVD

Naomie Harris OBE



After graduating from Cambridge University, Naomie Harris went on to train at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Success followed soon-after with her breakthrough film role in Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later (2002). Harris' prolific acting career would go on to include notable projects such as Miami Vice (2006) and Small Island (2009) for which she was awarded ‘best female actor’ by the Royal Television Society. Her mainstream success grew with her role as voodoo witch Tia Dalma in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Eve Moneypenny in the James Bond franchise. Harris was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Moonlight (2016) and appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2017.

Buy ‘Moonlight’ on Blu-ray or DVD

Buy ‘Skyfall’ on Blu-ray or DVD

Richard Ayoade



Richard Ayoade began his acting with breakthrough performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he won the Perrier Comedy Award for co-writing and performing in Garth Marenghi's Netherhead. His first real TV break was directing, co-writing and starring in cult classic Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and cameos in The Mighty Boosh. Ayoade’s status as a cult entertainment icon was cemented when he was cast as Moss in The IT Crowd series. He moved into directing with music videos for well-known indie band The Arctic Monkeys. These set him on a path to direct feature films, starting with the critically acclaimed Submarine in 2010, followed by The Double in 2013.

Buy ‘The IT Crowd’ on DVD

Buy ‘The Mighty Boosh’ on DVD

Georgina Campbell



Georgina Campbell’s breakthrough role came in 2009 as Lucy in the online drama Freak. Campbell went on to star in minor roles for TV series such as Casualty, Holby City, Doctors and Death in Paradise. Shortly after, following from her exceptional portrayal of Ashley Jones in Murdered by My Boyfriend, Georgina Campbell became the first black woman to win the Best Actress Television BAFTA in 2015. Since then, Campbell has starred in various TV dramas and comedies. In 2017, she gained acclaim when appearing in the ITV drama series Broadchurch as DC Katie Harford and in Black Mirror episode "Hang the DJ", as Amy

Buy ‘Murdered By My Boyfriend’ on DVD

Buy ‘Black Mirror: Series Four’ on DVD

Chiwetel Ejiofor CBE



Actor, writer and director Chiwetel Ejiofor has an incredible amount of achievements to his name. By the age of 13, he was appearing in numerous school and National Youth Theatre productions. Ejiofor got his big break when he caught the attention of Steven Spielberg who cast him in the critically acclaimed Amistad alongside Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins. He has since gone on to be renowned for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013), for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, along with the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. Dirty Pretty Things (2002) for which he won Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards and a whole host of major appearances and accolades that have firmly sealed his position as one of the greatest British actors of all time.

Buy ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ on Blu-ray or DVD

Buy ‘Doctor Strange’ on UHD 4K, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray or DVD


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