Our picks of the most talent actors, actresses and filmmakers from the UK
It has been more than two centuries since Paul Revere rode a horse and screamed from the top of his lungs to warn our colonial forefathers about the invading British forces. Although we gained our independence you would not know it if you looked at the stage, screen or television; the British influence is everywhere. Check out our picks of the most talented black actors, actresses and filmmakers from the other side of the Atlantic. Paul Revere will be pleased.
Idris Elba has starred in both British and American productions. He grew up in Canning Town, East London. One of his first acting roles was in the soap opera Family Affairs. He has worked in a variety of TV roles including Ultraviolet and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. He is known for playing Russell “Stringer” Bell, a Baltimore drug lord and aspiring businessman, in HBO’s critically acclaimed show The Wire. Elba is a DJ under the moniker DJ Big Driis/Big Driis the Londoner, and a hip-hop soul recording artist.
Some of his other most known roles have come in American Gangster, Takers, The Losers, Thor and Prometheus.
On television, Elba has had recurring roles in The Office and The Big C, and plays the title role of Detective John Luther in Luther, which aired on BBC One. Elba has won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of DCI Luther. Summary from Wikipedia
He has received numerous acting awards and nominations, including the 2006 BAFTA Awards Rising Star, three Golden Globe Awards’ nominations, and the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance in Othello.
Ejiofor was born in London’s Forest Gate, to Nigerian parents who belonged to the Igbo ethnic group. His father, Arinze, was a doctor, and his mother, Obiajulu, was a pharmacist.
Ejiofor made his film debut in the television film Deadly Voyage in 1996. He went on to become a prominent stage actor in London. In Steven Spielberg’s Amistad, he gave memorable support to Djimon Hounsou’s Cinque as interpreter Ens. James Covey. In 1999, he appeared in the British film G: MT. In 2000, he starred in Blue/Orange at the Royal National Theatre (Cottesloe stage), and later at the Duchess Theatre. That same year, his performance as Romeo in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award. Ejiofor was awarded the Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer at the 2000 Critics’ Choice Theatre Awards. For his performance in Blue/Orange, he received the 2000 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer and a 2001 nomination for the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award Best Supporting Actor.
Ejiofor had his first leading film role in 2002’s Dirty Pretty Things, for which he won a British Independent Film Award for best actor. In the following year, he was part of the ensemble cast of Love Actually, starred in a BBC adaptation of Chaucer’s The Knight’s Tale and also starred in the BBC series Trust. He starred alongside Hilary Swank in 2004’s Red Dust, portraying the fictional politician Alex Mpondo of post-apartheid South Africa. He played the central part of Prince Alamayou in Peter Spafford’s radio play I Was a Stranger, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 17 May 2004, and he played the god Dionysus, alongside Paul Scofiled’s Cadmus and Diana Rigg’s Agave, in Andrew Rissik’s play, Dionysus, based upon Euripides’ Bacchae, also broadcast by the BBC. He also received acclaim for his performance as a complex antagonist The Operative in the 2005 film Serenity. Ejiofor played a revolutionary in the highly acclaimed 2006 film Children of Men. His singing and acting performance in Kinky Boots received golden Globe and British Independent Film Award nominations. He was also nominated for the 2006 BAFTA Rising Star Award, which recognizes emerging British film talent. Ejiofor’s performance in Tsunami: The Aftermath received a 2007 Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a mini-series or film made for TV. In 2007, he starred opposite Don Cheadle in Talk to Me.
Ejiofor appeared alongside John Cusack in the 2009 film 2012. The film went on to gross over $700 million, and is among the list of highest-grossing films of all time and placing 5th of top films of 2009. Summary from Wikipedia
Thanie Newton has appeared in a number of films, including Mission: Impossible II, Crash and For Colored Girls.
Raised in London and Penzance, Cornwall, she studied dance at the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts and at sixteen, while recovering from a back injury, she successfully auditioned for her first film role.
Newton made her film debut in Flirting (1991). She played the role of Brad Pitt’s maid Yvette in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994). She gained international recognition in the Merchant Ivory production of Jefferson in Paris as Sally Hemings, which led to her being cast in Jonathan Demme’s Beloved (1998), in which she played the title character with co-stars Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. She played the female lead Nyah Hall in the film Mission: Impossible II.
Between 2003 and 2005, Newton played Makemba “Kem” Likasu, the love interest, and later wife of Dr. John Carter on the American television series ER. She reprised the role once more for the series finale in 2009. In 2004 also appeared in The Chronicles of Riddick and Crash. In the latter, she played Christine Thayer, a wealthy black woman who, along with her husband, finds herself the target of a racist policeman (played by Matt Dillon), who sexually assaults Thayer but then later saves her life after he is the first on the scene at a car crash. Newton was honored with a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actress in 2006 for her role in Crash. She also played Chris Gardner’s wife, Linda Gardner, in the Pursuit of Happyness. Summary from Wikipedia
Eamonn Walker is best known to American audiences for playing Kareem Said in the HBO television series Oz, for which he won a CableACE Award, and elsewhere as Winston, the gay, black thorn in Alf Garnett’s side in In Sickness and in Health and John Othello in the 2001 ITV1 production of Othello. Walker was born in London to a Grenadian father and a Trinidadian mother, in 1962. Brought up in Islington in London, Walker lived in Trinidad for six months when he was nine years old. He attended Hungerford School in Islington and began studying social work at the University of North London. He trained as a dancer and later joined the Explosive Dance Theatre Company in London. However, an abscess on his calf muscle forced him to give up dancing. He also studied at the New York Film Academy in the United States. Summary from Wikipedia
Rikki Beadle-Blair has been directing since he was 11 years old. The British born, West Indian descendant actor and performer has written several hit plays that have been adapted into hit movies including METROSEXUALITY, for which he won the Jury Prize for Best Feature-Gay Male at the Philadelphia International Film Festival in 2001; FIT, which was developed to tackle homophobia and bullying in Britain’s schools; and BASHMENT, which tackles homophobia in Reggae and hip-hop music.
BASHMENT follows MC J.J, a gay, white boy trying to make a name for himself in London’s urban music scene. One night after battling popular local hip-hop group the Ilmanics, J.J’s boyfriend Orlando is savagely beaten.
Marianne Jean-Baptist is widely known by American audiences for her role as Vivian Johnson, an FBI agent working in the missing persons unit, on the CBS TV series Without A Trace.
Jean-Baptist received a Golden Globe and British Academy Award nomination for her role in “Secrets and Lies” (1996) and was the first black British actress to be nominated for an Academy Award.
She was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and performed at the Royal National Theatre. Jean-Baptiste has been seen in the several films which include “The Cell,” “28 Days,” “The 24 Hour Woman,” and “Spy Games.”
In 2010, Jean-Baptist appeared in the action hit “Takers” opposite Idris Elba, hip-hop artist T.I., Chris Brown, and Matt Dillion. Summary from Wikipedia
Delroy Lindo has been nominated for the Tony and Screen Actors Guild awards and has won a Satellite Award. He is perhaps best known for his roles as West Indian Archie in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, Catlett in Get Shorty, Detective Castlebeck in Gone in 60 Seconds and Woody Carmichael in the Spike Lee film Crooklyn.
Lindo was born in Eltham, London, the son of Jamaican immigrant parents, and brought up in Lewisham, England. His mother was a nurse and his father worked in various jobs. As a teenager, he and his mother moved to Toronto, Canada, and when he was sixteen, they moved to San Francisco, where Lindo would graduate from the American Conservatory Theater.
Summary from Wikipedia
David Harewood was born and grew up in the Small Heath area of Birmingham, England, where he attended St. Benedict’s Junior School and Washwood Heath Comprehensive School. As a schoolboy, he excelled at all sports, from sprinting through basketball to rugby and especially football. He was the goal-keeper for the Washwood Heath side that won the Under-16 All-England Championship. If it were not for acting, it is likely that he would have followed a career as a professional goal-keeper. In his youth, he worked in a wine bar, Albert’s in Dale End, in Birmingham City Centre.
At 18, Harewood gained a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He began a career in 1990 and appeared in The Hawk, Great Moments in Aviation, Harnessing Peacocks, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Macbeth on the Estate, Strings and Ballykissangel. He is very well known for his television appearances on The Vice and Fat Friends and for his movie roles in Blood Diamond and The Merchant of Venice. He played Don Coleman in Hustle series 7 The Fall of Railton FC (2011).
In 2009, David appeared in the BBC single drama Mrs. Mandela, playing Nelson Mandela. He also portrayed Brother Tuck in the third series of Robin Hood. He appeared in the Doctor Who story The End of Time. He played Martin Luther King in the premiere of the play The Mountaintop, by the American playwright Katori Hall, directed by James Dacre, which opened at Theatre503 in London on 9 June 2009.
From 2011, Harewood starred as David Estes, the Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, in the Showtime series Homeland. He also voiced Captain Quinton Cole in the video game Battlefield 3. Summary from Wikipedia
Stephen Lloyd Jackson
Stephen Lloyd Jackson has enjoyed a career in film and theater for over ten years before turning his hand to film and directing having initially trained as an actor at the Harmony theatre in Brixton, South London.
After several years in industry hiatus, Jackson embarked on his debut feature film: Rulers and dealers which he wrote, produced, and directed. Jackson founded SAR productions in 2010. The company is a vehicle used to produce a trilogy of complex character driven features about people from the African Diaspora living in London Summary From www.davidisdying.com
David Oyelowo was born in Oxford, England to Nigerian parents. He is married to actress Jessica Oyelowo.
Oyelowo first attended a youth theatre after being invited by a girl to whom he was attracted. He then studied theatre studies for A level and his teacher suggested he should become an actor. After A levels Oyelowo enrolled for a year on an art foundation course before being funded through training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) by Nicholas Hytner. Having been offered television work Oyelowo left LAMDA before completing the course.
He had begun his stage career in 1999 when he was offered a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company playing roles in Ben Johnson’s Volpone, as the title character in Oroonoko (which he also performed in the BBC radio adaptation) and Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (1999). In a major landmark for color blind casting, Oyelowo was the first black actor to play an English king in a major production of Shakespeare, and although this casting choice was initially criticized by some in the media, Oyelowo’s performance was critically acclaimed and later won the 2001 Ian Charleston Award for best performance by an actor under 30 in a classical play. (A few years later, in comparison, Adrian Lester’s casting as Henry V drew little comment.) Oyelowo said of this experience:
“It’s fascinating to work with a company of actors of such different ages, experience and talents. I’m one of a generation brought up on television whose acting is more ‘naturalistic’, whereas with some of the older generation it’s more heightened. But I think there’s room for both styles.”
In 2005, he appeared in a production of Prometheus Bound, which was revived in New York in 2007. In 2006, he made his directorial debut on a production of The White Devil, produced by his own theatre company in Brighton, Inservice, co-run with fellow Brighton- based actors Priyanga Burford, Israel Aduramo, Penelope Cobbuld, and his wife, Jessica.
Oyelowo is best known for playing MI5 officer Danny Hunter in the British TV drama series Spooks (known in North America as MI-5) from 2002 to 2004. He had before that appeared in Tomorrow La Scala (2002), Maisie Raine (1998) and Brothers and Sisters (1998). Soon after the end of his time on Spooks Oyelowo made a cameo appearance in the 2005 Christmas special of As Time Goes By. In 2006 he appeared in the TV film Born Equal alongside Nikki Amuka-Bird as a couple fleeing persecution in Nigeria – they also both appeared in Shoot the Messenger (2006), and in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (2008) as a husband and wife. Other cameos have included Mayo (guest starring on 30 April 2006) and the TV film Sweet Nothing in My Ear (2008, as defense attorney Leonard Grisham), whilst he has played recurring or main characters in Five Days (2007) and The Passion (2008, as Joseph of Arimathea).
In December 2009 he played the leading role of Gilbert in the BBC TV adaptation of Andrea Levy’s novel Small Island. In March 2010 he played the part of Keme Tobodo in the BBC’s drama series Blood and Oil. Summary from Wikipedia
Adrian Lester was born in Birmingham, West Midlands, and the son of Jamaican immigrants Monica, a medical secretary, and Reginald, a manager for a contract cleaning company. Lester sang as a boy treble in the choir of St. Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham. He began acting with the Birmingham Youth Theatre, attended Joseph Chamberlain VI Form College and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Lester is married to actress Lolita Chakrabarti. They live in South East London with their two daughters, both of whom were born in Lambeth, London: Lila Harvey Chakrabarti (born 2001) and Jasmine Harvey Chakrabarti (born 2004).
In 1993, he played Anthony Hope in the Royal National Theatre’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Lester is known for playing a big-time con artist named Michael “Mickey Bricks” Stone in the BBC TV series Hustle between 2004 and 2012. The character was written out of the fourth series and replaced by Ashley Walters, although he returned from the fifth series onwards. In the United States, he played campaign manager Henry Burton in Mike Nichols’s 1998 film Primary Colors, based on the novel by Anonymous (Joe Klein). His character is believed to represent George Stephanopoulos. This part earned him a Chicago Film Critics Association award nomination for “Most Promising Actor”.
In 1996 Lester had a walk-on role in Episode 5 of The Dana Carvey Show. He is seen in line purchasing film tickets.
Lester appeared in Kenneth Branagh’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, an adaptation of the William Shakespeare play, set in the 1930s. The film itself was poorly received, but Lester received a British Independent Film Awards nomination for his performance.
He has appeared on stage in the musical Company, for which he won an Olivier Award, in the title role of Hamlet (Carlton TV Theatre Award) and as Rosalind in Cheek by Jowl’s 1991 production of As You like It for which he won a Time Out Award. In 2003, Lester played Henry V in the Shakespeare play of the same name at the Royal National Theatre. Also, in The Day After Tomorrow, Lester had a minor role as Simon, one of the three researchers who drink a toast of “twelve-year-old Scotch” shortly before freezing to death. Lester also appeared as Ellis in the hit sitcom Girlfriends from 2002 to 2003, playing a film star who dated Tracee Ellis Ross ‘s character, Joan.
In late 2005, Lester had a major guest starring role in Channel 4’s hard-hitting police drama The Ghost Squad. Lester also filmed scenes for 2007’s Spider-Man 3, as a research scientist who is sought after by the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) to find a cure for his ailing daughter. He was seen in one teaser trailer for the film; however, his scenes were cut from the final theatrical version.
Also in 2007, Lester took part in Empire’s Children, a Channel 4 documentary exploring the journey taken by the “Windbrush Generation “to the United Kingdom. Lester’s grandfather, Kenneth Nathaniel Lester, was to be included in the documentary, but was unwell during filming in Jamaica and could not be interviewed. Kenneth Lester died soon after the documentary completed filming and never saw the program aired.
In 2008, Adrian Lester starred in the BBC drama Bonekickers, a program focusing on a team of archaeologists. 2009 saw him return as Mickey Bricks in Hustle. He also played the character Myror in the British television drama Merlin.
In 2010, he played the part of Brick in Tennessee Williams’ play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre in London. He also appeared in the documentary When Romeo Met Juliet together with his wife Lolita Chakrabarti as acting mentors to the pupils of two Coventry schools involved in a production of Romeo and Juliet. Summary from Wikipedia
Noel Clark is best known for playing Wyman Norris in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Mickey Smith in Doctor Who. Clarke appeared in and wrote the screenplay for Kidulthood and wrote, directed and starred in the sequel, Adulthood. Clarke studied Media at the University of North London before going on to take acting classes at London’s Actors Centre. Clarke won the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performer in 2003 and was awarded a BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award in 2009.
Clarke has had recurring television roles as Wyman Norris in the revived series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (2002–2004) and as Mickey Smith in the first two series of the revival of the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who (2005–2006). He notably became the series’ first black companion in the episode “School Reunion”, and reprised his role as Mickey in the episode “Journey’s End” in 2008 and in 2010 in “The End of Time” Part 2, and also starred in the Doctor Who audio series Dalek Empire: The Fearless , which was released from September to December 2007. His other television work includes appearances in Casualty and Metro sexuality. He has also acted on the stage, and won the Laurence Olivier Award for “Most Promising Newcomer” in 2003 for his performance in the play Where Do We Live at the Royal Court Theatre. Clarke starred in the film Doghouse, directed by Jake West and produced by Carnaby Films International. The film was shot primarily in Midhurst, a small village in West Sussex, on the grounds of the old King Edward VII Hospital. He also participated in Neil Marshall’s film Centurion, about which Clarke said, “It’s about the Roman Legion and I’m one of the soldiers.”
Clarke began his writing career in 2005 when he wrote the screenplay for the film Kidulthood which was released in 2006. He also directed and starred in the sequel, Adulthood, which was released in 2008. On directing his first film, Clarke described his experience, “Directing for the first time was definitely a challenge and tiring at times. It was a steep learning curve and if you’re willing to do stuff and go with it, then it pays off.” His other writing credits include “Combat” which is an episode of the Doctor Who spin-off series Torchwood, and West 10 LDN, a pilot for BBC Three which is about kids on a rough housing estate.
In 2008, he starred in the video for The Prodigy single “Invaders Must Die.”
In 2009, Clarke was awarded a BAFTA award in the category of Orange Rising Star Award. As a result of the success of Kidulthood,Adulthood, and his BAFTA win, he was ranked at number 83 in the MediaGuardian 100, an annual ranking of media people in The Guardian.
He also played the role of A.J.,opposite Jim Sturgess, in Philip Ridley’s cult film, Heartless.
Clarke has worked with BBC Blast, a project for teenagers that aims to inspire and get people being creative. Shortly after his BAFTA win he gave a talk to inspire young people telling them to “broaden your mind.”
His next project, 22.214.171.124, a heist movie, was released on 2 June 2010 starring Tamsin Egerton, Emma Roberts and Adam Deacon. The film was shot in London and New York.
He has also played an uncredited role in 2012’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance as a priest. The scene was cut from the movie, but can be seen in the Deleted Scenes in the Special Features of the DVD. Summary from Wikipedia
Damola was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria until the age of 10 when he went to Bromsgrove in Worcestershire to attend boarding school . Studying so close to the Shakespearean influence of Stratford-on-Avon Damola developed an obsession with storytelling and drama, which he tried to channel into his first and post graduate degree in Communication Studies and Television journalism at Nottingham University. However, despite various jobs researching and presenting in Television, he couldn’t shake his love of acting, and soon returned to it with a vengeance, playing Mercutio for the Tower Theatre, Islington’s production of Romeo and Juliet, both at The Bridewell Theatre and at the Jardin Shakespeare, Paris.
“My experience on Rag Tag is a testament to the term ‘Independent Film’. The film was a labour of love in every sense of the word and every time I hear Rag Tag it reminds me of another family unit I can always rely on.”
Tag was also Damola’s first major role and he has since gone on to film a TV pilot for Zoolander inspired Blue Steel and tour with a devised production at the Birmingham rep.
Writer, director Adaora Nwanda was raised and educated in both the UK and Nigeria. After completing her Bachelors and Masters degrees at Oxford University, she moved to Nigeria for National Service, and spent two years working as an Editor and Production Co-coordinator for the media NGO ‘Communicating for Change’ (CFC). Sponsored by The Ford Foundation amongst others, CFC produced radio dramas and documentaries on such topics as political corruption, educational malpractice, teenage sexuality and female genital mutilation.
After leaving CFC, Adaora studied in France for year before returning to England to found Muka Flicks Ltd in 2003. She subsequently travelled to the United States to hone her skills with a writing and directing course at the University of Southern California School of Cinema, TV and Film.
While at USC she was invited to work with respected actors/filmmakers Tim Reid (Sister, Sister and That Seventies Show) and Daphne Reid (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Eve) at New Millennium Studios (NMS) in Virginia. She left NMS to develop Rag Tag.
Adaora has made two short films – the USC commended drama Lay to Rest and hilarious mockumentary The Interns at New Millennium Studios. Rag Tag is her first feature.
Sophie Okondo has starred in successful British and American productions. In 1991, she made her acting debut in the British critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama, Young Soul Rebels. She has received an Academy Award nomination for her critically acclaimed role in Hotel Rwanda, a Golden Globe nomination for Tsunami: The Aftermath, and BAFTA nominations for Criminal Justice and Mrs. Mandela. Her other film roles included Aeon Flux, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Dirty Pretty Things, Skin, and The Secret Life of Bees.
Okonedo was born in London, England, her father was Nigerian. and her mother. Okonedo trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She has worked in a variety of media including film, television, theatre, and audio drama. She performed in Scream of the Shalka, a webcast based on the BBC television series Doctor Who as Alison Cheney, a companion of the Doctor. As well as providing the character’s voice, Okonedo’s likeness was used for the animation of the character. In 2010, Okonedo portrayed Liz Ten (Queen Elizabeth X) in the BBC TV Series Doctor Who episodes “The Beast Below” and again briefly in “ The Pandorica Opens.”
Okonedo played the role of Jenny in Danny Brocklehurst’s BAFTA nominated episode of Paul Abbott series, Clocking Off. She also played the part of Ms. Tulip Jones in the movie Stormbreaker (2006) and Nancy in the 2007 television adaptation of Oliver Twist. She is also known for playing the part of the Wachati Princess in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.
She was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress in 2004 for her role as Tatiana Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda and nominated for a Golden Globe for a Lead Actress in a Miniseries for her work in Tsunami: The Aftermath.
Daniel Kaluuya is best known for playing Posh Kenneth in the E4 teen-drama Skins. He also appeared in the BBC dark comedy series Psychoville playing Michael Fry (a.k.a. Tealeaf) and Mac in the new BBC Three’s horror drama The Fades. In 2011, Kaluuya starred as Agent Tucker in the film “Johnny English Reborn” alongside Rowan Atkinson
Kaluuya attended St Aloysius College, London. His early roles included Reece in the BBC’s controversial drama Shoot the Messenger.
Kaluuya then joined the original cast of Skins as Posh Kenneth and was a contributor on the first two series, as well as being a staff writer, and the head writer of the second series episode “Jal” and third series episode “Thomas”. He also presented the Skins Podcast (also called Skinscast).
In 2009 he became a regular cast member in the ITV comedy FM as amateur DJ–Radio Runner “Ades” and also as Michael “Tea Leaf” Fry in dark BBC comedy Psychoville
At the end of 2009, the Screen International Magazine picked Kaluuya out in their annual report as a ‘UK Star of Tomorrow.
In 2010 Kaluuya played the lead role in Roy Williams’ Sucker Punch at the Royal Court Theatre in London for which both the play and Kaluuya won rave reviews and he won both the Evening Standard Award and Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer.
In 2011 Kaluuya was leading man in Daniel Mulloy’s Baby, which went on to win the Best Short Film Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival as well as the Best Short Film Award at the British Independent Film Awards. In 2011 Enda Walsh’s adaption of his stage play Chatroom was also released with Kaluuya having a main role. He has recently appeared in the Johnny English sequel, Johnny English Reborn, as Agent Tucker. He also played the role of Mac Armstrong in BBC3’s supernatural drama The Fades (TV series).
Kaluuya played one of the lead characters ‘Bing’ in Channel Four’s drama series Black Mirror, broadcast in December 2011. The episode “15 Million Merits” was set in a claustrophobic and disturbing dystopia, which satirises our obsession with social media, the spectacle and technology. Summary from Wikipedia
Freema Agyeman is best known for playing Martha Jones, former companion of the Tenth Doctor in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, and its spin-off series Torchwood. Following her departure from Doctor Who and guest spots in BBC programm Survivors and Little Dorrit, Agyeman held a starring role as Alesha Phillips in the crime procedural drama Law & Order: UK between 2009 and 2012. She will make her U.S television debut in the forthcoming CW show The Carrie Diaries. When Agyeman began her professional acting career, she chose to use a different spelling of her birth name, Frema, as her professional name, to avoid pronunciation problems.
Before securing the part of Martha Jones, Agyeman’s most famous television role was playing the character of Lola Wise in the revived series of ITV soap opera Crossroads. She also had small guest roles in other TV series such as Casualty, Mile High and The Bill, in which she appeared in on two occasions as two separate characters. In 2005, she played Mary Ogden, a scene of crime officer, in an episode of Silent Witness. She starred as the character Nana in the independent film Rulers and Dealers, written and directed by Stephen Lloyd Jackson. Summary from Wikipedia
Campbell is the filmmaker behind BlackmanVision.
She constantly pushes boundaries in visual aesthetics and content in moving image. She started out in making films for UK television and titles include Ragga Gyal D’Bout! about female fans of Ragga Music, the award-winning BD Women about Black lesbian stories, and Legacy about the psychological effect of Transatlantic slavery on family relationships.
Campbell also collaborates with other filmmakers and has been the sound person for Cheryl Dunye’s The OWLS and camera person for Jules Nurrish’s Bend It, Lisa Gornick’s Do I love you? And Tick Tock Lullaby as well as Paloma Etienne’s Notebooks and Unladylike Thoughts.
Campbell would like to continue collaborating with other artist filmmakers. She is also happy to mentor anyone who shares the goals of BlackmanVision.
Ayo Fawola is an actor, and writer who starred in the movie Rag Tag and the short film Say My Name.
“SAY MY NAME!” is a contemporary Black British Gay Love Story set amidst a gritty grimy urban backdrop of ‘street’ reality. The story kicks off when ‘rude-boy’ Ricky ignores his undercover lover Chris while hanging ‘on road’ with his crew because he is afraid being ‘outed’. This single act hurts, humiliates and infuriates Chris triggering a raging, brutally explicit, and frank row in which conflicting issues about masculinity, sexuality; race, self-definition and love are confronted. With their relationship in the balance Ricky is forced to confront his deepest darkest most inner feelings. “To be or not to be”….OUT! That is the question. Chris, through his own trials and suffering now reconciled with his gayness, believes he has found the answer, but does Ricky love him enough to break taboo and go against community, tradition and the laws of the ‘street’? “SAY MY NAME” is in fact a love story in the truest sense as it tells the story of self love and what must be sacrificed in order to achieve this ultimate state of being.
A native of London, England, Jason Steed knew he wanted to act since he was 5 years of age. An avid fan of American television shows like Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere and Cheers, Steed would recreate scenes from the series, performing them for family and friends word for word. During his primary school years at St. Mary Magdalene he learned drama was a way to keep him out of trouble. As a teenager Steed and four friends formed the R&B group “Storm.” The group was a success and toured around England as a warm up act for the comedians on the comedy circuits. Steed went on to study performing arts at The BRITS Performing Arts and Technology School for two years graduating with a diploma in music, drama, and dance.
His first acting role was a lead in an independent film called Home. He appeared in other lead roles in films including Blood, Seven Days in Summer and Urban Peacocks. Jason has won many gay fans starring as Baby Gat in season 2 of the American hit show on the LOGO channel Noah’s Arc.