Noel Clarke

Screen Nation  recently sat down and interviewed BAFTA Award winning actor, director, producer, script writer, humanitarian and founder of UK “Urban” film Noel Clarke.

Check out an extract from the interview below.

You’ve been in the game for 12 years what’s changed? It’s easier now because people like myself have made it easier for other people. A guy was on the phone to me the other day telling me about ‘you don’t help black people’ I said I put more black people on the cinema screen in the past five years than was on there in the previous ten. When we had ‘Babylon’ and ‘Babymother’, films like that were coming once every 5/8 years but from Kidulthood it changed. I’m not saying that it’s down to me but the team who directed Kidulthoood and me we made that film then all of a sudden all of these other distributors realised ‘oh those people do watch film in the cinema’ and then the floodgates opened.

How hard is it coming from your background and having to deal with the men in suits? It’s very difficult to navigate. To not conform takes a lot of integrity and toughness. Because you could quite easily conform and be assimilated into that pack. But you have to just keep going. Where are our black women? Shanika Warren-Markland has a long way to go, but she could get to Thandie Newton level. But it’s like only me and a few other directors giving her jobs. Arjun put her in ‘Demons never Die’ and she was in ‘Fever’ and stuff like that, but she’s in a no1 box office film Adulthood, she’s in a number 4 box office film ‘4,3,2,1’ she’s got ‘The Knot’ coming out…why is it only people of colour giving her jobs?

CLICK HERE to read full interview.

A guy was on the phone to me the other day telling me about ‘you don’t help black people’ I said I put more black people on the cinema screen in the past five years than was on there in the previous ten.

Hahahaha – And black actors/actresses up and down the country will be eternally grateful to you Noel.

In regards to Shanika Warren-Markland, after watching the film I felt that she wasn’t experienced enough to take on a role of that magnitude (which was one of the leads) in a motion picture at that stage in her career. Perhaps that’s why directors (apart from Noel and Arjun) are reluctant to cast her based on that one performance in a mish mash of a movie.

I felt she could have benefited more first from developing her acting skills via the theatre route and television, appearing in one-off drama’s and long-standing drama’s like Holby City, Casualty and Waterloo Road. But it’s not too late.  If a visually stunning Shanika is cast in a role on one of those shows it will give her the opportunity to grow as an actress, learn from more experienced actors/actresses and will no doubt lead on to bigger and better things here and maybe Stateside both in film and TV.

However I do look forward to seeing how she has developed as an actress in her up and coming feature films.

3 replies »

  1. Its an interesting read.

    Yes its true that he’s put a lot more Black people on screen but that tells you more about the UK screen industry. Take for instance Thandie Newton she made her acting debut 20 years ago opposite Nicola Kidman in Flirting. She’s made 30 films to date of which no more than 3 were made in this country. So industry is a little more open to people of colour now than it was. Add to that the fact that generally UK films are were US films were 20 years ago so its all “Urban”, e.g. Male (In most parts), Crime based, Drug based, “Hood” based films, none of which have ever been seen in CInemas in the US.

    As to Ms. Warren-Markland I kind of agree with you. No doubt, she is, as they say in Godfather III, “Bella Figura” but that doesn’t mean shes a lead. However, maybe we’re being to harsh on her and we should hold off till we see her two new films. Both are out before end of next month. First up is, Victim which is gets a World Premiere on Sunday at Apollo Piccadilly Circus at 2pm. Which leads me to think it at no great shakes. Her other film, Demons Never Die ( premieres on Monday October 10th in Central London. Yours truly is seeing tonight.

  2. I’m not being harsh but feel she wasnt ready at that point in time and to top it off the film wasn’t very good. But like I said I look forward to seeing how she’s developed as an actress in those up and coming features.

  3. I guess you were right. Shanika, needed more experience, she was much better in this film as she plays one of the films many leads.

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September 2011
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