Thanks to Netflix's Nacrcos, drug dramas are enjoying their spotlight moment across the world. The latest addition to the genre is Snowfall, set in South Central Los Angeles during the 1980s. Created by John Singleton, who grew up in the same neighbourhood, it narrates the story of the crack cocaine epidemic.
Leading the cast of Snowfall is British actor Damson Idris, who's fresh off winning the 2017 'Emerging Talent Award' at the 12th Screen Nation Film and Television Awards in London.
Who is Damson Idris?
Damson Idris is a 26-year-old British actor of Nigerian descent, born and raised in Peckham in south east London. He's the youngest of six siblings, who were all raised by a single mother. Idris initially wanted to become a professional football player but went on to study drama at Brunel University. According to Idris he decided to go to university because he loved teen comedy American Pie. From what we've seen so far of his acting mettle, he's probably made the right career choice.
Who is Damson Idris playing in Snowfall?
In FX's latest drug drama, Idris plays 19-year-old Franklin Saint, a young street entrepreneur on a dogged quest for power. For his role, Singleton made Idris perform a real-life audition in the streets of LA. According to the director: "I took him out on the streets and had him hang out with some folks, and nobody knew he was a Brit."
What was Damson Idris doing before Snowfall?
Idris's first acting role was in award-winning British-Nigerian playwright and screenwriter Ade Solanke's play Pandora's Box. He was urged by actress Cathy Tyson to audition for the role while he was at Brunel University. His performance was lauded and he quickly signed up with an agent.
Idris was never short of stage roles after that. He even performed at the Royal National Theatre in London.
Looking for bigger opportunities, Idris soon started auditioning for film and TV roles. From 2013 to 2015, he played small roles in a few TV shows like Miranda, Babylon, The Missing, Casualty and Doctors. He also had a film role in 2016 British crime thriller City of Tiny Lights. His American film debut came in 2017 with the war movie Megan Leavey, co-starring Kate Mara.
Watch Snowfall trailer:
Who is Damson Idris' idol?
Idris absolutely reveres Denzel Washington. Once he'd made up his mind to become a serious actor, Idris started studying some great thesps and knew Washington was the man to look up to. He says he wants to emulate the two-time Oscar winner not just in his professional life but also in his personal life. Idris revealed to Interview magazine that Washington introduced him to Sidney Poitier.
Bryan Cranston is another actor Idris admires. In the same Interview article, Idris says: "I think he's phenomenal. I love Breaking Bad. Look how that changed his career and took it in a completely different way."
Which football team does Damson Idris support?
Idris says that Manchester United are the "greatest team in the world!" As an aspiring footballer, he dreamed of becoming the next Cristiano Ronaldo.
What does his Twitter feed say about Damson Idris the man?
Idirs' Twitter feed is often sprinkled with philosophical and motivational lines. Some of them are:
"Live the life you deserve and deserve the life you live."
"It is not about surrounding yourself with successful people. It is about surrounding yourself with happy people."
"Prepare today for what you may need in 20 years."
"It's not about the actor they chose to tell the story. The most important thing is that the story is being told. One wins, we all win."
What will he be seen in next?
Idris has bagged an enviable movie role in the British drama Farming alongside Kate Beckinsale and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The film is based on Nigerian-British writer and director Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's autobiography. In the film, Idris plays the role of Enitan, a character based on Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who grows up in a foster care of white working class family in the UK.
Idris will also be seen in The Commuter, an action-thriller film co-starring Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Sam Neill, Elizabeth McGovern, Jonathan Banks, and Patrick Wilson. The Commuter is set to release in 2018.