Will Parry Casting

Will Parry Casting – Amir Wilson and Nina Sosanya as Will Parry and his mother Elaine in Dark Materials return to BBC One next month. Photos: Simon Ridgway / Bad Wolf Productions

The two actors talked about shared interests, the diversity of television and the pressure of living by the book

Will Parry Casting

Will Parry Casting

Indeed, Nina Sosanya is often a fan favorite in every way, from her emerging roles in the straight-talking Jenny’s sassy cult show Guru or Lucy Freeman, a BBC executive frustrated by her involvement in W1A. is displayed. At Halifax’s Last Tango, Kate MacKenzie (partner with Sarah Lancashire’s Caroline) has created a YouTube tribute video: fans cut out clips of the beloved duo heartily embracing and belting out their favorite romantic song.

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He received many compliments on stage. The child of a Nigerian father and an English mother, Sosanya made her name in classic plays—Shakespeare, Chekhov—often as the only person of color in productions. “With so many talented actors, picking a particular show is an overwhelming task, but Nina Sosanya as Rosalind gives a superb performance,” said a 2003 BBC review of As You Like it. And in 2002, Michael Billington from The. The Guardian called her “sparkling” in The Marriage of Figaro.

Will Parry Casting

He is currently starring in the second season of Philip Pullman’s Dark Material, which premieres on the BBC in December. Sosanya plays Will Parry’s troubled mother, played by 16-year-old Amir Wilson, who stars in the series alongside Dafne Keen’s Lyra. It was only Wilson’s third job in television after switching from West End musicals. And like her mother in Shakespeare all those years ago, Wilson plays a lead role that should be white.

“Look at our parallel lives,” laughs Sosanya, noting that Wilson still has aspirations for a career in science. “I want to be an astronaut,” Wilson said when the three of us spoke via Zoom. “Me too!” answered Sosa. He moved to the theater through school: “I played bouncer with art,” he says. “No way, me neither!” To quote Wilson.

Will Parry Casting

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But surely the acting scene Wilson entered for so many decades must have looked different from the one Sosanya entered? “The process of how to get a job has definitely changed,” he said. “But acting doesn’t change—it never will. All we can do is tell the story we have to tell, and how people take it is up to them.”

What about the current job as an actor – becoming a public figure and having your own brand? “There are [actors] who do that, but you don’t have to,” Wilson said. “It’s like nothing. Look at social media: some like to show everything they are and some don’t.”

Will Parry Casting

Sosanya is one of those things that should not be done. “There’s a huge benefit to being on social media. And it’s definitely a real force for good culture and sometimes politics,” he said. “But personally, I’m very afraid that I can’t change my mind, say one thing one day and say something different the next day and be judged. Because I’m not a politician and I don’t want to be an example to anyone. I just want to think what I think , and change my mind. Why should anyone care what I have to say?”

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“It’s strange to leave the culture,” Wilson muses. “If someone says something wrong, it’s okay to take it back. But I feel like everyone shouldn’t take back everything they said.”

Will Parry Casting

“What is an annulment? What does it mean?” Sosanya asked Wilson. “No matter who,” he replied, something appeared on Sosanya’s face for a moment. Frustrated? Maybe upset? “It stopped all discussion, all discussion,” he said.

“I’ll see if it’s obvious,” Wilson continued. “Like if someone is racist and cool, cancel it, but I feel like there are people out there trying to cancel someone. And it was like: Why?”

Will Parry Casting

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“But I think if someone is racist, instead of firing them, find out why,” Sosanya reasoned. “What are they afraid of?”

I asked Sosanya about an interview she gave in 2016 where she said she was tired of talking about diversity. Is he still tired? “I’m not tired of the conversation, I’m surprised that we still have it,” he said. “I think we need to find out what people are so afraid of and why after more than 10 years what [the industry] has set out to do is not being done.

Will Parry Casting

“And the representation is that it has to be all types—women, people of color, people over 40, people of all abilities. We underestimate our audience. White people watch brown people, black people watch white people. We watch everything, as long as it’s good and interesting. .”

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Amir Wilson as Will Parry and Dafne Keen as Lyra Belacqua in his dark matter. Photos: Simon Ridgway / Bad Wolf Productions

Will Parry Casting

Wilson agreed, but wondered, “Why aren’t there more black characters instead of playing white characters?”

“Difficult,” said Sosanya. “Maybe sometimes colorblind casting is just practice, but some might say I had a career based on it, so I didn’t want to turn those actors down.”

Will Parry Casting

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Talking about life on set, the two actors happily described a sense of comfort, having little experience of the cast or crew “doing anything” in their tribe. “Except when the topic [of racism] comes up,” Sosanya said. “Then the only person they thought to comment on was me. It’s always a matter of people in the minority speaking up for what everyone else sees. And that’s not fair.

“I saw it happen. If it was a conversation about disability and the play was addressing members with disabilities, I don’t know what I would say. I don’t want to speak for him. It’s difficult. That’s why I said I’m out of it tired of talking because you can’t have a detailed and powerful conversation in a few minutes.”

Will Parry Casting

But beyond those moments, “an actor is an actor,” says Sosanya. “And regardless of age, shape, race, we all just work. When you’re watching as a spectator, you think: this is different. But when you’re in it, you’re just among your friends and colleagues.”

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He explained the first time he met Wilson on set. “I was standing with Ray [Fearon, who is Will’s boxing coach Mr Hanway]. We were at the RSC together, so we’re both old, and we looked at Amir like, ‘Look at that boy, what’s going on. ??’

Will Parry Casting

“But he was at the top of the road — professional, bright — and he soon became our colleague. That’s one of the most exciting things about being an actor — it’s one of the last industries where the generations mix, and that diversity makes it interesting. .”

For Wilson, living in his dark gear is easy “and normal. We all just click, and we all know we’re there to do the same thing. And I feel like when we talk, it’s not work, we just talk casually.”

Will Parry Casting

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But with the book having sold 18 million copies, surely there’s nothing normal about a role that many – even the actors themselves – have been prejudiced against?

Wilson says it feels like a privilege to come into Pullman’s world through the show. “I checked the book without reading it and in the end I read the book and the text together. It’s amazing, it connects me to the world faster because I’m reality.”

Will Parry Casting

Sosanya said she felt the pressure, which was what she felt before playing such a prestigious and regular character on stage. “It’s up to each actor how much it affects them. And I think there is a book,” he said. “These characters are always in someone’s mind, the way they were created. So really, you can’t destroy a book. That’s the great thing about the written word: It’s in a book you can hold.” From eliminating the infamous “dry fish” scene to developing a larger role for the mysterious Lord Boreal, BBC One’s Dark Material has made many changes from Phillip Pullman’s original novel. But the biggest: the early introduction of Will Parry (Amir Wilson).

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Will Parry Casting

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