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‘This isn’t a clickbait story of a white family with a black kid’: Jimmy Akingbola on growing up in

It is a typically sunny Los Angeles morning, with light cutting through the blinds, when Jimmy Akingbola greets me on a video call from his home. He is warm and bright-eyed, despite a gruelling night shoot that wrapped only hours before. Akingbola may not be a household name, but his face and quietly determined acting roles will be familiar to most British viewers.

He began his career onstage, delivering grounded performances in Prayer Room alongside Riz Ahmed, Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange, and The Cut opposite Ian McKellen. Over the past two decades he has popped up in homegrown TV dramas including Holby City, Doctors, The Bill, Death in Paradise and Rev. After relocating from his native London to LA in 2017, he has landed some of his biggest roles – playing alongside Idris Elba in the comedy In the Long Run and being cast in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot. During the past three years, though, he has lost four of his closest family members.

Read the interview in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 01/11/22]

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