In Britain we’re finally witnessing, and appreciating, more diversity on screen – and much of that is down to the wave of television series and films that were produced at the turn of the century. The likes of Kildulthood and Bullet Boy were at the forefront of this movement, and can be accredited as being huge forces in the changing face of entertainment in this country – and stars Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters were, and still are, integral to this progression.
The pair now collaborate in new Sky One series Bulletproof, which follows two best friends and police officers, as they strive to keep the streets safe, and their relationship in tact. We had the pleasure of meeting the two lead stars, and creators, to discuss the way they’ve seen the industry change and develop across the years.
They also speak about the idea behind the show and the creative process, and just how important their character’s relationship is to this working, and the banter that entails. They also tell us how much room there was for improvisation, and why they felt director Nick Love was the best man to tell their story. Clarke also explains how it can be a relief at times not to produce, while Walters talks about his own ambitions to get involved in more work behind the lens.
They also talk to us about the joy in working on characters in TV series, which allows more room for development, and just how much research went into the law enforcement in this country. This leads on to a discussion about whether there is a stigma in the UK attached to young, black men and women joining the police force, and they tell us just how important it is to have such positive representations of the black community on screen – which is partly what illuminates this captivating new drama.
Watch the full interview below:
Bulletproof follows two cops, Bishop and Pike, as they chase down hardened criminals in London’s East End. On the surface Bishop and Pike have a lot in common they are cool, smart, unapologetically street-wise and tough; they share a deep, fraternal relationship – and are always there for each other. However, they come from very different backgrounds and their personal motivations and emotional lives outside the police force differ as a result: Pike is an aspirational family man, the son of a decorated police officer who’s determined to follow in his father’s footsteps, but not be in his shadow. Bishop grew up in care homes and on the streets, and never knew his father. Despite these differences Bishop and Pike are bonded by the same moral code and work brilliantly well together even when the chemistry between them looks set to explode.
Bulletproof airs on Sky One at 9pm, on May 15th.