Paapa Essiedu admitted that the success of ‘I May Destroy You’ was “awful timing” for his Hollywood ambitions.
The 32-year-old actor was nominated for Emmy and Bafta awards for his portrayal of Kwame in his friend Michaela Coel’s sexual assault drama, but he couldn’t capitalize on the success and critical acclaim of the series as it came amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said with a laugh, “The show went out on lockdown and everyone apparently loved it.
“We were all ready to rush to Hollywood and win millions of pounds.
“Oh wait, Hollywood’s shut down and nobody’s making a movie for a year.
“It was perfect timing and horrible timing at the same time.”
Paapa met Michaela when they were both students at London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama and he admitted it was a “baffling experience”.
He said: “We both came in on the same day and both took the subway home afterwards. We were like, ‘This is crazy. We were the only two black people in our year.
“It’s not hard to see yourself at least visually in that sense…
“I know a lot of theater schools, a lot of higher education institutions in general, are doing a lot of work to decolonize the curriculum.
“But it was a very classic formation and it was a formation that had a lot of success for a lot of people for a long time.”
The ‘Lazarus Project’ actor’s father died in Ghana when he was 14, and his mother died of cancer a few years later, and he admitted he sometimes ‘fantasized’ about what it would be like his life if they were still alive.
He told Radio Times magazine: “Obviously I’ll never know because you only know your experience.
“Sometimes I fantasize about what my life would have been like if things had turned out differently.
“But they went the way they did and therefore I’m very motivated.
“I feel motivated to accomplish things and make my ancestors and ancestors proud – or at least to show that it can be done, for myself and for the people who come before and after me.”