Patterson Joseph was sent to the drama school with a warning. As a black man, his sister said, he would only play slaves and servants. “I realized I was against it,” says 57, now. “Well, yeah, there aren’t many black people playing kings and CEOs on TV, and I want to do that. I want to play not only the person in charge, but also the bottom-ranked people.”
He told me this story from a hotel room in Geneva. So he’s about to play Chocolatier with Timothée Chalamet in a new Willy Wonka movie.The understated sociopath of Sitcom’s boss Mark, perhaps best known as Alan Johnson Peep show, Joseph has run the entire range of Kings and CEOs over his 30-year acting career. He played a Roman hero (Julius Caesar), The heartbeat of IT (Green wing), Cynical Deputy Police Commissioner (Babylon), Cult head (((leftovers), Minister of Interior (Notes + cross) And now, a new BBC drama of exhilaration and claustrophobia Be vigilant, Commander of a nuclear submarine. To all these roles, he brought the baritone voice gravita, which he earned for four years at the Royal Shakespeare Company. His lithe face and mysterious presence are just as effective whether he plays a comedy villain, a chilling leader, or a lucky hero.
“If you do the job and do it well, there is little that anyone can do about it,” Joseph continues. “If they want to stop you, they will have to be racists about it.” At that time, his sister was wrong. But she was cynical for a reason – Joseph had to fight from the beginning to prove his worth.
In elementary school, he was the only black child in his class. “I grew up on a Wilsden Green store, and we can’t play because we’re on the highway, so it’s me, my brother and my sister, my mother and my Only my father, “said Joseph Recall. “Our cousins will come, obviously they are all black. These were the first whites I’ve ever met with my contemporaries. So I stood out. I stood out. I felt different. Geraldine Dan didn’t let me into Wendy’s house. “He shook his head. “I already felt very alien.”
He says the first day at Joseph’s school was “trauma.” It was the second term-he was born in June, so he was considered too young to join first-so all the other kids already knew each other. The teacher opened the book in front of the whole class, pointed at the tiger and asked what it was. He knew what it was, and he was already able to read and write thanks to his sister, but he was terribly shy. So he panicked and said it was a lion. The teacher sighed and closed the book. “And that was the act of going,’You are s *** with this,'” says Joseph, “it couldn’t have been a worse start.” Still, he said: I add that. It’s 1969 or something-how does she know how to deal with an immigrant son? They didn’t understand who we were. Only West Indians came. I felt it was very different. “
At about 13 years old, after years of caning and being told stupid, Joseph started banking, went to the library, and read whatever he could get. Mills & Boon; Oscar Wilde. “My curiosity and academic aspects were really only available outside of school life,” he says. A few years later, he discovered acting. First at the Youth Theater, “I’ve never met middle-class people, I’ve never met Protestant people,” and I acted at the drama school Lambda.
So he said: .. What hit me at that time was that you realized that you were outliers in this profession. But the great thing about doing physical art is that the evidence is done and I was able to do it well. I worked very hard in every aspect of it because it’s your weapon. “
Armed with indisputable talent, he decided to ignore the apparent inequality around him. “I knew it was there, but I made it a peripheral. I didn’t use it as an engine because anger is a very tasty energy and can overcome so many things, but it’s for the artist. It was a pretty negative energy. I thought, “You have to be more free than that. Become that man in Wilsden Green and say,” Who do you think you are? ” I can not do it. He drops the pronunciation he receives and adopts the North London growl. “If you’re at the end of me, you won’t be able to tell me that-I’ll excite you.” You need to find another way. And my way was to clarify what I felt, disassemble it in words, understand it, read someone, and get what I needed from them. “
Anger is like a drug, he says. “You have to be careful about how you take it. I have a lot so I can get angry. There are a lot of things I can get angry with There-and get angry-but I’m not sitting on it. I can’t sit on it because it sucks in a kind of you and becomes your own energy. “
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows on Amazon Prime Video Sign up for a 30-day free trial now
Today, Joseph’s energy is no more positive. He’s a warm and lively interviewer, so 10 minutes after our conversation, I get a message from my housemate asking who keeps yelling “wahoo!”.He has the same delicious charisma as Johnson Peep showOnly without any of the man’s arrogance or ambiguity. Talking about zoom, there is a blurry black line in front of his face that looks like a prison bar. “I’m sorry, I didn’t follow Covid’s rules, and now I’m here, I’m trapped,” he jokes when I join the phone. “No, I don’t know what this is.” He’s crazy about his setting, but he can’t figure it out.It would have been momentarily fixed by his character Green wing, The IT manager who tricks Pippa Haywood’s Joanna into appearing naked in his office (many of Joseph’s characters tend to fascinate people). But Joseph can’t, so we plow.
Joseph character Be vigilant, Neil Newsom was no more different from him. Joseph says Newsom is the quietest and least animated character he has ever played. “It was an exercise to get rid of everything irrelevant.” He still has a presence, but a detective (Suranne Jones) submarine to investigate the mysterious death of one of his crew. He does not speak, make gestures, or panic when sent to or when he discovers it. Enemy submarines may be tracking them. It has a high octane number.think Duties Underwater.
“It’s clearly a drama,” says Joseph, who was told by a former naval officer that he had never experienced what happened even in the first episode for 35 years. “Such crazy things never happen on top of each other, but it’s our license, otherwise it would be pretty boring to do it. I’m sure the police will say the same thing. Masu: I never like it Duties.. ” both Be vigilant When Duties – The astoundingly successful police procedural with so many twists that M. Night Shyamalan seems a bit far away – is from the same production company, World Productions.
It was strange that Joseph played such a calm and foolish person. In the opening scene, he chose not to save a group of fishermen because of the regret of a particular crew member. Doing so poses a risk of detection. “I’ll probably risk it,” he asks what Joseph did, and he muses. “But that’s why I’m an actor, not a submarine. You can’t activate that part of you in such a situation. You just have to go,’What’s your mission? The mission is to patrol these waters for 90 days and go home unnoticed. That’s it.’Unfortunately, you have to be a certain kind of person to take on the job. “
He mentions the TV dramas he did in the 90’s Soldier Soldier – A show that inspired Robson Green and Jerome Flynn – he played Fusilier. “I was asking them,’Why are we doing these endless workouts?’ We are always told,’Pick up your rifle. This is your walk. This is your position. This is the way you march. Give this word. “And I ask the officer,” Why are we treated this way? ” I did. He said, “Well, I don’t know because you can’t go when they say shoot, sir. Is it really an enemy or is it a kid? You just have to shoot It must be. “That is the spirit of the soldier. You act on order, not on your own perception. “
It is important to understand the spirit of the character that Joseph plays. Well, not so much Johnson – “There is nothing that can be redeemed for Alan Johnson. He’s completely annoying.” – But the rest.Last year he played home secretary Kamal Hadley in a BBC drama Notes + cross.. Based on Malorie Blackman’s Young Adult novel series, it is set in an alternate history in which blacks dominate whites. Kamal is a racist mercilessly advocating the stricter treatment of whites. “What I thought was unusual was that I had to do with him what I did for every character. Kumar had to be human. So how do people? Can you play a racist? People who are racists, love, laugh, and dedicate themselves to family and friends. They are humans. This is very difficult about it. They are Have spiritual blocks. They have been tuned. “
He says racism has something to do with power, but it’s complicated. “Therefore, the CEO who doesn’t hire blacks hasn’t talked about n *****, c ****, w **, but his attitude hasn’t changed. We will manage the fact that there are no such people in our organization. “As for politicians,” only those who never said N-word said, “Well, it’s all these foreign countries. People go, “Yes, it’s the man who came from the corner that’s responsible.” And you’ll spit and be abused. Racial discrimination sees who you are. It’s a strange mental illness that says, “I hate you because of your skin color.”
In 2018, Joseph performed a play he wrote Sancho: Mourning.. Initially, it was written with dissatisfaction with the lack of black actors in the historical drama, but it has evolved into a deeper one in the wake of the Windrush scandal. The story of Charles Ignatius Sancho, who was born on a slave ship in the 18th century and became a composer, actor, and anti-slavery activist. Joseph’s zoom name today is Ignate Sancho – he has a book about him coming out next year.
“History is strange and old,” says Joseph. “When David Starkeys of this world shouts,’You are rewriting history!’, I want to say very calmly,” Yes. Why? There are no women in your history, so teacher. And because there are no ethnic minorities in your history, and especially the big picture before the 18th century is very monochrome. If you can see the colors that were there, our pictures will be richer and richer. So why don’t you have it? Why don’t you have it? “
Joseph sees himself in three, especially in his “concerns about the next generation.” His concern is that just because he managed to evade his sister’s predictions does not mean that others were able to do so. “I think:’Oh, I’ve done it … am I an exception? Only five [black] Has anyone ever played the main character in RSC? Wow. all right. ‘But I still have to keep doing that.If someone in the next generation, Paapa Essiedu, can be called its noble name, I still want to continue. “– Essiedu recently starred in the crush of Michaela Coel. I may destroy you – “You can go and play Hamlet. People just go.” Oh, he’s playing Hamlet. That’s great. “In contrast,” What? Hamlet Is there a black man playing? “That’s progress. He laughs. “And we make it step by step, but we make it by relentless tenacity, and by putting ourselves. That’s what we do.”
Vigil starts on Sunday, August 29th at BBC One