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wilwdcropFlavour chats to actor Wil Johnson who plays Byron in new Brit flick Pimp. The movie also features distinguished British actors Billy Boyd and Danny Dyer and is directed by Robert Cavanah.

How did you enjoy your role as Byron for Pimp?

I did a movie over 10 years ago, called Babymother, in the film I played a reggae artist called Don Byron, we took that character as a blueprint for Byron. I had an absolute blast, as I was able to do what I wanted to do with the part. It was like bring as much of your cultural experiences, backgrounds and influences to the role as possible – that exuberant charisma.

What’s been your favourite acting role and experience?
I’m very blessed in sense that I have had the opportunity to play such a variety of different roles. Most recently definitely the character Byron in Pimp. Also in a film called Hard Shoulder – Carl Foster, and Detective Spencer Jordan in Waking the Dead.

Which actor or actress would you most like to work with?
I would love to work with Daniel Day Lewis I find him a fascinatingly intense actor, I love all his work and Jodie foster I think she so amazing she’s such a great actress. Naomi Harris I’ve been studying some of her work for the last few years, I think it would be very interesting to work

Father of seven! Successful black actor, How do you balance everything?
{Laughs] it never stops! One of my daughters is currently living in America doing her Master’s Degree, she’s a musician singer songwriter composer and she’s at the Manhattan School of Music. We are juggling life between New York to London. My youngest children I’ve got two twins girls who are 4, still in nursery and start school in September. Work is very busy as well, [Laughs] that’s how my life has always been, I’m used to it really – it’s always been a balancing act between my career and home life.

If you were not an actor which profession would you be in, as we learnt you used to be an athlete?
More than likely I would probably be an engineer, or builder of some sort. Perhaps athletics or sport. That’s what I had my heart set on before I decided to go into acting.

Your Ideal day, what would that comprise of?
Spending time chilling out with my kids, running around the house, I’m in the kitchen cooking food all day, their playing out in the garden, watching DVDs, sit down and have a family meal, and then we just hang out for the rest of the evening watching movies – that’s my ideal day. I really treasure those moments when we get to have real quality time.

Which is your favourite role you have done?
The one I’ve had the most fun with is Don Byron in Babymother because I got to act sing dance. That was the most fun I’ve ever had, because the character is extremely different to who I am, it’s like an alter ego, I think that Don Byron would be my alter ego. The most intense I would say has to be Spencer Jordan in Waking the dead, it’s a very intense dense dark drama, you have to bring a certain sensibility and intensity which you have to maintain.

When you retire from acting how would you like to be remembered?
As a man who made a difference. I want to continue breaking down barriers, setting new benchmarks, bucking the trend basically because its only when you buck the trend that you make a difference.

What advice would you give to any young actors?
Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. People can steal your dreams in very subtle ways – [sarcastic tone: oh this doesn’t seem to be panning out, maybe you should think about doing something else?] Keep going even when it looks like nothing’s happening – still keep going, you never know what’s around the corner. None of us do that’s why we keep going, that’s why we have dreams and aspirations, desires and goals – so we push towards them. The only thing we’re not told is when it’s going to happen – keep marching forward regardless of what happens.

To see more of PIMP click on facebook.com/pimpfan

For more info on Robert Cavanah visit: www.robertcavanah.com

For Wil Johnson: www.wiljohnson.co.uk

Interview by Kemi Giwa

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