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From Peckham To Pandora’s Box, Actor Damson Idris On His Rapid Rise To The Top

Anyone familiar with John Singleton’s epic crime drama Snowfall can’t help but fall for Damson Idris’ wayward protagonist Franklin Saint. 2019 has been a big year for the star as Snowfall’s third season came to a close in September. In partnership with Porsche Taycan, Farfetch caught up with Damson in Barcelona to find out what’s next and what drives London’s biggest breakout star.
Photography by Vito Fernicola, styling by Jenny Kennedy, videography by Maximilian McKay, car: Taycan by Porsche.

‘Lately, what drives me is wanting to inspire a generation.’

It’s words like these that set Damson Idris apart from his peers. He has emerged as one of this year’s fastest-rising actors, both at home in the UK and in the US. This year alone, he’s worked with Jordan Peele (on the rebooted The Twilight Zone), appeared alongside Andrew Scott in a particularly brutal episode of Black Mirror, and won acclaim for his role in the aforementioned Snowfall. He’s also emblematic of a generation of young talents who are driven not only by personal success, but also to ignite ambition in others.

‘I love wearing suits: I want to be a good example, and to show prestige and good taste.’

‘Growing up, I was always inspired by Sidney Poitier. My mum would put me in these amazing three-piece suits while the rest of the kids were in Reebok Classics. I’m so thankful to her for that: she defined what I gravitate towards, and what makes me feel comfortable now.’

‘What drives me most has always been my mum. I’ve always just wanted to make her proud.’

‘Lately, though, it’s become important to inspire young people from my community in Peckham, in South-East London. Just for them to see someone who looks like them, who came from the same situation, and who was dealt the same cards. I always say travelling is the cure for ignorance, and a lot of people from my community are really boxed in. If they see me in different environments but still being the same guy from Peckham, maybe they can aspire to strive for greater things. Really, acting found me. I ended up doing drama at university, because my sister had forced me to study. All of my family did – I’m Nigerian, and when you’re Nigerian, you have to go to university!’

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