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Spotlight on Daniel Kaluuya

6 July 2011
Daniel Kaluuya

We talk to young British writer Daniel Kaluuya about his career to date and what BAFTA Brits to Watch means to him.

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You’ve been selected as one of BAFTA’s Brits to Watch. What has been your career highlight of the past year?

Erm, it would have to be a play I did at Royal Court called Sucker Punch by Roy Williams where I played a boxer, I trained for 6 months and lost 3 stone. We gave it everything and we were so happy that it was so warmly received by critics, awards ceremonies and most importantly the people.

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What’s your worst habit for procrastinating when you’re meant to be working?

The Internet. I get lost in a YouTube related videos pit.

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What single piece of advice would you give to a young person trying to become a writer for television?

Work hard and follow your heart. Try and do as many classes, youth projects and workshops as possible if you find out one thing that you'll carry with you for the rest of your life it was more than worth it.

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How important is knowing people? Is raw talent enough?

Knowing people is handy but you don't want to be known for knowing people, you know? The platform that knowing people gives you, you have to back it up with something in order to stay afloat. But I believe talent always breaks through, I don't get as excited about someone knowing the producer of Transformers 3 as I do if I see someone do something amazing in any field.

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Which of your projects are you most proud?

Skins, Sucker Punch and Psychoville.

Daniel Kaluuya in Sucker PunchSucker Punch
Daniel performing in Sucker Punch
Daniel Kaluuya in PsychovilleBBC - Psychoville
Daniel as Tealeaf in BBC comedy Psychoville

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Have you been to Los Angeles before? If so, how does it feel to be a Brit over there? If not, what are you expecting?

Yeah man, it feels cool, they love British people, they think we're geniuses. I know that's a swooping generalisation but hey, life's complicated enough.

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BAFTA President the Duke of Cambridge will be attending the event. What will you say if you get the chance to meet him?

My mum loves you.

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How did you celebrate the Royal Wedding?

I pretended for weeks that I didn't care about it, but when it came round I was hooked, sitting in my front room with a bottle of actimel, planning my wedding with P. Middy.

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How do think the UK film, TV and games industries will change over the next few years?

I think the Internet will play a much bigger role in everything and there will be a more personal relationship with the gamer audience. I hope there's more genre films and TV. I like that. That would be nice.

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Give us some insider info (shhh): Who would you choose as your ‘Brit to Watch’ in the coming year(s) – who are you tipping for big things?

Ummm there's so many.. Jack O'Connell, Charles Mnene, Joe Dempsie, Aml Ameen, Iain De Caseketer, Lily Loveless, Imogen Poots, Ophelia Lovibond, Hannah Murray, Debbie Tucker Green, Ben Schiffer, Lucy Kirkwood, Al Campbell, Dawson Bros...

These are all the people who have paid me promptly for a mention...

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