Paapa Essiedu

Issue 1576

Paapa Essiedu

Paapa Essiedu may just be the finest acting talent of his generation. He starred alongside his drama school pal Michaela Coel in her Bafta-winning I May Destroy You and more recently, played the lead role in The Lazarus Project, joining a crew of time-travelling secret agents.  

Now, fresh from another compelling turn in Netflix’s Black Mirror as a demon channelling Boney M’s disco king Bobby Farrell, he’s returning to his first love the stage at the National Theatre where he’s preparing to open The Effect.

It’s here we spoke to Essiedu for this week’s magazine. The role actors play – offstage – has never been more crucial. Tens of thousands of actors and creatives are on strike in the US, and Essiedu was keen to lend his support.

“It feels like a really important moment and it’s really important that the right decisions are made at this point,” he says. “Because the history of this industry, and this society, is one of exploitation. I think what we do can be very powerful. And I don’t think it is idealistic to say films, TV shows, plays significantly impact and change people’s lives.”

Read the full interview in this week’s Big Issue!

Also inside

  • Inside the growing toll of council tax debt, with readers sharing their views
  • Labour says we’ve run out of cash. We ask the experts whether that’s true
  • Joan Jett on the many reasons she still loves rock ‘n’ roll
  • Chuck D is still fighting the power
  • Paul Merton shares the highs, lows and the very lows of three decades at the Edinburgh Fringe
  • We launch Venue Watch – highlighting the local venues at risk of closure to try and rescue them
  • And Glasgow vendor Colin remembers the time he played snooker against Jimmy White. Buy the magazine to find out who won!

Plus plenty more!

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