Writing, Acting & Hollywood: Daniel Kaluuya

Daniel Kaluuya joins Matimba in her kitchen to talk about writing Skins at 17 years old, shaking up Hollywood and working with people who have something to say.

4 December 2017
Matimba Kabalika
By Matimba Kabalika
Matimba looks after the talent development programme BFI NETWORK and manages the accompanying website.

TRANSCRIPTION

 
Matimba: Hello. We are back with a brand new series of the BFI NETWORK podcast, and I am Matimba Kabalika. Welcome back if you were here for series one, and if not, you're in for a treat because there are loads of back episodes you can listen to. We started this pocast so that we can bring you insights from some of the most exciting people from the UK film industry. Daniel Kaluuya is a writer, actor, and all-round super star. He took time out of his busy schedule and came to see me in Turnpike Lane where we talked about "the sunken place," Wakanda, and everything in between. Rolling! I'm just trying to channel my inner Oprah. 
 
Daniel: Oh. Harpo Productions in association with BFI. 
 
Matimba: So we are in N15. 
 
Daniel: Boujee. 
 
Matimba: Is it, though? We're in Turnpike Lane, at my house. We're here with Daniel Kaluuya, writer/actor, actor/writer. Hi, Daniel. Hi. 
 
Daniel: Hi. 
 
[crosstalk 00:01:10] 
 
Matimba: You sound like you've been captured. You sound like you're in "the sunken place" already. 
 
Daniel: I am. Yo, everyone says that. No, "the sunken place." People come up to me, though; "Hey, sunken place." Like, no. 
 
Matimba: But that meme, that meme the other day was brilliant. ‘From "the sunken place" to Wakanda.’ So, we're just gonna jump all over the place. Can we start by talking about the trailer of "Black Panther?" 
 
Daniel: Yeah. 
 
Matimba: It's amazing. It's amazing. 
 
Daniel: It's gonna change the world. Like, people think I'm joking. I even said it before. People are like, "I ain't never seen anything like this." And I think a lot of times...I don't know, I just had that feeling. And it's just I felt that with "Skins", I felt that with "Get Out", and I just feel like, oh - ain't never seen anything like this. It's an African blockbuster, who's done that before? Who's told an African story at this level? I mean Ryan being actually 30 years old. 
 
Matimba: Is he 30? 
 
Daniel: He's 30. 
 
Matimba: Three-zero? 
 
Daniel: Three-zero. You've got to understand of that generation...he's hip-hop. So it's like a hip-hop African blockbuster, which means it's relevant. If it was another director, he wouldn't have cast it the way he cast it. And the trailer was like…I was like, "Yeah, it's gonna be a thing." 
 
Matimba: Oh, God. Let's rewind. So, obviously, you're an actor and you're a writer as well. Which came first, and I guess...which came first and how did you get into it? 
 
Daniel: Writing came first. I wrote my first play when I was nine. I won this competition. It got performed at Hampstead Theatre and... 
 
Matimba: At Hampstead Theatre? 
 
Daniel: Yeah. It was at school, primary school, and they were like, "Oh, Dan, keep writing." And I was like, "No, I'm nine. I'm gonna play football." And then around that time a lot of my teachers told my mom, "He should do acting because he's a bit busy." And then... 
 
Matimba: A bit busy? 
 
Daniel: A bit busy in his head. 
 
Matimba: Right, okay. 
 
Daniel: They mean like a bit "mmm." I mean  not a bad kid, but just... 
 
Matimba: You had a lot going on. 
 
Daniel: I've got a lot of energy. It took four years to get on the Anna Scher waiting list. 
 
Matimba: What's Anna Scher? 
 
Daniel: Anna Scher is a class, improvisation class, in North London in Angel. You pay five pounds and you learn how to act through improv, no scripts or nothing. And I realised in hindsight, I thought, oh, that's why they had that method because like a lot of the kids are illiterate or low literacy levels. So you don't look at script, but you learn how to act. So there's not like...your low literacy level doesn't go against you. You know what I mean? 
 
It get's your confidence. So we just learned how to act through that, and like people that were there like Joe Wright or Adam Smith or Kathy Burke, just people around North London like Adam Deacon and Zawe Ashton or Reggie Yates or Dizzee went there. So all these people and then I went there. Then it got a little bit weird with Anna Scher because they changed their name and this, that, and the other so a lot of the industry weren't using the kids because of politics. And then I was like, "Oh God, I can't get an audition" and then I started on, "Oh yeah, I can write." I went back to Hampstead Theatre, they had a youth division called Heat and Light theatre.  
 
Matimba: How old were you at that point? 
 
Daniel: Sixteen. And I'm just writing plays, directing, and doing them, and putting them on. And then... 
 
Matimba: But was that fun? Like for you, were you like, "This is just fun?" Like, you just enjoyed doing it. 
 
Daniel: I think the minute I stopped trying to get on tele is the minute I got on tele. But then I realised that improve is writing...like so acting is an interpretive art, improvisation as a creative art. Writing is a creative art. See what I'm saying? Like, acting is way to get someone's work and give an interpretation. You're not making that work, you know? So improv was completely creative. And I think a lot of people of that generation, that are around like Arinze, I went to school with Arinze, and Michaela [Cole] was around, she was a poet. And Riz was a rapper. Everyone was just like creative and it was just like, "We you gonna do with it." And I think acting was just a way that I could make it work for what I needed for my life then. You know, I needed money and I enjoyed it. And I enjoyed being a part of a team and doing something so... 
 
Matimba: So then you said, because I cut you off because ‘you got to enjoy the…’? 
We were just sipping on iced coffee, like this.  
 
Daniel: Make sure they know. Like a Radio 4 drama. ‘He drank some coffee.’ 
 
Matimba: The Black Archers. 
 
Daniel: Ice. Let's sketch The Black Archers, - The Parchers. 
 
Matimba: The African Chronicles. Now you've thrown me off. I was so in my Oprah mode, and now you've thrown me off. Okay, no, so I'm really interested because, obviously we've had conversations, but now I feel like I’m on...what's that show where they trace your family history? 
 
Daniel: "Who Do You Think You Are?" 
 
Matimba: That's what I feel like I'm on right now. 
 
Daniel: Why? 
 
Matimba: Because I'm going like, "So at this point, you did this." But no, it's interesting because then you started saying...you were just about to give up on tele and then tele came. So, you were 16… and the tele was... 
 
Daniel: No, I just really enjoyed doing acting. I stopped trying. The minute I stopped trying to get on...you know what I'm saying? It's like I just enjoyed what I was doing and I wanted to do it more. So the goal wasn't getting on tele anymore. The goal was just like, how do I do this more? And then when I just did it more...accidentally...everything that's come in my life, and has had a breakthrough, is from the minute I stopped trying to get what I'm trying to get, is the minute it happens. Then "Shoot The Messenger" happened, I got "Shoot The Messenger", and I was acting underneath a church off Caledonian Road. And there was a BBC casting director in this class. Like, it was just a random...I was just acting. You know, it's not like I went there for that. I was just acting underneath this church. And then I went for audition and I went for a couple more auditions and then I got the part. I was still at school, year 12. 
 
Matimba: And that was with... 
 
Daniel: David Oyelowo.  
 
Matimba: …David Oyelowo.  
 
David: It's great, it's great, great BBC film. 
 
Matimba: And that was your first TV... 
 
Daniel: That was my first TV show. 
 
Matimba: Were you terrified? 
 
Daniel: What, of shooting? 
 
Matimba: Yeah. 
 
Daniel: I was gassed. I was more...this is where I was at. I was more gassed about Richard Blackwood than I was about David Oyelowo. That's the kind of brother I was. I was like “yo bruv, MTV Select”.
 
Matimba: My momma used to say... 
 
Daniel: Momma used to say it's [inaudible 00:08:07]. R.B., who the man?  
 
Matimba: Love you, R.B. Check you every day. 
 
David: I don't have the attention span for ‘Spooks’. 
 
Matimba: Who the man, baby? 
 
Daniel: Who the man? Hey, you the man, you the man, you the man, you the man. Come on. 
 
Matimba: [crosstalk 00:08:21] like he's gonna be the UK's answer to Will Smith. Hyped. I would've been hyped too. 
 
Daniel: Yeah. I was there. I remember me and this actor Eric Kofi-Abrefa, when Richard Blackwell walked in, we was like, "Yo," and went into the toilet. He was like, [inaudible 00:08:33]. We ran into the toilet and then someone walked in, because we was both in that class underneath the church. Yeah, like, "We made it." And it's over. "What are you guys doing in the toilet?" "Nothing." [inaudible 00:08:50] 
 
Matimba: Okay, so "Shoot the Messenger," how long was that shoot? Can't remember that? 
 
Daniel: I can't remember. I was there...I remember I got a lot of schoolwork...No, no, no, I was there for a bit. I was there for, like, probably like 10 days. 
 
Matimba: And then I mean like after that were you kinda like... I guess what I'm trying to get to is at what point…you've done "Shoot the Messenger," you're loving acting more and more, then are you like, "Actually, this could be like a real full-time job. Like, I could just do this..." 
 
Daniel: I knew I could do it full time at 15 because I saw people doing it. I'm the kinda guy if I can see someone in the room doing it, then why can't I do it? Just like, because you're in the room with them. So like anything to go, "Well, I'm here. That person's just done it. Well, I can do it then." I'm the kinda guy if I can make one, then I can make it into two. Not only two, I can make it into four.  
 
Matimba: So you were at the stage where, basically, all you wanted to do was keep acting. 
 
Daniel: Yeah. But its not like I was like...like if my mom was like, "Yo! You gotta earn money, so you work at Lloyd's Bank, you gotta do it." I was prepared...it was not even that deep. Like it was that thing where I was just like, "This is what I wanna do..." I just get passionate and I get locked on. I go, "Well, I'm doing this now and I'm gonna keep doing that until it works out. And then if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. I had nothing to lose because I was poor. Now, what could you have to lose?  
 
Matimba: I guess you were young. So like, you know, you were still at that time, like, living with your mom and you're like 16. So you do "Shoot the Messenger," I mean you probably got more than pocket money, right? Then what happened after "Shoot the Messenger?" 
 
Daniel: I was at school and I was still doing my thing and I was still doing classes. I was doing classes. I was still doing plays and stuff like that. And that's when ‘Skins’ came. They were looking for writers. So I joined ‘Skins’ as a writer first, before it was cast. Managed to work it, I got a part in it, which was supposed to be one episode, and which ended up being like one of the advisors because I just was honest. They wrote me in more, and then they asked me to write a short for ‘Skins’ and then…
 
Matimba: So on ‘Skins’, you were writing as well as acting in it.  
 
Daniel: Yeah. 
 
Matimba: What's the difference in feeling then that something...because it seems like you take a different type of…you have a different feeling with something that you write than something...you know. 
 
Daniel: It's empowering. Because like I said, it's like acting's interpretative and writing's creative, like you've made something. You've made something from your head and it’s happened. It's just more direct. Acting is that, our lives are that, I mean our lives are the genuinely creative things, like a real art piece is your life, yeah. But like I've done something and now it's physically happening just because of my idea. 
 
Matimba: I wish everyone could see you pointing to your head. It's the ideas in your head.  
 
Daniel: Yeah. So, obviously that, but then I think there's an inherent belief in me that like since nine I was like, I know that if I have an idea, it can happen because I made it happen before.
 
Matimba: Where do you think that came from, though, because when we were talking, you're like, you know, you're a working class kid…where did that come from? I'm so interested in that idea, you're kind of saying that the odds, technically, when you look at how it should have fallen, were technically stacked against you, but you had that idea about…what gave that to you?  
 
Daniel: One of my mum's teachings, and how she taught me, this is very interesting, I think. When we was packing…she's going to Uganda or something, and obviously she over-packed and then like... 
 
Matimba: Standard African... 
 
Daniel: And I'm like, "It's not gonna fit. Like, don't try it." I'm sitting in this thing. I was a big boy, and I was like, "See, it's not gonna fit. It's not gonna fit." And she goes, "If it doesn't talk, it will fit. What did it say to you? Did it say anything?" I said, "No." "Then it'll fit. Did it say no? Then make it fit." I just apply that to life. Also there's another thing as well. When I was 15 I went to Uganda and I was with my mum's friend that she went to school with and then went, "Okay, let's take a ride." She lived in the bush and she was just like, "Oh, this place is messy." Oh my God, and she cooked for us. She cleaned up for us. If it started raining, she put leaves over for us. It wasn't that she lived like that, it was her attitude. It was like, "This is what I've got. I'm gonna do the best with what I've got." So if I'm from the estate or wherever, go, "This is what I've got. I'm gonna do the best with what I've got. And whatever happens, it's the best that I can do." 
 
Matimba: Yeah. So from ‘Skins’, then what? So you've been writing on ‘Skins’...? 
 
Daniel: Yeah. Then I got into drama school, didn't go because I got asked to write for ‘Skins’. Everyone in my life said I should go to drama school. Everyone said, "get you degree." And I was like, "I think I'm gonna write for 'Skins.'" Took that, did that... 
 
Matimba: So then, one episode turned into more and then you were on the show. And then what happened, what was next? 
 
Daniel: Then I kinda just started doing jobs, started working on acting roles just here and there, and just jobbing stuff. And then I got ‘Chatroom’ at like 20, did ‘Chatroom’. And then ‘Sucker Punch’ was the one. ‘Sucker Punch’ changed everything. Everything I've got now is probably from ‘Sucker Punch’. 
 
Matimba: And let's talk about that because you've done acting in theatre, film, and TV. And I guess you've worked across all those mediums, and what different energies do they... 
 
Daniel: What's the difference working with all the mediums? 
 
Matimba: Yeah. Is there one that you enjoy most? 
 
Daniel: I mean it's different things. I like the immediacy of theatre, like it's there and it's pure in theatre, but it's hard work, man. It's like, I think the way I act it makes it harder because I give everything. And to do that every night, it just is quite hard.  
 
Matimba: When I saw you last year after ‘Blue Orange’ and I was like, how can you do that night after night, because that was a really intense performance? 
 
Daniel: Yeah. So say it's like if I did ‘Sucker Punch’ now. I lost so much weight for it and I did skipping monologues and all this stuff. Like, every job just feels...it dwarfs everything else. Just like the challenge of doing that at 21, I've never had a lead role before, never done…like, I'd done one play before that, and there were so many things I didn't know. And it was probably the hardest part I've done. To do that, just gives you…empowers you moving forward because I got through that. 
 
Matimba: Something that interests me in particular in your career progression, if you wanna call it that, is that everyone, in a way I guess because of stuff like ‘Sicario’ and ‘Get Out’ and ‘Panther’ and ‘Widows’, it feels like it's just been this massive upward trajectory, which it is actually, but you've worked really hard and you've been working for many years and you've had a really steady career. And it's really interesting because I think you're a brilliant curator of your career and I really want you to talk a little bit about how you make the choices you make, especially in relation to your acting choices. What draws you to a role? 
 
Daniel: I got to a point and I was like...Oh, I can't even say it like that. I'll say it like that after. But I got to a point where I'm like, "This is silly, this acting thing. This is silly. They think I'm an idiot." And like, obviously, we all know about the politics and the racial, like, undertones. "They really think I'm an idiot." So it's like, things changed. And then I was like…it's simplicity. There’s the stuff I wanna say, and the stuff I wanna help people say. After ‘Sicario’, I spent a year-and-a-half off. I didn't do anything else. Writing, and then I just read my favorite scripts. And I just wanted to know why I loved these films. I wanted to know why I loved these films. What is it about these films and these writers that I am drawn to? What is it about me, do you know what I'm saying? Doing things that are shit is actually okay. Doing thing that are "meh" and average is the biggest crime because, yeah, the opposite of love and hate is indifference.  
 
And because I remember I did this job and I remember …it's a TV show and I was so ill, and I was like 19. I was so ill this day, like it was coming out both ends in between takes. I'm like ILL, I'm shivering in the trailers. I'm shivering in the costume room, you know. Shivering, like I'm ill. And then I realised, oh my God, if you act, you can't call in sick. You just can't go, "I can't make it. I'm so ill." Still doing the job, still doing it. The show comes out, no one watched it, no one cared. I was like, "That is so hurtful." You can always tell when your reading something if someone's got something to say, and a lot of people ain't got something to say, they just wanna make a film. Because it's like that thing my friend says, you only should make a film… people wanna make films if you've got something to scream about, because if it was that pedestrian you'd just say it. Racism is bad. Say it. Everyone knows it, who cares? But what is it about racism, what's your take on it?  
 
And that's my thing, why is it? Like, how is it cinematically pleasing? And I just started to know what I like and I realsed I don't care about fame and establishment, and like all that stuff. So, I was working with famous people and I was like, "I don't care." I genuinely don't care. It doesn't comfort me. And other people do it for that, and that's what they want, they want to get into those worlds. So for me it was about causing a ruckus. But then also you gotta look at how you come into it. So for ‘Shoot the Messenger’ and ‘Skins’, both caused a ruckus. ‘Shoot the Messenger’ with the black community, like the film literally...you know what their original script was called?  
 
Matimba: No.  
 
David: ‘Fuck Black People’. That's what it was called. So that's what we read in the read-through. That's the script we read. So that's what frequency I started. And then Skins, it was casting 16 and 17-year-olds, as 16 and 17-year-olds doing crazy stuff. That had never been done before because everyone was 25, and so everyone really looked young, and he was doing something. So obviously, I just see it through the prism of that because that got a reaction that I found exciting. So I just looked for stuff like that. That go: "Let's do something new." Because why are we on Earth? Why on Earth are we just gonna do what everyone else does? There's loads of other people. You could just get anyone to do that. Why are you on Earth? If you're not gonna do something new, why are you on Earth? Really, like really and truly, like why am I gonna do some safe stuff? Like, I've done some safe stuff and I was like. "This is bull..." Get drama school brothers to do that, and he'll kill it. Like, it's not that deep. Do you know what I'm saying? Like, who wants to cause a fucking mess? 
 
Matimba: I wish everyone could see your expressions. 
 
Daniel: I just want to fuck shit up, because the world's fucked. They fuck shit up for us, so I wanna fuck shit up for them.  
 
Matimba: So was that partly what drew you to ‘Get Out’? 
 
Daniel: Yeah, it's a bit of a ruckus, isn't it? It's a bit of a ruckus, innit. 
 
Matimba: That small, independent film that no one's really seen. I mean it's crazy. No? I remember when we first had a conversation about it. 
 
Daniel: I sat down with you after it got released. You were the first person I talked to about it. And then you was like, "Oh, yes, horror film, and Jordan Peele, and [inaudible 00:21:12], and yeah." I'm like, "Yeh I know scary, isn't it?" And I knew what the script was about, so I was like, "It could go so wrong." 
 
Matimba: Yeah, but you said something, you were just like…but you said, "This is gonna change things. This is gonna be a like a conversation starter. This is gonna..." And obviously, I hadn't seen the script so I was like, "Oh." 
 
Daniel: You know what it is, even when I...and I knew it and I kind of kept it moving. Because obviously, the original ending is when I kill Rose, yeah, the original ending. And then like... 
 
Matimba: It what? 
 
Daniel: You know what the original ending was. Look it up. 
 
Matimba: What do you mean the original ending? 
 
Daniel: We reshot the end. So the ending that was...I strangle Rose to death, and I go to prison, and everyone in the prison's black. And then Rod comes in and I'm like, "Not cool." So that was the original ending. And when I was strangling a young white woman as a young black man, I was like, "There is no way this is gonna go out quietly." I was like, "All it takes is one black person," like just one black person in the cinema. Yeah? One black person just sitting there miscellaneously like a cinefile. You know, them nerds, them black nerds, just like, they just watch every film in the fucking universe. So black brother, yeah, glasses, they up, just like that, and he's gonna be like, "Oh, my god. Oh, my god!" Like, one black person, all it takes is one black person and every black person will know about it. It's like, it takes one. It takes one. And so I felt that. I felt that. But what it's done is...I don't…like I think here it's cool. In America, I can't really...it's crazy, like everywhere. Everywhere I go. It's because every black person's watched it, like everyone's watched it. It's just everywhere I go. It's just... 
 
Matimba: Everyone's watched it here too. 
 
Daniel: It doesn't feel like it. 
 
Matimba: My boss, Ben, told me he watched it in Ashford. I was like, "You gotta see it with black people. You gotta see it with black people, otherwise, you know, you won't get it." But what's so interesting is that Ben was saying he watched it in Ashford and in a cinema full of white people and everybody is just on Chris' side. That's what it is. But I've spoken to so many people who've said that it's changed their thinking. That is incredible for a film to do that. When you saw that script, did you see Jordan's intention? 
 
Daniel: I saw that he's saying things that we say in private. So there's that fear going, "Are we really gonna do this?" And I feel that's the stuff that...I can always feel in, like, films or in people, I watch those interviews, like just people that like are saying something and it cost them something. And I felt like it was costing Jordan. And it would cost anyone to say what was said in ‘Get Out’. 
 
Matimba: Was there a particular scene that you were reading and you were just like, "I have to have this role." And also, can we talk a little about how it came to you and then how you...yeah. 
 
Daniel: There was a party sequence and I was like, "Oh my god, I've been in that party. I've been to that party so many times." It was just that isolation, just that catching the isolation of people just zoning in on your blackness. And they're being nice, but they're just zoning in. And it's a symptom of racism, but it's just a positive one, but it's racism. And like him saying that and him communicating that, I was just like, "Oh my god, this film. Oh my god, this film”. 
 
And then the end, all the deaths, I was like, "You're gonna do that?" Like, I just imagined it in my head and just like him being...because the original end, the police come up and like the image of you rooting for a black man to leave a house to kill all these white people, and then you're on his side. And the police show up and he's like, "I didn't do it, I didn't do anything," and he's covered in blood and his hands are...you know. Like, that is so powerful because that's what black kids are doing worldwide. They are putting their hands up saying, "I didn't fucking do anything," and they're getting shot. Do you know what I'm saying? So that's why it was like, "Oh, man, this is just brave." Do you know what I mean? 
 
Matimba: And then what about the audition? When you read it, were you like, "I have to have this part". Do you ever get a hunger for a part where you're just like, "this has got to be mine." And then, yeah, how did you audition? Did you do a tape or... 
 
Daniel: I did a Skype with him. I've watched ‘Key and Peele’ so I'm like, "Holy Shit I just got off with Jordan Peele.” That's insane. Yeah, he knows who I am because of ‘Black Mirror’. I was like, "What? Like, yo, [inaudible 00:26:30]." But I'm very much like I don't just want a role. Like, everyone in their work, they wanna feel valued. I don't wanna feel like I'm convincing you to do it if you don't believe in me. That's why I wanna be believed in. I think if someone believes in me, a different me shows up to work. If you are like, "Eh," "meh" shows up. 
 
And he said in the audition, "You got the part." No, he went and he turned to the casting director and he goes, "He's got the part," after the first reading, and I was like, "This guy's gassing." I've been through so much stuff in these Americans, I was like, "Oh, these guys, they're just chatting rubbish." And he's like, "Yo, you got it." And he got my number and he was like, "You got it." And it was like, "Meh, whatever. Cool." We met up, "You go it. Yeah, definitely." Then on set I was like, "Oh shit, I've got it. I've actually got this role."  
 
Matimba: What a great group of filming. So you went from working with Denis to working with Jordan. Working with Jordan to working...what came next?  
 
Daniel: Ryan.  
 
Matimba: Ryan Coogler. And then from Ryan, now you're working with Steve McQueen on ‘Widows’. 
 
Daniel: Yeah, I am. 
 
Matimba: What would be your advice to an emerging writer who feels like they've really got something to say. What would your advice be to them? 
 
Daniel: Find a way to shoot it and find a way to put it on. Because when you do it, it empowers you. It's all about empowering yourself. Because you don't...no one knows...Look at this election. Like, all these pundits about [inaudible 00:28:10], they don't know shit. No one knows anything. So these people that [inaudible 00:28:15] they're gonna get it. Alex Ferguson, yeah. He's the greatest manager that ever lived.  
 
Matimba: Sir Alex. 
 
Daniel: I can't call him Sir because he's a Man United manager, but I will respect him in it. But like, Alex Ferguson, yeah, is probably considered the greatest manager that ever lived, yeah? 
 
Matimba: Mm-hmm. 
 
Daniel: His win rate's like 59%. He gets it wrong a lot. These commissioners will get it wrong a lot. People get it wrong a lot, and that's cool. Do you know what I'm saying? But you got to just do it. Like, I just don't think...like, for me, it's like trying to reach out, just find people that are in your wave, on your frequency, on your wave, and just grow with them. Because a lot of the times, people that you're reaching for they're in a...it's like being at school in the year above and trying to be friends with someone in...you're in year 7 trying to be friends with someone in year 10. Why would they talk to you? Just apply that to life. Like, and sometimes to my detriment, sometimes they may talk to me, and this, that, and the other, but I just hang out with my year sevens, my crew. Like, that's it. I got my people. I'm not trying to look like a big guy, like I just go, "I got my people and ride with them."  
 
They're not perfect, but those year 10s ain't perfect. Just saying, it's who is in your class. Do you know what I'm saying? And that's how I see it. So it's just like, just do what you're doing. And then once you do what you're doing, you just do it more. That's kinda it. Obviously, like being around North London, seeing all these people, like all the actors, anyone that is like young and acting or writing, I just met him, seen him…like, talent doesn't mean anything. I've seen the most talented people. They're not in any more…its people with, like, the hustle mentality that get it done. I know people that are not talented that get it done that, have charisma. Not being bad or anything because I don't think talent's that special. I think it's very common. So it's like, so you've got talent, who cares. 
 
Matimba: That's true, you're right. Look, you're right. You're speaking to my soul. I have no more…this is it. This is the end. 
 
Daniel: Like Michael Jackson, "This is it”. 
 
Matimba: Thank you so much. 
 
Daniel: Thank you. 
 
Matimba: It's always inspiring when we have a conversation. Not even just a recorded one because I always feel that even though you're, you know...I feel like you're man of great wisdom beyond your years and I think that you are gonna be probably even more successful than you know. 
 
Daniel: [inaudible 00:30:47] 
 
Matimba: That was an amazing face that he just pulled, but that you can't see. 
 
Daniel: I'm just living my life.  
 
Matimba: I just think that you're…no, you should. We're really proud of you. 
 
Daniel: Oh, thank you. I'm proud of you, Matimba.  
 
Matimba: Thanks. Thanks. So yeah, that's it. That's the end. 
 
Daniel: Love your Oprah colors. 
 
Matimba: Thanks, man. 
 
There's more episodes and lots of content like this on the BFI NETWORK website including funding, first features, and loads of other interviews. We'd also like to know what you think about this podcast, so why not tweet us @bfinetwork. The music you've heard is from Rory Dempsy. Thanks to Daniel, producer Marie, and the BFI NETWORK team.