An Actor's Fantasy Role on 'Game of Thrones'

Nonso Anozie talks diversity on the HBO show and opportunities for black actors in the U.S.

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TR: Tell me about Ender's Game, the movie you're filming in New Orleans with Viola Davis.

NA: It's starring Hugo's Asa Butterfield -- we worked together on Nanny McPhee Returns -- Harrison Ford, Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley. Ender's Game is set 60 years from now; Earth has been attacked by aliens, and we are preparing a pre-emptive attack on the [next set of] intruders. It's really dark, actually. I'm a hard-ass in this one. In The Grey I was a bit soft and friendly; in Game of Thrones, Xaro is smooth; and in Ender's Game, I'm just angry all the time. I like the variances of characters I get to play.

TR: How did you get into acting?

NA: I was born in London, grew up in Camden. I got a taste for acting at 10 years old -- my headmaster had me play the daddy in the Bible story of the prodigal son. I put on a big coat and glasses. People laughed at the end, and I got something from it that I never wanted to release. I got really into it at 18 and tried acting without going to university, and that was hard ...

I didn't come from a theater family, and when I told my careers adviser about acting, he suggested I look at something like plumbing, saying, "Even young, handsome white boys find it difficult acting -- you're a 6-foot-6-inch black man."

Hillary Crosley is a contributor to The Root.

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