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Nick Mohammed Praises Diverse Casting in Renegade Nell

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Nick Mohammed Praises Diverse Casting in Renegade Nell

Actor and comedian Nick Mohammed has praised period drama Renegade Nell for its diverse casting and said it has “completely shaken” things up.

The British actor, who is known for comedy character Mr Swallow and for playing football coach Nathan Shelley on Ted Lasso, plays the magical spirit Billy Blind in the Sally Wainwright-written Disney+ show about a young woman in 18th-century England who has been framed for murder.

The 43-year-old spoke on the importance of representation and said programmes such as Netflix romance series Bridgerton are now making sure people of colour are included.

Speaking to the PA news agency, he said: “I think Bridgerton… (we) have a lot to be grateful for.”

He added: “People of colour weren’t often in period pieces, because it was seen that they had to be historically accurate.

“There weren’t really the roles… things like Bridgerton and obviously Renegade Nell now, as well, have just completely shaken the whole thing up for the better.

“I never got to really wear those costumes before or inhabit that kind of world.”

Mohammed added: “I think it’s really important. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I get it, especially maybe if you’re doing a biopic.

“If it is really important to the storytelling, that you have to honour the casting, in that regard, then absolutely fine.

“People should be able to do that and to justify it.

“But I think when you’re making something fun and swashbuckling and sort of silly and contemporary and it’s got a new visual style or it’s got a fun soundtrack, I just think you can give audiences the benefit of the doubt.

“Audiences aren’t going to be like, ‘Oh, well hang on this isn’t historically accurate, I’m going to switch off.’

“It’s also just generally important for representation to see as diverse a make-up within your cast on screen as possible, because, why would we not want that really?

“I think it is important when a show, especially… if it’s a fun show, and I feel like Renegade Nell is, it’s almost like a family show… I feel like it’s great that it has a diverse cast.”

Derry Girls star Louisa Harland plays Nell in the fantasy series also starring Adrian Lester and Joely Richardson.

She told PA: “One of my favourite things about Nell and one of my favourite things that Sally wrote is she’s not romantically driven.

“So in terms of physical appearance she has no interest and doesn’t care, she just goes after what she wants.”

She added: “Sally Wainwright is such an incredible writer, she writes brilliant real people, real women, and she does it so well and adding that magical element means she can play around with history a bit and the world, and create a whole world from scratch.”

All episodes of Renegade Nell will launch on Disney+ on March 29 in the UK.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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