'Game of Thrones' star Nathalie Emmanuel says UK film industry fails actors of colour

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Nathalie Emmanuel says the UK film industry doesn't provide enough opportunities for actors of colour. (Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)
Nathalie Emmanuel says the UK film industry doesn't provide enough opportunities for actors of colour. (Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)

Nathalie Emmanuel says the UK is losing actors of colour to the USA because the roles available to them in this country are not good enough.

Emmanuel told the podcast The Way We Are With Munro Bergdorf — reported via the Mirror — that there are few opportunities for people of colour in Britain, other than in bit-part roles as "best friends" or "receptionists".

Read more: Russos want Marvel to do better on racial diversity

The 32-year-old started her career in Hollyoaks and then hit the big time as Missandei on Game of Thrones and with key roles in the Fast and Furious and Maze Runner franchises.

"We lose so much Black and brown talent to the States because the British industry just doesn’t hold space in a meaningful, significant way. It’s frustrating," said the 32-year-old star.

Watch: Nathalie Emmanuel on finally getting behind the wheel in F9

She added: "Even now some British Black people I know in the industry who have played lead roles in the US have come back to the UK and the parts they are being asked to audition for are just minor.

"We are still battling that. I don’t see that happening to my white counterparts."

Read more: Emilia Clarke defended Emmanuel amid Thrones set sexism

Emmanuel portrayed one of the most beloved characters on Game of Thrones, with the reaction to her character's death a huge furore on social media.

The actor said last year that she expected a big response to the death of the show's only prominent woman of colour, but was surprised at the strength of that reaction.

Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys in 'Game of Thrones'. (HBO)
Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys in 'Game of Thrones'. (HBO)

She told Vogue: "I think that really sparked a conversation about, when we make these shows in the future, when we are casting these shows, do we just have to have the one person – is there space for more of us?

“And I think the answer is yes, and I know the answer is yes.”

Read more: Nathalie Emmanuel and Michael Sheen discuss festive comedy

As well as reprising her role as computer expert Ramsey in the ninth Fast and Furious film last year, Emmanuel also appeared in Netflix heist movie Army of Thieves and Christmas comedy Last Train to Christmas.

She will next show up in WW2 audio series Unsinkable and gothic thriller The Bride, before returning once again for Fast & Furious 10.

Watch: Nathalie Emmanuel wants TV to learn from Missandei death backlash

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