Oh my goodness I love Downton Abbey. This is my – uh – well, for lack of a better term, JAM. Any kind of historical drama that has corsets and hats and lots of Battenburg lace. I am not so keen on the old novels – Henry James makes me always lose my place, I don’t know nothing about Jane Austen, never read nothing of those not in school or nowhere – but put some good looking actors and fine English country house drama and I am so into it. I am all over it.
I have always wanted to be in one of these productions, like any of the Merchant Ivory films or anything with Hugh Grant in an ascot, but there’s no place in there for an actor like me.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a fine actress – nominated for an emmy for playing a MAN even. I am really very very good. My face is magic. I am not trying to pat myself on the back. Most actors of color are excellent – we have to be in order to be considered for anything at all. We have to rise above expectations of race and convince everyone we belong.
Of course things have changed since I started working in entertainment almost (gulp) 30 years ago, but sometimes when I come across something I enjoy – like downton – I painfully also remember that there’s some areas where I will never stand a chance – no matter how good I am, no matter what happens. My race disqualifies me from even trying. I don’t automatically assume I belong everywhere – not everyone belongs everywhere – but I love those historical shows so much – and yet I know – I can’t even imagine being a part of it.
Unless they do a series arc about the Opium trade! Oh please let it happen.
and for the record – if you are watching – Jim Short and I are both currently furious at the earl of grantham. Jim says he is not getting back in the bedroom – no way! I agree wholeheartedly!