John Ridley's new limited series explores racial tension and police violence in England
America isn’t the only country with a history of civil rights struggle. Britain, too, has often been plagued by the same racial tension and police violence. In Guerrilla, John Ridley’s new limited series for Showtime, the American Crime mastermind tells the story of a young politically active mixed-race couple, Jas Mitra (Freida Pinto) and Marcus Hill (Babou Ceesay), who decide to form an armed insurgent cell in ’70s Britain.
Idris Elba also stars as Kent, a friend and mentor to the main couple. In a new behind-the-scenes clip, Elba discusses his character and why he made the show. “I met John two years ago. We really wanted to work with each other. He had a project set in America, but he liked the idea of transposing it to England,” Elba says. “I was born in that era of England, in ’72. It was very different from the world we live in now. Back then, you were really putting yourself out there.”
Kent’s former relationship with Jas is a source of tension in the series, as are his trepidations about getting more involved in this incipient political movement. “He’s very much a party man,” Elba says of Kent. “He had a relationship with our lead character, Jas. But she’s in love with Marcus. At the center of this story is two people who decide to go for it.”
Watch the clip above. Guerrilla premieres on Showtime Sunday, April 16 at 9 p.m. ET.