Damson Idris unpacks ‘Snowfall’ season 4, talks comparisons to Denzel Washington
The FX star is dishing on Franklin's road to redemption and how he really feels about those comparisons to his "hero" Denzel
Damson Idris knows that his Snowfall character, Franklin Saint, is on a complicated journey.
The British actor, 29, told theGrio exclusively that he believes that Franklin may be able to find his road to redemption, regardless of the turmoil that surrounds him. During episode 9 of the hit FX series, Franklin must confront those who have betrayed him, resulting in the deaths of Manboy (Melvin Gregg), Khadijah (Geffri Hightower) and several others.
Reporter Irene Abe (Suzy Nakamura), who was working with Franklin’s father Alton, is also a causality in Franklin’s orbit, losing her life at the hands of CIA agent Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson), who is attempting to cover up the agency’s connection to the crack epidemic.
“It’s really difficult [for him to find the right path],” Idris explains. “What we know today, in 2021, and what this drug has done to its communities, it’s a horrible thing. Franklin doesn’t know that yet, but he’s beginning to see it. I think there’s a great deal he has to do in order to see redemption. But it’s far-fetched, because a lot of the things that he’s been involved in, you can’t rewrite.”
According to Idris, Franklin’s insistence on saving Jerome (Amin Joseph) from himself in episode 9 and his possible protection of his father, Alton (Kevin Carroll), in the season finale show that the former college student still cares deep down. At the end of the day, Idris says, Franklin is focused on family.
“Family is all that matters to Franklin. If you look at how the seasons unravel, every time people kind of break away, he tries to bring them together,” Idris shares. “Because he understands that together, they’re stronger. For that reason, that’s why he wanted to save Jerome. That’s why he’s always insistent about keeping everyone in the business and not having them break off and do their own thing, as we saw with Leon in the projects. So I think Franklin knows, as much as everyone needs him, he also needs them.”
Snowfall has turned Idris into one of Hollywood’s newest It guys, with widespread praise for his breakout performance and talks of possible award nominations. The London native, who previously starred in Black Mirror, is touched by all of the accolades, but is especially humbled by the comparisons to his acting “hero,” Denzel Washington.
“Stick a cotton ball in my ear,” Idris joked about hearing the comparisons. “I try to keep my head as small as possible. It’s a blessing. Comparison is verification that what you’re doing is moving people. Mr. Washington has been a person who has always been a template for many young Black actors. So when you’re doing something well, you’re compared to him, it’s just how it is. Many people have been compared before me and many people will be compared after me. [The] most important thing is just keeping quiet and letting my work do the talking.”
Idris’ work on Snowfall is definitely causing people to talk. The show’s popularity has expanded globally, with many viewers catching up on the series through binge-watching during the coronavirus pandemic. Idris is touched by all of the love and hopes to continue to leave a legacy creator John Singleton would be happy with.
“Well the brilliance of it, for me, is [that] I’m a student of the system of cinema, film, TV,” Idris says. “In the past, things have kind of kicked off once [Snowfall has] gone off air—that happened with Black Mirror too. It’s really beautiful to be in the moment and really enjoy it. [To] really be able to go to Antigua and everyone at where I was staying was like, ‘Franklin! Franklin!’ Or go to Nigeria or go to anywhere in the world, or have people interact with you from different places in the world, on social media [and] in real time. The past year has been horrific, and we’ve lost so much, but hopefully, this form of entertainment has helped some people get through.”
“The great thing about this show is we really are a family. Singleton’s brilliance was he was able to empower people well before he left—be it writers, be it directors, be it actors, be it a crew. His passion was infectious, and it moved through a crew. So although we missed him, he was still with us. The main thing was making sure that we were making him proud.”
Snowfall airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.
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