Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje discusses his directorial debut, 'Farming'

The actor discusses the gritty film based on his real-life experiences.
24:51 | 10/22/19

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Transcript for Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje discusses his directorial debut, 'Farming'
It's Candice Williams ABC radio of course I have returned. With another amazing and just all around. Wonderful man. Achy so much at a while Uday and I'm to this day is named Belichick got the dead and soak it in. At a lot and can no way. Act out by Jay you'd go OKV and got a great god they're here. So first and foremost thank you so much for stopping by to chat. I'm happy to have you here because we're talking about your direct Torre will debut farm mean. You listen cameras thanks very much for having me and you know what it's it's really great to be here it would this project because. Oversee do so market as a man. But here you know this is not only. Project that I wrote and directed by missiles vote. Race a poem countless hours so. You know this. Absolutely now. I must admit when I first to read the synopsis of the story I was very shocked. I didn't know too much about foreign being this is not something that op. On so I didn't really know all would like about it in that I started to research and learn. And so I want you kind of breakdown for the listeners and viewers a little bit about what farming is because it's something that happened. On a specific time in the UK. Where people from I guess Africa would farm out their children. To a working class white families on that probably had never seen children of color before of that had to be in my five's. A very jarring and it's. Scary it's variants so can you talk a little bit about what that was armed and kind of your ex periods and being a part of that. Well you know you said is so eloquently you know we in Britain very familiar with the American. Black American and are very little is known about. Was a term that was used by British social workers to describe. This minimum hood and sixties. Threw for thirty years seventies iTunes run through its in the nineties whereby the Nigerian immigrants coming through written in the sixties would. Fox stuff or as the home school home your children out to white working class families in order so that they could bookstore audience cited. The idea was that once had. You know who graduated and save enough money they won't collect the children returned home and material that was. Farming so the story actually. Com close margin because as as a young maybe six weeks so I was fall and to a white couple in the south east of England. About now from London. At that time you know there was a huge backlash against immigrant influx into the country. I'm it manifested in many forms one of which was the skin has some Coetzer which happens to be rife in the area where. Myself my siblings were deposited so it was probably the worst place you could put. Children in this was in the sixties with a I've never seen bright children before. There it's OSHA. To African coats and really this came through the TV and cauldron and and and there was some quite races shows at that time on home on public TVO from from the BBC. You would commonly used racial slurs and epithets. So it was quite common vernacular for people to cool but keep who. Coombs Sambo world that was just. The normal conversation. So when you all growing up amidst bet on of environment and menu to or from street. Substitute physical. Abuse of armed gangs and just about anybody because they just like the presence of Ian so. It was very tough. Great home take out bring in and you know. We did not have any cultural references he put on an old you'll black and you beautiful you litre on that figure itself so. So it it was a tough place to grow up a tough line. Yeah and I and I feel that. You know when one watches this film was I definitely want you last check out some theaters Friday bombed this is such a compelling film and you have such an all star cast involved. I'm dancing Ijaz sticky beckoned sale of two goon who I mean I I was just enthralled with all these people that were involved and really helped to tell the story. On you know came back as it was almost unrecognizable. And damned if he did such an amazing job did you initially have. Idea of who you wanted to beat it to be in the stomach the obvious is that personal narrative of personal. Who could play me and if that Danza does amazing jobs I thought that was spot on but who did you have somebody in mind for these role. You know I had some some ideas of seekers and those characters their plan in. Saw was looking for essence of those characters. In areas act is you know for instance. Rumba to rule and was the first among Borden project you know she she represented. Several Carroll who's that exist in my life time it was 20. Transition from. You know racism firemen into you know. And reais essentially but I need to match was that who'd exude benevolence. Naturally. And and so she she has not worked there before. Us and with us live from an in the theater so I knew who work and to go relatively. As a person and and so that that was to no grade infamy and sent the script he connected with because I believe she had friends that had been farmed as well though the importance in the story. It was she going to be challenging finding. Young Adewale you know some and a because of so there weren't enough black actors. Could relate to. The feeling all of nor belonging in Britain comes almost looking force Matt who's still. Rule not fully pro since we've with the industry. And what is happened is the who's there I've been costing. Gravitate to the fears image of parent and I was really looking arraignment today. Exuded this natural sensitivity war which is wore a hat as a young child. And a sense of decency. And when dancing came in and in addition I mean he it is so old and consequently one S performance artists film photography office when deserve so and and Kate. You know I needed. And it's just that would eggs used and natural charisma of stock. At the same time still have the rabbits house be rude to do well did not seem. Some of the world whether it was them. Eat you knowing contraband. A VA and I'd seen glimpses of what I was looking for. So prom I was very clear our senate of this. An honest and and with the committee and she began to slip mostly news gravitate and imports from the tunes of the story. And I'm I think also the opportunity to you. Something because this is a pig but it's that would never seen before you know there's no makeup sees no stripped down. And she does a performance that you know. This on us so. I don't very fortunate. Offs are put ago. You know from book as with many of the governor who's who knows that in the field. Well look up some of those did I guess he would say challenges and in putting such a personal narrative out there because. On I would think and and you can correct me if I'm wrong that one would have liked pulled dramatic stress. You don't living there were reliving that experience to some degree like oh my god you know I went through this crazy time in my childhood. All did you find any agreement any apprehension or caution about. Telling the story being so open. Mean I've lived with this story of the street from fifteen instrument might Mitch. I think so. Problem I would look lot of time to process those emotions. And I news. The time. Fields was ready to them. Ottawa on mom and also you know the film depicts period of my life from. It is yes that he is so you know time is that is the best he. And and so yes I'm pro system malls those. Feedings. Before but the you know just doing the port it was a boxing. In Kendall deny that actually coming on the set. Seeing those people embody people I knew in my life. Aaron are cool going on the set. Oh my old home. Mine production design Amir Malin off replicated. And going in in the morning. And not being prepared food well of emotions. And vote and instant dues. These idea on the sofa. So you know moments like that. And give myself would be for the rest of actors came on May improve the directors. Moment. It was naturally. It was a it was a independent movie. Very very tight schedule. It was no time for me it's anguished human emotions just him laughs I was starting in as well so. That probably helped me not you know but. Look this is a salute the no way you going to avoid the the emotional psychological. Challenges of coming bio. Itself because I'll have to relive every moment in order to him on it's an act as war I was feeding him lines so. Absolutely. It was times. Motion challenging and you know agonizing. You know I had to know that ends justified the means almost and in. Post story. And porn potter producers which in. This full note this film was made headlines and then I was being the voice the voice whole generation. Thousands of thousands of Nigerian children. Just all of the country and consequently in the secret home. A cool so. Those of the things German me through. Every emotions I was affable have to admit. It was very. I'm just curious have you had all been in contact with a Foster family or any of little siblings that you. Weren't there lifson because of knee I I united seem like such a jarring experience but yet time does tend to heal wounds so has there have been in the type of connection now after. Oh in the Foster parents do you have to imagine. Not don't know if you have children so if you as. You know little back. So arm right into their debt so we had you know very good relationship you know that you know obviously Patton. Oh through its. You've it dilution because you know quite honestly I've been in denial as to treatment. In the fussed and it eyes should be grateful for them in. Education but will be reality woes neglected. I was emotionally psychologically abused in the substance of some severe form of his old racist environment and rapid. So admitting that was was myself was was difficult but a liberating. It's when you. Along with them as those whom are parents and it's really about. Notes overnights. In enemy engines division of the same blood doesn't necessarily mean you're gonna have a son Aaron which is what he's demonstrated in his film when we'd it's funny. Biological parents like strangest because we never never been re. Most of beer. Abducted from environment albeit a host. You used to thrown into a new one is real actual mad because. Language that he smelled the food and then we also regarded as foreigners there so. It was just just climbed to in new little eight year old mind reconcile way you fit. And in all of these changes in enemy. Oh you know. That's that's so complex but still important because our complex ease in this story you know it's not just. This happened and this happened so that equals that you know it's all these things that you go through. And so let's. Talk a little bit about kind of com. In an ad I want people understand that although you went through this you are. It got the same man or young man that you are today you talk about how you able to kind of reconcile. On from that point of being a part of this I guess you can say skinhead Gainer are very it. Self he moment they period that you were in your life to where you are today. What got you out from that we kind of signing in the film you'll see more of that and when he give it away on people to know should check it out on Friday. Let it if you can talk about. That journey take to get out of that type of mindset because it's almost like. Mindset I'm sure was a challenge in itself. Well let me get real concerts had person keep it. Because I'm. As I said you know when you grow up in an environment. In the home is racism. And on the street constantly you know we had bricks from oaks apartments destroyed school. And and you don't have a positive role model. View is coming out TV. Pickup jam job is only woes on everything. Around Jews really are breeding ground for your own self hatred out my fall about used to tell me. You know when I get tat but three of four boys time. Come home crowd he was. No Uga you beat them RO BU. So that was the ultimatum he threw me out houses and pick up a Briton had them and you know I had to Durham play. For them time off me on it. Childhood. Told him in. And I remember having to go through that. And then all of a sodden. What happened over short period of time spa to develop a reputation for being. A can be won back. It was the fullest time. I'd ever been. Acknowledged that something out of them come. And as a Hindus have been long. Or never been sent to ignore. It as a lifeline something 10 monsoon in an amendment wanted to keep doing whatever it was. Secured that feeling it was fly. And and so I became amassing in in the sense within bang. Women and fight rival gangs. Was useful. Item known. It was accepted. A little ways. That was the mitts which signed up and to Wear talent going out was you know my involvement. It was escalate to the appointment was ringing unwanted attention. From a forced them of the two. She had about 910 children house. And so should do more to lose them his record went. To him. Now and you know try to find another home which state did and they put structure around me what they hold them to commence with a clean program. Solutions which and vote. Adam ultimatum. Either I don't imitate me to Africa. A place I had no room. And war I was and have this on and written in his eyes it was no. The same professionals follow. I ended up. I'm social work and two actors and all these people around how to do and it was very very difficult but it refused he oh really help me. This transition in each of social m.'s new. I'm nom. No real me understand also intelligent. Is the ability to field to discern math. Regardless of will be in the street. In a classroom. For. Of that ability transfered to and different realm it's that intelligence and they told me that. And I think the turning point some it was costing us. Consultant to back up point to you read news lose. And les biffle Matt actually be in for success. Them. June and a it was education actually empowered me. He himself well and ultimate so. Yeah and an again you know this is set today a compelling story and I really want people check it out on Friday. On talk eat we talked about the challenges and kind of how this was very cathartic in but you know another it's all done I mean. What do you hope that people really when they go to see this that they'll get from it because there's so many different things that they can get government is just. A lot of nuggets in there but what would you hold now that it's completed its all done what do you well that he will get from this. You hear won't. There there was some of the universal themes in this story regardless of what you experience farming or whether you're black one and and one of them is. You know it's ultimately story you know it's about the importance of tunnel tunnel. The impact from the lack of such of that and ultima. Find Neal and the ones self. Com and and the other thing uses this as basically a a journey of triumph over us. So it shows people don't know Matt toward you knows. You can always. Overcome them and triumph in becoming. And Cecil us which is. Robinson's story. I'm you know on what specific level. Those of us the experience. Of farming. Is provided platform like who. Our. Collective healing people and now from the walking about. Experience wares and on budget and it was never you know never speak about it when Winona community. To as a team than in public and now. You know this is in use X relation to a culture that. All kinds of remittance while I was shooting. Was this outpouring. Of people sending them pictures of where bear with. And and so I felt hat on that line in the montage of him movies so. You specifically. You know for those on through it from you know I think it will be a platform and to actually. Exercised some of those emotions and it. Its offices Africans and in Britain and shines the line. And invalidate those on anybody's hasn't experienced any of the specific elements in the film. I think if I was to use one would. Would encapsulate Eastman. Issues. And Adam as I said because it shows no matter who you are where you from ever adversity was asleep you've come from nothing. And you've been told enough. Com you can waistline. And as always. I think that's the thing it would way. Of that that's let's say a powerful thing because it it really spreads across the film that there's an inkling of hope somebody believes in you. And you can feel that any kind of powers growth and it. Wow thank you for sharing that and I really hope you guys check this out on Friday foreign mean before we go I have just two quick questionable first off. You know I know you could tell me if you'd like I knows suicide squad coming back killer croc Levy making a return let's gone nine. I mean from the I've worn an awful way and I'm really happy with the race. I don't see. It may come outside me personally. I'm really happy with the race is. OK good I enjoy your character you know you hit. They kind of red terror listen it was fund managers. I don't see doormat may Koppen. It's a fun zone is fun. And who is of few. You've been proved. I'm. Oh islanders an NN and in terms of build projects. We be doing anything behind the camera they know this was your dad directorial debut and I feel like it's it's it's and smashing good job with this town will there be other thing I know you know we love seeing you on camera blood of course you are very talented cell. Well you gonna see both Tom can't speak of the next budget but there is one. That moved notably an announcement few weeks so how will we dime back in front. I think after exercises so many creative muscles would mean and writes in. A little ways wreck. This is so many stories a long ago and now about you know farming to be the first one of those stores. That and a holiday seasons are upon us shortly I'm in on the you take a look different times but I think around this time is still holidays in. A minute ago the Christmas trees up already when pilots you know we've Susan does sums over their focus on Christmas. Any plan any what's your holiday type man made a move your institute is some progress you don't and they because of him you know this. Wonderful film of the market just that she came from Nigeria and you know you know opened premiered there we go on a tomorrow and London before that so. It's been quite an exhausting ride vote were rewarded mambo I'd be too slight. And you know just reflect. And an end to this so. Green and then also I write and failed to mention that this sound track did all do you. I didn't ever be making them of the and an employee. I'll let a lot of body says no he didn't go go go go go way back. To be was one of Mya. Great is things to come out of it because music is always been my passion I wrote the top and tell end of the of the movie. Eight years ago and we we got into a financial. Lines went into music because a lot of books. Us Belgian music. Arm is very expensive. And it basically 12 would have eaten up by. Omar produces hood. You know the music and and they should you should do the music and it was an awful lot to take on to impose production. And I have my music studios in the weekends. I'm I was right Christians and I'm back in the mountain. I'm Iraq as a gonna release the sound tracks it's. It was it was that was mind. Commercial break from from the intensity and an love and it's all different genres of music to reflect. It was one. That's amazing I mean come on yeah I did that mean all these things you have the new hydrant and then. And so glad that it's out and it's well it's going to be out of Friday here in the US ready out of the UK. And people I hope Morgan enjoy as much as I did so much it'll no and vine. Talk about farming please check in theater is great lineup of people. Important story. He and his lame signing. You next time check out.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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