I originally wrote Black Shoes as a screenplay. Fortunately, because of the success of Hotel Babylon, I was able to meet with a number of producers who were positive about the script. Despite this, one particular meeting stood out. It was when a producer I met with said to me, Ďalthough I think that the material is good, I do not think that the UK audience will be interested a story with a black protagonist without a gun in his pocket.' Of course this offended me deeply. Not only because of the casual manner with which he delivered this statement, but also because when I challenged him, he didnít have any evidence to support his claims. As an actor, Iím always looking for as many diverse stories as possible. It is my wish to have a varied career. I believe this starts with not assuming what an audience wants, but with trying to tell interesting stories. This is what fuels my ambition to write.
This is a universal story about a young, successful manís journey through the maze of stereotypes to find his identity. It is a reminder that often how we judge people, or how we think we are being judged, can seriously affect the choices we make.
The protagonist happens to be black, but the story of identity is not exclusive to any race.