Nathalie Emmanuel Says Black British Actors Have To Come To The US Because Of A Lack Of Opportunity

·2 min read

You know and love British actor Nathalie Emmanuel.

  Daniele Venturelli / WireImage / Via Getty
Daniele Venturelli / WireImage / Via Getty

She played Missandei in Game of Thrones and Ramsey in the Fast and Furious franchise — I can't wait to see her in F9: The Fast Saga.

F9: The Fast Saga / Universal Pictures / Via giphy.com

And she gives really incredible interviews, touching on everything from body image and self-care to dropping serious industry truth bombs.

Nathalie Emmanuel speaks onstage during the 22nd CDGA (Costume Designers Guild Awards) at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 28, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California
Frazer Harrison / Via Getty

In conversation with Essence, Nathalie got real about being a Black, mixed actor in the UK — and the limited opportunities she's had because of it.

Actress Nathalie Emmanuel attends the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020, in Los Angeles, California
Chelsea Guglielmino / Via Getty

"The British industry hasn’t always embraced us," she said. "So many Black, mixed people like myself have come out to America because the opportunities just weren’t here for us. Unfortunately, what’s happened is a lot of Black talent has been lost to the States."

Nathalie Emmanuel arrives at The Fashion Awards 2019 held at Royal Albert Hall on December 02, 2019, in London, England
Daniele Venturelli / WireImage / Via Getty

"It's not like...we haven't been calling for this for many years, it was just falling on dead ears," she continued. "I think, frankly, that the US has so much more opportunity for people of all kinds of backgrounds."

Nathalie Emmanuel attends the BFI & IWC Luminous Gala at The Roundhouse on October 1, 2019, in London, England
David M. Benett / Via Getty Images for IWC

"I kind of just took a risk, like, 'I guess I’m going to try [and make it in the States],' and I feel really proud of that," she continued. "The fact that the universe has decided, 'Nathalie, this is going to happen.' It’s surreal. I pinch myself regularly."

Game of Thrones / HBO / Via giphy.com

Nathalie also said she's seen the benefit of representation in real time. "It’s always really heartwarming when someone comes up to me and they say my daughter hated her hair, she hated her skin, she hated these things about herself, and she saw you and now she loves herself," she said.

Nathalie Emmanuel attends the HBO's Post Emmy Awards Reception at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 22, 2019, in Los Angeles, California
David Livingston / Via Getty

"It literally makes me want to cry because I was that little girl, so the fact that I can be that for someone else is lovely."

Nathalie Emmanuel arrives at the BAFTA Los Angeles + BBC America TV Tea Party 2019 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on September 21, 2019, in Beverly Hills, California
Steve Granitz / WireImage / Via Getty

You can watch the full interview here.