Rhianne Barreto – 1883 Magazine

Rising actress Rhianne Barreto exerts her acting skills in new BBC One crime thriller The delinquants.

At only 23 years old, the actress Rhianne barreto has already had a successful career that many dream of. Since being named Screen International Star of Tomorrow, along with A24 and HBO TO SHARE and ITV HONOR, and now she’s playing alongside Christopher Walken and Stephen Merchant in her new show The delinquants. The show, which has the allure of prison drama mixed with a bit of comedic timing like in the iconic Misfits, focuses on 7 strangers from different backgrounds who are forced together to do community service like sentence to return but quickly become entangled in the life of the other… while being involved in a dangerous criminal gang. Rhianne plays Rani, an A-level college student who sets out on the Oxford Road… until she gets caught shoplifting and has to fill out a community service order.

Kelsey Barnes from 1883 magazine spoke with Rhianne Barreto about The delinquants, television performance, his career so far, and more.

You started your career in 2016 with the miniseries, Dread bites. How would you say you’ve grown as an actress since then?

I was so nervous on this job! It was my first day on a set and I had this amazing co-star Percelle Ascot, who went to BRIT a few years before me, so we had some common ground. He really held my hand and helped me throughout the shoot, explaining everyone’s roles, making me laugh and keeping me very relaxed. Hope to be someone’s Percy Ascot on set!

I remember being very worried after my first day, it was a daylong shoot and I was so used to the theater, I was not at all used to the nature of the shoot – I was so worried about the jack they were going to use. Tickle Monster was such an amazing short film, and I was so lucky to be a part of it. I really learned a lot. He went on to have such a successful life. Remi Weekes is just this wonderful visionary, I feel blessed to have worked with him and can’t wait to see what he does next!

Congratulation for The delinquants! The BBC / Amazon comedy thriller was renewed for a second season even before the premiere aired. What can you tell me about the show?

Thank you! It takes place in Bristol and is about these seven VERY different foreigners who are all doomed to do community service. These are all “stereotypes” that slowly turn out to be anything but. It’s full of laughter and tension and it comes from the mind of Stephen Merchant, a British comedy icon! He’s also stuffed with Hollywood heavyweights; Christopher Walken, Claes Bang, Richard E Grant – plus a few British stars such as Darren Boyd, Clare Perkins, Eleanor Tomlinson and Jess Gunning! It’s a mega casting. Having been commissioned for a second series during Covid, we were able to really expand the story and the character arcs and sow some really powerful Easter eggs that tie together so well at the end. I am very proud of it.

What attracted you to your character, Rani?

She is such a conundrum! On paper it’s a stereotype, but what’s great is that Stephen calls out all of our stereotypes during the first episode as she ranks as a “good Asian student girl” and then breaks it down and becomes everything but! It is genius to write. I think playing someone going on a huge emotional journey was terrifying and exciting at the same time.

Do you have a favorite scene or episode that you are most excited for people to see?

At the start of the show there’s this chase scene, we shot it all night in this mall and it was super fun. I had this amazing stunt girl she warmed me up and kept me going and was just a champion. It was cool to work at night in a mall, the lighting inside malls bother you a bit, you don’t really know how the time goes. I find the stunts so rewarding. Sometimes you never know if you’ve satisfied the director with an emotional or dialogue-based scene, but with stunts you run fast and hit your target or you don’t. When you do, you really feel great.

The show has quite an all-star cast. What did the shoot look like?

Surreal! I remember the first day Walken was on set, playing with him was just magical, he has that old Hollywood sparkle in his eyes. He was so playful and fun! Everyone is just on top of their game, you know? Everywhere you turned, you worked with masters of their craft. I felt blessed to be among them!

What have you learned from watching or working with actors like Christopher Walken and Stephen Merchant that you will take with you in your future endeavors?

They work so hard! Stephen is such a machine. Write, direct, act and produce… I don’t know how he does it. He has a great sense of storytelling and knew exactly what he wanted. Finding the right tone for a comedy / thriller is difficult, but I think it has absolutely succeeded. Walken had this freedom in him, he was relaxed and playful. As an actor it’s so much fun to be there because you feel like the scene is ALIVE. After five takes, he throws you something fresh. It keeps you on your toes and ultimately raises the stage for everyone.

I like what you said in your conversation with The Evening Standard about making room for normal working class actors in creative spaces that are currently inundated with people from private schools. Is there someone you felt growing up that you could admire in the industry for sure there would be a place for you?

Dev Patel and Riz Ahmed are huge inspirations for me. They are stars who grew up near me in North West London. They went on to play knights, surfers, and literary characters – they broke down so many barriers for brown actors. I am truly grateful and moved by their work, I hope to play the range of roles they have.

Have you been able to see changes within the industry yourself?

Of course, I don’t think I would have been chosen for the roles I played ten years ago. There have been incredible casting directors, Shaheen Baig, Amy Hubbard, Aisha Bywaters and Avy Kaufman (to name a few) who have performed time and time again in such a diverse way and have sought out unknown actors for big roles. Their work is so vital. Box office figures show that there is a large audience for various actors; Crazy Rich Asians grossed $ 230 million globally, Get Out grossed $ 255.4 million, and Squid Games most recently garnered 111 million viewers making it the # 1 broadcast on the platform. -form Netflix.

The representation is powerful. Seeing different people from different backgrounds succeed and making art that reaches households is everything to me. That’s the power of movies. Look at the lives and experiences of people you may never meet and have compassion for them.

I like what you said about not playing the role of the best friend and focusing on the main character. Is this awareness something that you have had for a while or did something else trigger it?

My God ! I’m afraid that sounds super arrogant and I would like to add that I would happily play smaller roles and a best friend character if it was layered and new to me. I just want to play well-written characters, big or small like I had in Hanna. Playing Sophie was super fun, happy and bolshy and I’m so grateful for playing her. She was by no means the stereotypical “brunette best friend”. She had a beautiful screenplay and a fully fleshed out character.

I think the cast of the “brown best friend” is something that some productions lean on so as not to be criticized for not being diverse, but these characters aren’t completely thought out and thought through through the storylines. While researching on-screen diversity, I found a 2018 equity report stating, “It found that ethnic minorities are under-represented in cutting-edge scripted programming, actors from East Asia and the Middle East being the most affected ”. Riz Ahmed also speaks beautifully about representation, breaking down acting roles for ethnic minorities into stages; “The first step is the two-dimensional stereotype – the minicab driver / terrorist / convenience store owner. He tightens the collar. The second stage is subversive representation, taking place on an “ethnic” ground but aiming to challenge existing stereotypes. He loosens the collar. And the third stage is the Promised Land, where you play as a character whose story is not intrinsically linked to his race. There, I am not a terrorist suspect, nor a victim of forced marriage. There my name might even be Dave. In this place, there is no collar.

My feeling with the statement “I don’t want to play the best friend role anymore” should be rephrased to “I want to play Stage 3 roles, whether big or small”. As most actors point out, it is important not to play the same role again. I want to do new things and make room for other young brunette girls to see people who look like them in performances that speak to them in different ways, not just as a character who serves white lead, but as that someone who if we followed would lead their own movie. Someone who has their own full storyline.

Finally, if you could manifest something on your own this year, what would it be and why?

Good question! I’m not really sure… maybe a good time? I want to spend more time with my friends and family. After filming in another city for a year during Covid, I feel like I’ve missed a lot of life in London. While I think! And to work with cool people on cool projects and have a good fun time.

The Offenders airs weekly at 9 p.m. Mondays on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Maintenance Kelsey barnes

Photography Joseph sinclair

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