TOP BOY’S Micheal Ward On Meeting Drake, Netflix and Being Jamaican


– I’m so happy for you right now! (mumbling) (laughing) – Hi, I’m Gena. I’m here with actor, Michael Ward, who plays Jamie on Top Boy and these are his Netflix nine! (upbeat music) – Not only have you joined the cast of critically acclaimed show, it’s been executive produced by Drake. – Drizzy! – What was it like meeting and working with him? – Yeah, like, the weirdest thing about me meeting him was that I actually watched him at Wireless the day before. So I see, like, two big security guards come, looking left and right. Drake comes through and I’m just standing there, like, trying to not make it bait. Oh my god! That was one of the
baddest things, actually! Then Drake just came over and giving me a hug and saying, “You all right?” And I was like, “Yeah!” You know what I’m saying? I was (mumbles). – How did you keep it? I would be like, “I’m fine! No idea who
you are, by the way.” – No , but I’m actor. We can pretend to be cool. – No, you’re right. – You know what I’m saying? So I was acting cool. As soon as he went inside (laughs) Yeah, it was mad! (Drake) Yeah! – Let them know, man! Let them know what we about! Aye yo! – Do you guys have each other on Instagram or stuff? – Not yet. Not yet but soon. I’m guessing. – I was going to be like, can you just message him and be like I met this girl called Gena. – You say, with the plug he’s out here! Six years ago you tweeted that you couldn’t wait for Top Boy to come around. – Oh, you saw that? – I saw that tweet because I do my research. Because I’m a very good interviewer! You tweeted that and now you’re starring in it. – It’s crazy! – What’s it like coming into something that’s so important to people? Like, Top Boy is such a
big thing to come into. – It’s a big, big, big blessing, first and foremost. And being able to act alongside people I’ve seen on screen six, seven, well eight years ago is when it was made, isn’t it? – And what was your reaction when you got the role? – I was actually in Glasgow, in Maru, by myself and I knew I was going to get a call. So, it was like, I can’t get this call around people so I was constantly just trying to run back to the room or whatever. And as soon as soon as I go back to the room I was like, yo, call me now! And then, yeah, Red D to the call and it was just a big lead up. And then Rei, the first director, He called me and said how would I like to take Top Boy three? I was like, “What? – Ooh! You came with the acting! I was like different accent! – Yep! (laughing) – I was like what? No! You’re trying shit! You’re trying rubbish! So then, yeah man, it actually happened. And then straight after I called my agent because he knew that I was going
to get a phone call. And I told him yeah, like, “I didn’t even get it man.” And my agent was like, “Don’t worry. It’s cool. Sometimes these things ain’t meant to be.” – Aww, that’s so sweet. – And I was like, “What do you mean? Of course we got it!” And he got (slang). That was a blessing. I will never forget that day! Literally, I will never forget it. – That is so nice! I’m so happy for you! (mumbling) (laughing) I saw a video where you took your mom to see a Top Boy billboard. – So you’re proper preemie like that? – As I said, I’m good at my job! I wanted to come with the information. – That’s good! – What has been your mom’s reaction to you being in this show. And all your family and friends. What’s the reaction been around you getting this opportunity? – For me it’s like once in a lifetime. And being able to be a part of it is just crazy, man. And obviously that billboard, it was just me and Ash up there. So like, a lot of people, if they don’t even know you they know that you are good or a main character in the thing. So like, my mom, it’s just good for her. You know, she’s got bragging rights now and stuff like that. But it’s just, again,
we’re just all blessed and happy that at least one of us has been able
to get his opportunity. You know what I’m saying? – So I notice you’ve been calling Ashley Walters by Ash. – Yeah! – So you guys are really good friends? – Yeah, we’re like that now. – You’re best friends? – Yeah, we’ve been eating dinner. – Really? – Yo! It’s mad. – Really? Because I said
hi to Ashley Walters and left and he doesn’t know me. (laughing) – So I was like (squeeking sound). – You’ve got to get to know him. – I know. You’re so right. You can’t just be saying
hi to people like that. – Yeah, that’s the thing, man. – Yeah, I don’t have any chill so I was like, “Hey!” So tell me about your experience working with, you know, the original cast members. As you said, you’ve got Ashley, you’ve got Kano, you’ve got people like that. – Let me say again, surreal. Ashley’s just someone that I’ve looked up to because he’s broken down a barrier by going down over into the States. Because I’ve seen him in “Get Rich Or Die Trying” and that’s one of my favorite movies. So seeing him and I was thinking he’s made this possible. He’s actually paved the way for people like me to come through. So I’m always grateful for that. (Gena) As someone who’s younger in the industry what’s he best piece of advice that you’ve been given so far in your career? – Stay humble. – You’re definitely doing that. – Yeah, man. I hear it
all the time as well. And something I realized anyway, people can lose their way and stuff like that because of stuff like this. You know what I’m saying? There’s a lot of people that will say yes. So yeah, man. You’ve always got to stay humble and appreciate everything that you have in life. (Gena) What other shows do you watch on Netflix? Or have you watched on Netflix? – I’ve recently watched “When They See Us”. And that has inspired me so, so much. The level of acting. The director, Ava, she done an amazing job. Even light and sound. You really appreciate everything when it comes to “When They See Us”. It was an amazing show. And, for me, it’s opened my eyes and yet inspired me to just want to tell stories now because before when people used to ask me, “Now that you’ve got Top Boy what kind of stuff do you want to do?” And I obviously I never started with acting so I’m kind of just going with the flow. Just doing roles that I feel like is good. You know what I’m saying? But now I actually know that I want to tell really important stories that need to be told. (Gena) Who’s someone that you admire? – I’d say my uncle. I admire him a lot. Because I wasn’t actually born here. I was born in Jamaica. So I came here when I was four. Obviously my dad died when I was like two. So then, yeah like, my uncle just got us all over. Which he never needed to do. And also, he’s opened
up his own restaurant and stuff like that. So, yeah man, he’s mad inspiring or me and I just admire him so much. Especially just because I’m here. Because I know I never needed to be here. And I see my family in Jamaica and I’m just thinking that could have been me. (Gena) I’m glad you mentioned Jamaica. Because you were born in Jamaica. I was not born in Jamaica but I’m British born Jamaican, okay? – You’re a jafaker! – I’m not a jafaker! Why do you guys always say that? You always try to say that we’re jafakans! – When you’re actually from there that’s the bragging rights you have! – All right, but you have been here since you were four so. Do you know what I mean? Like, don’t even try it! You’re Jamaican, I’m half Jamaican. Let’s say that since your trying to deny my whole existence. (mumbles) What’s the best thing about being Jamaican? – From such a small island the fact that people speak about us is, like we’re always
constantly in conversations. So I feel like that’s the best thing. We’re proud of that. – It’s wild how they’ve got so much culture capital. It’s such a small island but so many people. – And a lot of time when people refer to the Caribbean they are actually talking about Jamaica. I’m sorry. – Which is offensive to
literally every the other island. – It’s the truth. From where I’m from I know that a lot of the times when you see when you talk about Africans versus Jamaicans, well, Carribeans. A lot of times it’s
Africans versus Jamaicans. So that’s what I’ve seen. I’m only going off what I’ve seen. Just to clear that up. (Gena) So next time I see you, if I’m ever lucky enough to see you again, right? – You will. Don’t say it like that. You will see me again. – Because we’re friends! Top Boy will be out in the world. What are you most excited about for the show’s release? – I’m just excited for people to see a UK story on a worldwide stage. – Absolutely. – It’s going to be mad that people from Brazil are going to know about this now. People from Bangladesh apparently, I heard. Bangladesh? (laughing) – Worldwide, baby! We’re
going international! – That’s what’s up! So, yeah man, I’m just excited for people to know about our culture, how we speak as well. (Gena) This was great. – Thank you so much for chatting with me. – It’s alright! – Michael! Michael Ward,
you’re going to be famous! And I can’t wait to see it and say that I spoke to you! Make sure you accept, when I follow your Instagram make sure you’re accepting it. – Maybe, I don’t know about that! (hip hop music)

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Reader Comments

  1. Trey Trey

    I'm reppin' Zed T's here in Canada ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐ŸคฃโœŒ๐Ÿพ… nah for real this young man is a great actor. Can't wait for Season 4.

  2. Adam Ali Mohamed

    if it wasnt for ashley and michael on this season it wouldnt be as good as previous. michael fits in to this type of shows he got alot to offer still. he got that calmness and smartness, very neat actor.

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