Towards the end of my interview with Ashley Walters, I asked him what he thinks his best performance is. He picked out his role as a drug addict in the little-seen drama Sugarhouse, but he was very clear to say that it was only his best performance so far, and that his career was far from over.

Walters is still pretty young—he’s only 33—but even if this were the end of his career, he’d still have a hell of a lot to talk about. Back when he went by the name of Asher D, he was part of So Solid Crew, arguably the first British MCs to get a No. 1 (“21 Seconds”), still the most vilified musical act by the mainstream press, and a vital evolutionary step in the pre-history of today’s vibrant grime scene. Then, as police intervention was causing So Solid’s success to implode, Walters was sentenced to 18 months at a young offender’s institute for possessing a loaded weapon. Upon his release, he starred in the critically acclaimed movie Bullet Boy, which did a similar thing for the UK film industry that So Solid did for music, opening the door for the likes of Kidulthood and Attack The Block. A few years later, he would go on to star in one of the best things to ever air on British TV: Top Boy, a show that has become a cult favourite and is on constant repeat on Drake’s Netflix.

That is quite a career. 

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