Jamie Bell says portraying a white supremacist in his new film 'Skin' was a "big moral choice" for him.

Jamie Bell

Jamie Bell

The 33-year-old actor opened up about his role as former skinhead group member Bryon Widner in the 2018 biographical drama and confessed that the part did "affect" him and he was unsure about whether it was ethical to tell the story of a white supremacist on the big-screen.

Speaking at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations: Skin screening and panel held at The Robin Williams Center on Tuesday (23.07.19) in New York City, he said: "When you're wearing that every day, you know, and you're playing scenes like that, it affects you.

"So it was a big moral choice for me, you know? Are we going to give this guy his screen time, you know? Are we going to tell his story and give it the kind of big-screen treatment?

"So I really was kind of flip-floppy on that a lot. I was quite on a see-saw morally about it."

The film tells the story of Widner, the co-founder of a violent white power group in Indiana called Vinlanders Social Club, who marries a woman called Julie Larsen who - with the help of a black rights activist - helps him turn his back on hate and leave his own organisation.

The 'Rocketman' star went on to explain that he was very "honest" with Widner when he met him in preparation for the role and admitted he found it difficult not to "judge" him.

He said: "You know, I was very honest with him, I said, 'I don't like what you've done. I don't like the life that you have led and the choices you've made and only you will have to reckon with that for the rest of your life.'

"And I think, as an actor, you always try not to judge the subject that you're portraying. But in this instance, it was very difficult."


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