UK documentary to feature actor Cameron
Bermudian actor Earl Cameron is to feature alongside other black stars who broke the movie “colour bar”.
Mr Cameron will appear in the first instalment of Britain's BBC Two documentary series Black Hollywood tonight.
The series premiere, at 9pm UK time, will turn the spotlight on breakthrough moments in modern black cinema with the success stories of films such as La La Land and Moonlight.
The programme highlights Mr Cameron as a pioneer in white-dominated cinema alongside Harry Belafonte and Diahann Carroll.
He was interviewed, along with Mr Belafonte, on the experience of taking a romantic lead role at a time when interracial relationships were regarded as box office poison in Hollywood.
Mr Cameron, 101, said he was aware “to a certain degree” of being a trailblazer when he appeared in the 1951 film Pool of London, the first British film to portray an interracial relationship. But he added: “To be honest, it didn't strike me as breaking ground on the racial issue. Coming from Bermuda in 1939, which was a very racist island, the degree of racism in England didn't surprise me. I had grown up with it.”
Mr Cameron said the role was “normal and natural” — but that it was still “a first romantic role between black and white”.
He added he had read about black-dominated films such as Black Panther, but that he rarely went to the cinema. Mr Cameron explained: “I live out in a small place in Warwickshire; I'm not in London any more. I don't see many films these days.”
The three-part BBC Two documentary, subtitled They Gotta Have Us, also includes filmmakers and actors such as Barry Jenkins, Jesse Williams, John Boyega, Don Cheadle, David Oyelowo, Debbie Allen, John Singleton and Natalie Emmanuel.
Mr Cameron said he had never met Mr Belafonte — but knew Sir Sidney Poitier “extremely well”.