Snowfall star Damson Idris on his breakout role in John Singleton’s crack cocaine drama

Damson Idris as Franklin Saint in Snowfall
Damson Idris as Franklin Saint in FX’s Snowfall, a recounting of the crack epidemic of the 80s

The star of FX’s new series Snowfall, Damson Idris, has spoken about his breakout role in John Singleton’s crack cocaine drama — which comes just four years after he started acting.

The 25-year-old told the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour that growing up in the deprived neighborhood of Peckham, London, had allowed him to relate to the story.

And he said watching Singleton’s 1991 film Boyz n the Hood as a kid acted as an “eyeopener” to him about America.

He said the area he spent his childhood in had many of the same issues as were highlighted in Singleton’s breakout movie.

Idris, who used to want to be a soccer player and only turned to acting after getting injured, said of the film: “It showed me a new side of America.”


Snowfall, created and executive produced by Singleton, is set in Los Angeles during the mid to late 1980s and chronicles the crack cocaine epidemic and how it began.

The story centers on an ambitious young street entrepreneur, Franklin Saint (Idris), who makes his way in the drug underworld.


Also starring in Snowfall are Gustavo Zapata (Sergio Peris-Mencheta), a wrestler who gets caught up in a power struggle within another crime family; Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson), a CIA operative who raises money for the Nicaraguan Contras, and Luica Villanueva (Emily Rios), the comely daughter of a prominent Mexican crime lord.

Snowfall is executive produced by Dave Andron, who will continue as showrunner, Thomas Schlamme, Singleton, Eric Amadio, Michael London, and Trevor Engelson. Evan Silverberg is producer.

Snowfall is set to premiere in 2017.

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