Will Poulter’s ‘horrendous’ role

ICONINSIDER — Will Poulter went home “hating” himself every day after playing a “horrendous”, racist police officer in ‘Detroit’.
The 24-year-old actor takes on the grittier character of Philip Krauss, a police officer involved in the Algiers Motel incident of 1967, in which three African American men were killed during the 12th Street Riot.
Speaking at the European premiere at the Curzon Cinema, in London, on Wednesday (16.08.17) about what it was like playing his character, Poulter said: “(It was) horrendous, man. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t go home and didn’t kind of hate myself.
“But I had the unwavering support of an unbelievable cast who were so trusting and generous with me and I don’t take that for granted.
“I’m still stuck by how lucky I was because of that.”
The script is based on the events of the Algiers Motel incident during Detroit’s 1967 12th Street Riot in which three black teenage civilians were beaten and killed by police, whilst a further nine were badly injured.
Describing his character, Poulter said: “I think reprehensible is a good word to describe him. He virtually lacks empathy entirely and to approach a character like that was incredible uncomfortable, because adopting his psychology I couldn’t identify with even a single thing about him that I could respect or as much relate to so it was an uncomfortable place to be, but I think it was necessary in exposing these sorts of individuals and we need to continue to expose these individuals and ensure they don’t have a place in our society because the world is too dangerous.”
Poulter admitted the impact of the film’s hard-hitting storyline “remains to be seen”.
He added: “What is nice it seems to have sparked a lot of conversation around racism and how that might impact things legally speaking and hopefully it leads to a genuine change as far as dismantling systems of white supremacy and bettering the terms of social justice for people of colour.”
Many of the characters featured in the film are based on real people, including Melvin Dismukes (John Boyega) and Julie Hysell (Hannah Murray).
Director Kathryn Bigelow revealed she met with them and credits them with being “hugely responsible” for the way the movie developed.

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