Interview with Kiké Brimah on Noughts + Crosses
Noughts + Crosses The much anticipated adaptation of book one of Malorie Blackman's award-winning young adult series
Noughts + Crosses starts Thursday 5 March on BBC One
Kiké Brimah plays Minerva Hadley in Noughts + Crosses.
Were you familiar with Malorie Blackman’s novel?
Tell us about your character, Minerva Hadley.
Her constant need to be centre of attention is a front to obscure how she actually feels. She is quite complex and you see elements of that this series, you see her vulnerable side.
Tell us about your on-screen family and filming in South Africa.
I feel so grateful to be a part of this project because of the people involved. The cast all clicked straight away. I love Masali. Maybe because we are both African or maybe it is simply being a young black female in this world, as it doesn’t matter where you are from, we share similar experiences. It was very easy then to tap into the idea of her as my little sister, because that’s what it feels like in real life.
It was the same with Paterson and Bonnie, who play my parents in the drama. Bonnie came and took me under her wing in a motherly way and Paterson and I bonded over the fact we both live in London and attended drama school. I have loved working with them all.
What was it like to wear Minerva’s amazing wardrobe?
I also have my natural hair because in this world black hair is the epitome of beauty. I don’t remember the last time I saw a show that celebrated natural hair like this. There is nothing wrong with wigs and weaves, I love all of that myself, but it is nice to have a TV show that celebrates natural black hair.
How did it feel, to inhabit Minerva's life?
There have been moments during filming when I have felt very proud to be a part of a drama that celebrates something that a lot of people may not have seen on screen or in the world.
I remember when I read the book it made me think about how my mind has been conditioned so much that I didn’t even realise certain things. For example, there is a moment where Callum cuts his finger and Sephy gets him a plaster, but the plaster is too dark for his skin, despite the fact it is supposed to be a neutral colour, a nude plaster to fit all. I was shocked because I never even questioned it before. I hope that people watch this and have moments of reflection like that.
Do you think Minerva is purposefully ignorant?
I hope that by seeing this drama they start to question what is okay and what is not. I hope it starts to change people’s perceptions like the book did for me. It is a universal drama, it has themes that everyone can relate to and I hope people are as hooked to the show as I was to the book. I feel privileged to be a part of this project, I still can’t believe it.
Pictured: Minerva Hadley (Kiké Brimah), Lekan Baako (Jonathan Ajayi
March 5, 2020 6:50am ET by BBC One