Damson Idris shared a memory of his early Snowfall auditions and revealed that he was tasked with “surviving” South Central for the role of Franklin Saint.
On Monday (March 13), Idris visited The Drew Barrymore Show, where she asked the celebrated actor about his humble beginnings, attempting to lock down the leading role.
The British actor then told a story of when the show’s late creator and director, John Singleton, drove him to the LA neighborhood with a challenge.
“By audition number eight, Singleton took me to South Central, opened the car door, and said, ‘If you survive, you’ve got the role.’ And it really was an experience. I was walking around South Central, I had to stay in character, so I wasn’t allowed to be British,” Idris, 31, recalled with a laugh. “And, I said to his mother, ‘Oh, how lovely your hair looks today. I’m just going to go and put this in a bin,’ and she goes, ‘John, he ain’t from here, huh?’ Nearly lost the part. But hey, six seasons later, here we are.”
The Peckham, London native has played Saint for all six seasons of the acclaimed FX series and has even been nominated for several accolades for his performance. Snowfall has been on air since 2017 and is in its final season, with the concluding chapter returning to the airwaves in February 2023.
According to TV Line, the crime drama begins in October 1986 as “civil war threatens to destroy the Saint family.”
“Franklin (played by Damson Idris) is desperate, and forced to rob his Aunt Louie (Angela Lewis) and Uncle Jerome (Amin Joseph) after being wiped out by former CIA officer Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson). Meanwhile, Louie has taken over Franklin’s role as Teddy’s sole buyer, undercutting her nephew and creating a competing empire in the process.”
During the renewal of the show’s sixth season, Damson spoke about his pride in being a part of Singleton’s vision.
“I couldn’t imagine telling this story anywhere but at FX,” Idris expressed. “I’m incredibly proud of the history we have all made. Especially the impact Snowfall has had on the culture. Very rarely does a TV show get to the sixth season mark, and saying goodbye to ‘Franklin Saint’ will be heartbreaking. But the family and relationships I’ve made on this journey will last a lifetime. I know John Singleton is looking down smiling proud.”