Romario Simpson Talks … Django

New Sky series Django, is loosely inspired by the cult classic Western, Italian Spaghetti (1966).

While searching for his daughter, Django comes upon New Babylon. Here, Django discovers that his daughter is alive and set to marry John Ellis, the founder of New Babylon. Sarah – who blames her father for the death of their family, massacred many years earlier while he was at war – wants Django to leave. But he refuses to give up and does everything in his power to get a second chance with her.

We spoke to actor Romario Simpson who plays the character Reuben Morgan …

Please introduce yourself …

My name is Romario Simpson and I’m an actor and movement practitioner. I was born in Jamaica and grew up in south east London and have lived south of the river ever since.

Why Django?

I originally auditioned for one of the Ellis brothers but was then offered the role of Reuben Morgan instead. I chose to play this role of a young civil war survivor who helps John Ellis (Nicholas Pinnock) to build New Babylon, a city where all manner of outcasts are welcome regardless of their background or beliefs. I believe it’s important to portray resilience and community in this era of slavery. Often, we only see the detrimental effects of such atrocities to the point where it feels like this period is glorified and upheld. Reuben Morgan is a young father who is willing to risk it all for the survival of his wife and new born son. I felt an affinity to show how vulnerable and irrepressible our ancestors were in the war for survival.  

Tell us about your character Reuben and what his goal is in Django … 

Reuben’s goal is to flee New Babylon in search of food essentially. His wife Hattie has just given birth to their first child and neither wife nor son are eating enough to survive in this community. New Babylon doesn’t have enough food to sustain the family so Reuben decides to take his chances while risking being killed or captured back into slavery. 

Tell us about working with your fellow cast …

My work on this project were scenes with some seasoned heavyweights. Nicholas Pinnock was supportive and encouraged the director to go against the script and film the scene at different angles that showcased the community and the importance of this being seen by an audience. This was a learning curve and taught me that my voice and creative input is valid, something I took into my work on future projects. Noomi Rapace was a bundle of energy on set. She made sure I was okay after every single take we did, and went above and beyond to thank me for my bravery. 

L-R Lisa Vicari as Sara Ellis, Nicholas Pinnock as John Ellis & Romario Simpson as Reuben Morgan – Django

What was it about the script that made you say, “Yes, I want to be a part of this”?

It was the outcast community and the unity of these people against the powers that be.

What does the story of Django mean to you personally?

Django is a story of family and love which are core values to me.

Tell us a memorable moment on set?

Filming in an old volcano!

Which scene best defines what you love about this project?

The Ellis brothers riding out on horseback. Classic western vibes.

What’s next for you?

Potentially season 2 of Granite Harbour and I’m producing a short film, shot in black and white on 16mm film.

How do we keep up to date with you and your work?

Instagram: romarioromz

Django is available to watch weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW from 1st March.


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