Since moving to Los Angeles three years ago, former Hollyoaks star Ricky Whittle had a few supporting film and TV roles before landing lead roles in the US remake of BBC drama Mistresses, and now post-apocalyptic drama The 100 on E4.
But he’s aiming higher than a lead role in a TV series.
“First black Bond – that’s my aim! That’s the one!” Ricky says.
But it sounds like that’s not the way the Americans see Ricky… He admits he feels typecast by American TV programme-makers as he is forced to play characters with an American accent.
“Basically, when they see a black person, they see athlete, they see rapper or they see criminal or something like that,” Ricky says.
“And then when they hear a British accent they hear posh, so they hear lawyer or doctor. So when they see me and hear me, it’s confusing.
“Surely my niche was the fact I was black and British? Like an Idris Elba but younger. And they love it, but for some reason they just prefer me to be American.
“I actually spoke to one of the heads of a studio and he said I confuse middle America.”
Asked if he had been offered better roles since moving to Los Angeles, the 32-year-old Manchester-born star said: “No, not at all. I’d say the UK definitely has more diversity.
“You really do have to fall into a stereotype out here, so I definitely give props to the UK.”
The 100 starts on E4 on Monday, July 7, 9.00pm.