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‘There Is No Stronger Position In the Industry Than Playing a Black Father’: ‘Snowfall’ Actor Kevin Carroll Opens Up About His Role and His ‘Spiritual Connection’ With Damson Idris

In the shocking season premiere of “Snowfall,” viewers were gifted with two new episodes that included new characters, a failed mission to get two rival gangs to decimate each other, the disintegration of friendships and more. In a virtual press conference with “Snowfall” cast members, Atlanta Black Star learned more about the show’s new season. Kevin Carroll, who plays Alton Williams, Franklin Saint’s father, opened up about his character and the portrayal of Black fathers on TV.

“Snowfall” is about the rise of the crack epidemic in the 1980s in Los Angeles and how it affects the Black community. But what makes the show so powerful is the space it created “to expose the government side in the conditioning of [Black] communities,” during the crack epidemic, said Carroll. The show also features a CIA agent named Teddy McDonald who, with the support of the agency, supplies cocaine to Franklin Saint, played by Damson Idris.

Snowfall episode two, season four/“The Weight” aired Wednesday, February 24) — Pictured: (L-R): Kevin Carroll as Alton, Damson Idris as Franklin Saint, Michael Hyatt as Cissy Saint CR: Byron Cohen/FX

Although they are not supportive of his choice of work, Franklin’s parents have learned to accept it and Franklin’s mother, Cissy Saint, teams up with her son on a real estate business that is funded by his drug money. His formerly estranged father, Alton Williams, is a recovered drunkard who was absent for most of Franklin’s life, but he has been putting in the work to earn his family back. Carroll spoke about his character reconciling with his family.

“There is no stronger position in the industry than playing a black father, especially one where we see him loving on his son right, wrong or indifferent, loving with his wife, right, wrong or indifferent and attempting to heal the community. There is no better job in television. I dare you to find one, when we talk about being on the edge of healing,” he said. Carroll utilizes his “Snowfall” character to share how important the presence of a Black father is to a Black family. He believes his job “fulfills the part of us as artists that really attempt to make a difference.” 

Carroll also revealed that the relationship between his character Alton Williams and Franklin Saint has grown in a similar way that he and Idris’s relationship has grown. Both Carroll and Idris describe their relationship as a “spiritual connection” that can “slip seamlessly from the script into a personal sense of responsibility.” With each episode, the audience gets to see the characters relationship deepen as they continue to stick together among the drug war that’s happening outside of their home. A war that Idris’s character is a part of.

See how Franklin and Alton’s relationship plays out while Franklin continues to push the limits while trying to expand his business. Catch “Snowfall” on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST on FX.

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