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‘I As an Actor Have Also Grown Into the Man I Am Today’: ‘Snowfall’ Star Damson Idris Reflects on His Character and How Playing the Role Affects His Growth


“Snowfall” is nearing its halfway mark of season 4, and fans are just as unsure of the end result as the characters of the show. Franklin Saint, who is the main character that sells crack cocaine in a 1980s Black Los Angeles neighborhood, has increasingly gone from good guy to bad guy. His decisions have become more questionable and sinister. Now Franklin wants to expand his business beyond L.A., which some people — fans and characters included — seem to think is not the best decision. During a recent Zoom press junket, Atlanta Black Star learned what Damson Idris, who plays Franklin Saint, had to say about his character’s greed.

He said, “I think the interesting thing about Franklin is he is an opportunist and, although he wants to expand, the beauty of this season is him giving back and trying to undo some of the wrongs that he’s contributed to his community. So although he may be slightly greedy, in a sense, he also has a conscience, and that’s why it’s brilliant for me to play him.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 09: Damson Idris attends an intimate dinner hosted by Edward Enninful and Anne Mensah in celebration of the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits at Kettner’s on December 9, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for NETFLIX)

Idris also mentioned that the evolution of his character over the past four years has actually evolved him as a person as well. “To be in this position today and to see Franklin grow into the man he is today, I as an actor have also grown into the man I am today, so the whole journey has been fantastic,” he said.

Another character who has experienced a dramatic evolution, especially in this season, is Cissy Saint, Franklin’s mother. Fans witness Cissy, who is played by Michael Hyatt, go from kicking her son out of the house once she found out he was dealing drugs in an earlier season to now reluctantly agreeing to start a real estate business with him by using his drug money. Speaking to how her character feels about involving herself in her son’s illegal business, Hyatt said, “It is a painful time for Cissy Saint, and that the truth of that is what charges every scene, every episode. What you perceive to be, you know badass and Corleone [the fictional family from “The Godfather”] and all of that stuff, that is. But I don’t think that’s where Cissy is living. I think it is a much more complex experience, you know. ”

Giving his audience a taste of what more they can expect from the season, Idris said, “Franklin’s less sure of himself, and he’s more vulnerable than we’ve ever seen him. I think, as an audience and as a viewer, that’s going to be fantastic to see, because he’s not James Bond, and he isn’t always going to, you know, overcome adversity. You don’t know if he’s going to win or if he’s going to lose. I think the season for that reason is, in my opinion, the best season for it.”

At the start of this season, Franklin gets caught in the middle of the gang war between Manboy and Skully’s crews after a failed attempt at trying to get the two leaders to kill each other. Now he may have to deal with both sides coming at him even harder after his former right-hand man Leon killed Skully’s young daughter. Viewers will get to see the aftermath of Leon’s actions in the fifth episode of “Snowfall” on March 17 at 10 p.m on FX.

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