Noel Clarke lights up day 2 of IW21

Wednesday March 10, 2021

From leading roles in TV dramas, to working with JJ Abrams on Star Trek, Noel Clarke’s career has skyrocketed – and yesterday he shared his experiences and advice with our students.

Noel is a BAFTA Rising Star winner, best known for playing his leading roles in Bulletproof, Doctor Who and the Hood trilogy of films – Kidulthood, Adulthood and Brotherhood.

From the very start of the interview Noel jumped into his work around making a change in the industry to ensure it’s fair and inclusive for all, as starting in the industry as a young black man wasn’t easy for him. He told of his struggles with getting noticed and people not wanting to take risks on him and his work. Not getting the jobs he knew he deserved meant he had to had to take matters into his own hands and create a narrative that he knew he would thrive in…Kidulthood.

He spoke of his influences for writing and directing coming from American, French and Spanish films and having to educate himself on acting due to no previous drama training. Watching his work back was his only way of bettering himself, finding his mistakes and bad habits and improving on them for future work.

“Don’t fall into the trap of not being able to watch yourself on screen, you need to do it to make improvements.”

hood trio

Noel proved to our students the importance of networking and gaining connections as they’re doing through Industry Week, as he spoke of how his first film Kidulthood wasn’t financed by any big film companies but actually a coffee shop owner and a hair company, no less!

“Put yourself out there, let as many people see your work as you can, you need connections. Be ruthlessly ambitious”.


Dubbed as the ‘one black man British film industry’ Noel let us into how he writes, acts and directs his films. Starting with Adulthood, Noel had to take charge as others weren’t willing to, he wasn’t afraid to take the leap into directing and was prepared to take the loss if it wasn’t successful. Explaining how he juggled the roles – he always over prepares, from creating shot lists to storyboards and the ability to think on his feet, he pre-plans and prepares 90% of his work before getting to set.

We knew Noel would bring his incredible talent to the event today to make it an inspirational and engaging experience for our students, and the feedback from our students have confirmed.

“I absolutely loved Noel Clarke’s talk, it’s up there at the top of my list of favourites.”


Catch Noel’s incredible industry talk OnDemand later today!

Are you interested in attending events like Industry Week as part of your studies? Book onto a virtual open day to find out more about our offer at Confetti.