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Mirror UK / Life - Entertain

Daniel Kaluuya's Black Mirror castmate calls him "a working-class hero"

Paul Popplewell, who played Dustin in the episode, also tells Mirror Online that he hasn't yet seen Journeyman co-star Jodie Whittaker's Black Mirror Season 1 episode


It's been a big week for Black Mirror - there's going to be a Season 5 , and one of its earliest lead performers was up for an Oscar this week, thanks to his starring role in Jordan Peele's Get Out.

In the event, Daniel Kaluuya lost out to Gary Oldman for the Best Actor accolade.

It was Daniel's lead role as Bing in Fifteen Million Merits that caught the eye of Get Out writer Peele.

Although the episode was first shown in December 2011 on Channel 4, the series has only started making a splash in the US since it moved to Netflix in late 2016.

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This week's Black Mirror Cracked revisits the second episode ever.

Paul Popplewell, who plays the casually cruel foil, Dustin, to Kaluuya's gentle, reticent Bing, tells Mirror Online all about his experiences working on the show.

There's also episode analysis from Black Mirror super-fan James Rodger, who writes for Trinity Mirror website Birmingham Live.

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James says, "These first three episodes are BM at its best; at its most raw, at its most honest, at its most dark.

"It was unlike anything else, and it remains unlike anything else.

"I'm not sure Charlie Brooker will ever top it."

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Both James and Paul agree that Daniel Kaluuya's performance as Bing, a young man trapped in a soulless screen-world of endless advertising and stationary cycling in identikit grey jogging outfits, marked him out as one to watch.

Paul says of his co-star: "He was already tipped to be a hot young prospect, look at him now.

"He doesn't need my praise, he's smashing it.

"He's such a working-class hero, it's brilliant."

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James echoes Paul's remarks, as a fan: "The first thing that struck me the first time I watched it was Daniel Kaluuya.

"It was his biggest role since leaving Skins.

"He's very reserved, says a line at a time at the most.

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"It lead to this big crescendo onstage - Abi's been made to do something awful, and he kind of just lets rip.

"In The National Anthem, you always know that it's going to build to this thing, it's inevitable in a way.

"With Bing you're willing him to do this, but you're not sure if he will, and it's really powerful when he does."

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James goes on to praise the casting across Season 1, saying: "Daniel Kaluuya was a basically an unknown at this point.

"Then you've got the likes of Rory Kinnear and Jodie Whittaker, very very well known.

"Now she's probably the best-known actress in the country."

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Paul says that despite the fancy visuals in the finished show, "It was a pretty basic set.

"It was a well-done, well-made awesome little set, but we were in a hut, on an old studio plot somewhere

"It's amazing what they do in post-production."

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A a viewer, though, James was impressed. He says, "Oh it is a whole new world.

"I was shocked by how good it looked visually

"Bing's stuck in his own Candy Crush-like world."

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Paul has a memorable keepsake from working on the show: "I've still got my grey jogging suit, there's something you ought to know.

"I sometimes run in that vest.

"I said, 'Can I have these for dossing about the house in? They're really comfy'."

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