A Minute With: the ‘Bulletproof’ cops on filming in South Africa and bigger stunts

FILE PHOTO: Actor Noel Clarke poses for photographers at the British Academy Film Awards Nominees Party at Kensington Palace in London
FILE PHOTO: Actor Noel Clarke poses for photographers at the British Academy Film Awards Nominees Party at Kensington Palace in London, Britain February 11, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

March 10, 2021

By Alicia Powell

NEW YORK (Reuters) – “Bulletproof” police pals Pike and Bishop swap London for Cape Town in the third series of the British television show, where a holiday abroad soon turns into a kidnapping case.

Actors Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters reunite as the popular characters for the three-part “Bulletproof: South Africa”, which hits U.S. screens next week.

The duo spoke to Reuters about the show, doing bigger stunts and filming in a new location.

Below are interview excerpts edited for length and clarity.

Q: Why did you decide to shoot the show in South Africa?

Clarke: “Because of the legacy of the country and the things that happened in the past I was like, I have no interest in going there. But actually I took it as an educational experience.

… We just had a really positive experience seeing a lot of Black crew that would never have worked maybe five, 10 years ago now coming on this show and speaking to us, secretly saying, ‘hey, guys, for us to be on a show with two Black leads as the executive producers as well, you have to understand it gives us so much hope, because it shows us that it may not be here yet, but it’s coming’.”

Q: Why do you think the show is so popular?

Walters: “When I speak to people that watch … the show … the first thing that they always say is ‘are you guys like that in real life – do you really have that relationship?’ Because I guess that’s what shines through.”

Clarke: “What’s good about it is we’ve transcended the blackness in the show. Nobody now goes or says … anymore ‘oh the show with the two Black cops’, they don’t say it. It’s just “Bulletproof” And I think that’s the most important thing about normalizing Black characters, normalizing Black families, normalizing Black love.”

Q: What does it mean to you to have the show airing in America?

Walters: “This show for us started based on what we’ve watched coming from the U.S. … “Lethal Weapon”, “Bad Boys” … those cop shows … So to know that (U.S. audiences) are taking it back as we see it is amazing for us.”

Q: How is this season different from seasons 1 and 2?

Clarke: “It’s a lot bigger, the stunts are bigger … it’s a lot more ambitious.”

(Reporting by Alicia Powell; Editing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, Alexandra Hudson)