Jamie Bell feared for his life while playing real-life neo-Nazi Bryon Widner in Skin.
The independent movie is based on writer-director Guy Nattiv’s Oscar-winning short of the same name, and follows the former white supremacist as he begins to rethink his allegiance to the white power movement.
Commentators in the U.S. have blamed the rise of racist attacks and white supremacy in the U.S. on President Donald Trump, and Bell revealed he was terrified while making the movie, as he was worried he would be targeted.
“I was very scared, honestly,” the 33-year-old said in an interview with The Big Ticket podcast. “There was a lot of fear and trepidation about doing this movie. I was worried. I think that these are a group of people that are not to be messed with, really. They are organised, they’re armed.”
The father-of-two went on to reference the white supremacist Unite the Right rally which was held in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“They’ve shown and they continue to show that they are people who don’t mind being out in the daylight. They don’t care that their faces are out there carrying torches, saying things they they’re saying, carrying the slogans that they’re carrying. So, just from a literal sense of safety, I was afraid,” he confessed.
Bell went on to reveal that he spoke to Widner on Skype for the first time on the same day that white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. deliberately drove his car into a crowd of protesters, killing Heather Heyer and wounding many others.
Bell was so spooked by the deadly event that he called Nattiv and begged him to reconsider making the movie.
“I said to Guy, ‘I don’t think we should be making this movie, man. I think that it’s too incendiary right now. It’s too explosive’,” Bell recalled.
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