Now Danny is taking on the role of a Fascist thug in the four-part drama Ridley Road, which premieres in the US on PBS Masterpiece Sunday, May 1, 2022.
The drama is set on Ridley Road in East London in the 1960s, at a time when support for fanatical Fascist leader Colin Jordan, played by Rory Kinnear, ran high. He headed up the National Socialist Movement (NSM) which was on the rise and calling for the removal of Jews from Britain.
Ridley Road follows Vivien Epstein (Agnes O’Casey) a Jewish girl from Manchester who follows her boyfriend Jack (Tom Varey) to London and finds herself getting drawn into the Jewish resistance organization, The 62 Group, alongside her uncle Soly Malinovsky (Eddie Marsan).
Danny Hatchard plays Lee, who is Colin Jordan’s driver and is passionately loyal to the NSM and vows to protect its leader, no matter what. Danny reveals more about his character Lee and his thoughts on Ridley Road…
Danny Hatchard on his Ridley Road character Lee…
Danny Hatchard says: “Lee is lost, misguided, miseducated and a product of his hardship. He and his wife go through a lot of financial hardship and it's quite topical too now. Generally, a lot of working-class individuals that are miseducated and misguided are a product of a lot of far-right media propaganda.
"Although they didn’t have social media in the 1960s, you found that in the newspapers, pamphlets and leaflets published by movements like the NSM. My character is definitely quite a contrast to those I’ve played prior to this. As an actor, it’s always nice to be able to stick your teeth into something completely different.”
Danny on the 1960s setting for Ridley Road
Danny says: “I discovered that although the decades are completely different, the then and now are perhaps, not so different, sadly. Racism is still rife. In terms of London in the 1960s, it’s way before my time but after doing some research and being quite a fan of the era and music; I would say it was colourful, romantic, traditional and the epicentre of style. Certainly, in the mid to late 1960s.”
Coming Soon… #RidleyRoad .@REDProductionCo .@BBCiPlayer .@masterpiecepbs pic.twitter.com/WehzxlZwKsSeptember 12, 2021
Danny on why Ridley Road is such an important story to tell….
Danny says: “It’s still a very current topic and I think it is important that we educate people about what really happened in the 1960s. Not a lot of people of my generation know, that even post World War Two in the Sixties that neo-Nazism was still a thing. In terms of relevance now, it’s very topical.”
Danny on acting opposite co-star Eddie Marsan
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Eddie Marsan, he’s from my neck of the woods and I’ve always followed his career. It was an honor to work with him. Meeting Eddie was a highlight for me but generally, it’s always nice to come on set and work hard with a lot of like-minded people. All of the cast and crew want this to be the production it deserves to be. It’s nice to come on set and feel that passion and really work towards making sure this is a wonderful, finished product. That’s definitely one of the best things about this job.”
Danny on what he hopes the viewers will take away from watching Ridley Road
“It’s a very educational piece and I think it’s important for people to watch,” says Danny. “I think it’s really important to learn about different eras, because it prevents us from going backwards. I think there’s a real danger of us doing that as a society. I hope this show sparks a conversation more than anything. I feel that after watching it, the right questions will be asked, and the right questions will be answered. Hopefully, it will deter certain people from a certain way of thinking and encourage people to educate themselves properly.”
Get the What to Watch Newsletter
The latest updates, reviews and unmissable series to watch and more!
I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.