TOP Boy star Ashley Walters has revealed how he was trapped between two worlds before rising to fame.
In a clip from Netflix’s new series Made In The UK, the actor, who plays Dushane in the crime drama, talked growing up in south London as an aspiring performer.
He found himself juggling life around Peckham estates with classical dance training, as he attended an independent arts academy on an extra-curricular basis.
The 37-year-old said: “When I got into my early teens and started hanging out on the ends, I was spending my weekends doing stage school.
“I was in Sylvia Young doing tap, ballet and stuff like that,” he continued.
“I lead a double life.”
Walters credited the Marble-Arch based institute for kick-starting his showbiz career.
“It’s where I developed my hunger, passion for what I do now,” he went on.
He stressed that he was grateful for the opportunities made available to him, especially given that many of his friends weren’t so lucky.
“Going to theatre school at a really young age, compared to my peers and the people I was growing up with, they never got those experiences. I had that added push.”
Elsewhere in the chat, his mum Pamela Case gushed: “I knew Ashley was going to be a success from very early on.”
The clip comes after Ashley revealed that he advised against Drake – who stepped in and saved the series after it was dropped by Channel 4 – from appearing in the show.
“It’s touch and go for you,” he said he told Drake.
“He’s such a good actor but will people let him shed that Drake skin?” he continued to NME.
Most read in TV and Showbiz
He claimed that one tiny misstep would see the world pounce on Drake, who first broke onto the small screen aged 15 in soap Degrassi: The Next generation.
“Is it right for the first thing for him to do going back into his acting career be Top Boy? Because people are gonna be waiting to kill him for it,” Walters went on.
“Knowing how good he was and whatever, I just felt like—for him—it would have been best to wait for another time.”
Drake bought the rights for the UK crime series following its axing in 2011.
Now streaming on Netflix, the latest instalment has been celebrated as the “best yet” by fans on social media.
If you’re looking to catch up, read our synopsis of season 1 and 2.