Jordan Peele’s Nazi-killing thriller Hunters is TV’s most-talked about show – and Tiffany Boone plays its coolest character. That’s Roxie Jones, a smart-talking fierce fighter dedicated to tracking down rogue agents of the Third Reich who’ve stealthily embedded themselves in 1970s US society.
- Read more: Hunters review – Al Pacino lets loose as a sweary Nazi hunter in Jordan Peele’s bonkers Tarantino-esque thriller
Born and raised in Baltimore during the late 1980s and 1990s, Boone took to acting straight away. After spending her early career in minor roles on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Southland, she got her big break in Lena Waithe’s optimistic companion to The Wire, The Chi. However, she left the show in November 2018 after making harassment allegations against former co-star Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton). Mitchell was later fired from the show – and Boone took to Instagram last week to share some thoughts on her experience.
Now, as she starts a new chapter in her career with Hunters, we caught up with the rising star to talk about hanging out with Al Pacino, 21st Century Nazis and The Midnight Sky, her new Netflix film with George Clooney.
Hunters feels very relevant with the current rise of the far right – were you conscious of that during filming?
“Yeah, for sure! We definitely had a lot of conversations =about how the show paralleled the global atmosphere right now. I think the show poses a lot more questions than it has answers. When you see injustices what are you supposed to do? What is your responsibility? How far is too far to get justice? Nazis still exist and they’re still walking around. They’re still out here trying to create genocide so why not talk about them right now?”
There’s a real Quentin Tarantino vibe to the show’s aesthetic – did you pick up on that?
“I don’t think it was intentional, but Saul Rubinek, who has worked with Quentin [on 1993 drama True Romance], says that he sees some similarities. Obviously, there’s gonna be some comparisons with Inglourious Basterds and I can see why people would make the connection. But I think David Weil, our creator, is doing something different.”
Did the Nazi hunters hang out off the set?
“The first time we shot together was a super long 18 or 19-hour day. It was the scene where the hunters are revealed to Jonah [Logan Lerman] and we were filming ‘til about 4am. We were delirious – cracking up, crying, falling on the floor because we were so exhausted. And so we bonded right away.”
Al Pacino has been criticised for playing a Jewish man in Hunters when he’s not Jewish – what’s your take on that?
“I think it’s complicated. I don’t generally blame an actor for taking an opportunity to play something new. I think you have to watch the show and see the respect he’s giving to the character, to the history of the people. I’m just here to play Roxie and I’m a black woman so there’s no complication!”
You were born and raised in Baltimore, the setting for HBO’s The Wire – were you a fan?
“I went to a performing arts high school when it first aired, so a lot of my classmates were actually in The Wire. I think it was very authentic. Those are real people that those characters are based off too and I know some of them. I’m not sure I want to share who though. I don’t want to get in trouble!”
Your big break came on The Chi, but you left the show after making harassment allegations against co-star Jason Mitchell – is there anything else you’d like to say about the experience?
“What was great was that I felt I was able to say absolutely everything that I have to say and just be completely open about the way I felt. The only thing I would say a few days after [posting about it on Instagram] is that I’m really touched by all of the outpouring of love and support. I had a lot of people come up to me and say ‘I had a similar situation. I was scared to leave’ or ‘I did leave’ or ‘I haven’t left yet’ or ‘you’re inspiring me to leave’. It’s really touching to me that my experience could affect someone else and hopefully encourage them to make a decision that’s really difficult but ultimately best for them.”
Your next film is with George Clooney – tell me about the first time you met
“The first time I met George was when I showed up in London and went to set to start stunt rehearsals for The Midnight Sky. He has this big physical transformation in the film which he warned me about via email. He came into my trailer, this ball of energy, but he was very thin because he hadn’t been eating. He also had this big grey beard. He likes to say all the time on-set that he’s two-time world’s sexiest man… so there’s nothing you can do to make him not sexy, he’s handsome no matter what!”
What’s next – would you be up for Hunters season two?
“Of course I would love to come back. I love Roxie. I love my cast-mates. I love our creator and showrunner. I think there’s a lot more story to be told. I’d love to see Roxie taking an even bigger role – to show more of her skills and what she can give to the group. We could continue to explore her relationship with her daughter. And I think there’s an interesting dynamic between her and Joe that I would love to be explored as well. I think there’s a lot we can get into with Roxie in series two.”
‘Hunters’ is streaming on Amazon Prime Video now