Shetland's Douglas Henshall speaks out on lack of job opportunities now he's 'a 57-year-old white man'

Douglas Henshall

Douglas Henshall starred in Shetland for nearly a decade

PA
Alex Davies

By Alex Davies


Published: 15/08/2023

- 00:01

The actor played DI Jimmy Perez in the hit drama for almost a decade

Scottish actor Douglas Henshall left a Jimmy Perez-shaped hole in the hearts of Shetland fans last year.

The actor decided to call time on his participation in the BBC thriller and has since moved onto pastures new.


His latest project comes in the form of Netflix crime thriller Who Is Erin Carter? which is dropping on the streaming service later this month on August 24.

The actor's latest role couldn't be further from the world of DI Perez as Henshall takes on the part of baddie Daniel Lang in the upcoming mini-series.

"Baddies are just fun to play," Henshall said of his latest role. "It’s always fun to pretend to be firing a gun. It’s quite childhood-inducing."

Henshall worried that playing DI Perez for a decade may have limited his options when it came to finding different roles.

Douglas Henshall in Radio Times

Douglas Henshall appears in next week's Radio Times

RADIO TIMES

However, despite landing the villainous role in a Netflix drama, he worries limitations arise more due to his race and age rather than previous on-screen stints.

He said to Radio Times: "It’s very difficult to make conscious decisions about what you’re going to do when you’re a 57-year-old white man.

"There aren’t so many roles around for me anymore. I think that’s just a fact of getting older.

"People are looking for younger actors these days. There’s a degree of, ‘I’ve been offered that, I’m grateful for the job, I’ll go and do it.'"

Who Is Erin Carter? stars Evin Ahmad as the titular character as well as Charlotte Vega, Sean Teale, Indica Watson, and many more.

Its official synopsis from Netflix reads: "Meet Erin Carter, a British substitute teacher who lives in Barcelona with her loving husband, Jordi, and young daughter, Harper.

"Erin has managed to build an ordinary life for herself in Santa Alma, a fictional upmarket community on the outskirts of the city until one day she gets caught up in a violent robbery at the local supermarket.

"And when one of the robbers claims to recognise her, Erin’s life begins to unravel. She’s forced to battle to clear her name and protect her family... But is she really who she claims to be?"

Henshall's role is a pivotal one throughout the eight-episode series and he previously opened up to Netflix about exactly why he decided to say yes.

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Who Is Erin Carter?

Who Is Erin Carter? premieres on Netflix later this month

NETFLIX

"I love Jack Lothian’s writing and I was enthusiastic to work with Netflix having never worked with them before and with Left Bank because I’m an admirer of their work," he said.

Of course, the thought of warmer work conditions helped as he continued: "Also the thought of going to spend four months in Barcelona I can’t say wasn’t an added bonus!

"Although I didn’t quite keep in mind how hot it would be. Coming from shooting in Shetland to suddenly being in the middle of Barcelona in the summer working in 42 degrees with the humidity. And you’re indoors without air conditioning because otherwise the sound department would pick it up.

"I was wearing a suit and given my Scottish complexion I was afraid that at some point I was going to just melt into a little puddle on the floor. At times my main focus was just to plead with my sweat glands to behave.

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