'Live your dreams' - actor born in Ipswich is looking to Hollywood
- Credit: Julia Buchalska
Ricardo P Lloyd, a young actor born in Ipswich, has his hopes set on Hollywood - and wants to inspire others to "live their dreams".
The 27-year-old is being mentored by Oscar-winning actor Mark Rylance, who set up a Zoom call for him to chat with actor David Oyelowo, of Selma fame.
Ricardo has taken part in acclaimed Shakespeare productions, and is being encouraged by other A-listers including Whoopi Goldberg and Naomie Harris.
"It's amazing what you can do if you just have faith and apply yourself - discipline is key," Ricardo said.
"I hope that any young person reading and following my journey will feel inspired to live their dreams.
"It does not matter where you come from. A guy from a small town can do all these amazing things and have all these great experiences."
Ricardo moved to London as a child with his mum, but regularly visits family in Ipswich. His family came to the town in the 1950s from Jamaica.
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He said: "My nan and grandad still live in Ipswich and all my mum's family is there. Ipswich will always be close to my heart - it was the start of it all.
"I'm looking to come down there in the next couple of weeks to visit my grandparents. It has been difficult not being able to see them because of Covid-19."
Ricardo said he now has an agent in America, and wants to try his fortunes in Hollywood once it is possible to travel there again after Covid, after receiving so much encouragement from famous actors.
He recently performed on an online show for BlackRock, My Story, My Monologue, with 2,000 people watching.
He said: "Mark Rylance has been mentoring me since I worked on projects with him and the RSC." This included Shakespeare within the Abbey and the Shakespeare Walks.
In 2019 Ricardo also played Romeo in the critically acclaimed production Excluded, which re-imagined some of Shakespeare's characters in the setting of a London high school .
The following year, he was listed on The Voice newspaper 2020's Top 20 Ones to Watch Out For.
During lockdown, he has worked on his own short film, Call It a Problem, with The Peoples FC, a YouTube charity football team, which donates to multiple causes and highlights issues including mental health.
Ricardo said mental health is important to him as he has had problems himself in the past. He was also homeless for a time during the pandemic, when he spoke out about the need for more support for young black men.
However, things are now looking up for him and he wants to give hope to others. He said: "I think it is extremely important to spread the message of hope, especially through these trying times."
For more information about Ricardo P Lloyd, visit his website.