Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Exclusive: Malcolm Barrett Talks Important Impact of ‘Timeless’

Malcolm Barrett stars in NBC TV 'Timeless.'
Malcolm Barrett stars in NBC TV ‘Timeless.’

*Malcolm Barrett stars in NBC’s “Timeless,” one of the best shows to hit TV screens on Mondays. In an exclusive interview, Barrett talks about “Timeless” and its impact.

MALCOLM BARRETT: Hi, Marie, you seem to be very excited.

Yes, because “Timeless” is one of the best shows on TV, and I just love it. Can you talk about your character?

 MB: Marie, you’ve got great taste [laughs]. I play Rufus Carlin, a time traveling black man. He’s an engineer and part of the team that created the time machine. He is really awesome, a genius and insecure every-man.

What does it mean to you to be in this role and part of the diversity and inclusion conversation?

 MB: It means absolutely everything. This is the sort of thing I would love to watch as a kid. I grew up on sci fi and these sorts of genre shows. I’m happy to a part of the conversation, especially a black man who time travels. We’re few and far between and to actually see African American characters in this genre is exciting. To be honest, I think some writers are afraid to write about these sort of sociopolitical topics.

Would you say this is a groundbreaking role?

Oh yeah, and I’m very excited. I don’t know of any black dude in a time travel show so to be able to share something with people just like me, and to see themselves represented is just a huge opportunity.

Being first means you’re open to a whole lot of criticism. This is the most epic television show I’ve ever been a part of. Every week we go to a different time period. They wanted this to be the most epic thing on television.

timeless

What can you share about the next show?

 MB: Tonight we go to the civil war, and the assassination of Abraham President Lincoln.

It’s a beautiful thing to be able to play a 21th century black man who has to go the 19th century and deal with that paradigm. I’ve seen a lot of responses on twitter from people are like, ‘what the hell are you doing? You know a black man ain’t supposed to back in time.’

Are you anything like your character?

I’m very much like Rufus so he’s close to my heart. I grew up a sort of math and science nerd. I grew up in Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn. Rufus grew up in west Chicago. For a while, I was going to be a biologist and went to Stuyvesant, the #1 Math and Science high school in New York. I very much recognize what it means to be a smart black man coming from a place where people don’t expect that.

“Timeless” airs on NBC tonight (10-10-16) at 10/9c.

Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]

Facebook.com/TheFilmStripTM       Twitter: @thefilmstrip              Instagram.com/thefilmstriptm

 

Marie Moorehttp://eurweb.com
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.

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