TV & Movies

Top Boy’s Ashley Walters Opened Up About Reconnecting With His Dad In A New Interview

“All that resentment and hate was just killing me.”

'Top Boy's Ashley Walters
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Opening up in a new interview, Top Boy star Ashley Walters has recounted the painful experience of reconnecting with his estranged father shortly before he died. The actor, who plays Dushane Hill in the newly-returned show alongside co-stars Kano, Little Simz, Dave, and Micheal Ward originally rose to fame in UK Garage collective So Solid Crew.

Back in 2005, Walters was breaking through in the film industry, and was cast in one of his early breakthrough roles: 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’. While filming in Toronto, his dad — who had been largely absent during his childhood — got in touch asking to meet up. Having been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, his dad had just weeks to live. Although Walters initially refused, his dad flew to Toronto anyway, the actor told The Guardian. The two of them ended up spending two weeks together.

“We connected,” Walters said. “He was on his deathbed, but he was still raving. The guy could hardly walk, he’d lost all this weight, but he was a charmer as well. There were all these Canadian women knocking for him on my apartment door that he’d met while I’d been at work during the day. I was like, ‘This guy! You’re dying, bro!’”

The actor also spoke candidly about resenting his father growing up, and ultimately deciding to look forward instead. “The more I hated him for having so many kids with so many different women, the more kids I had,” he said. “The more I hated him for being away from me as a child and his other kids while being in prison, I ended up in prison as well. All that resentment and hate was just killing me. At some point I had to realise, ‘Sh*t, what’s done is done. I can’t change the past, can’t rewrite history.’ What I can do is change what’s going to happen in the future. And how I affect my children growing up. So that was a big lesson learned.”

Walters’ father died shortly afterwards. “I’ve lost a lot of people and it’s gotten to the point where I can’t cry most of the time,” he added. “But I’m just so happy that I got to develop some sort of relationship with him.”