British-Nigerian actress Tracy Ifeachor was in England when we chatted last week. After a day of riding around on London’s iconic Tube, the Treadstone star was about to put on a powder blue bell-sleeved dress and round-toe flats to attend a pre-party for the BAFTA awards.
Steadily after graduating from drama school in the city known as ‘The Smoke,’ Ifeachor has been sharpening her skills everywhere from the stage to the small screen, appearing in the iconic series, Doctor Who, Hawaii Five-0 and Quantico. In her breakout role, Ifeachor plays investigative journalist Tara Coleman in The Bourne Identity‘s television adaptation that centers on the world that birthed the worldly assassin, Jason Bourne.
Ifeachor told ESSENCE she’s overseas while she waits “to discover whether we’re going to do a second season or not.”
So she’s been keeping busy—from mentoring students at her old drama school to digging deeper into the mental health space with a company she created to help others navigate the tough pockets of life. She’s also been getting recognized, especially now that the series, which premiered on USA Network last September, is now streaming on Amazon Prime, introducing an entirely new audience to this nail-biter.
“So many people in so many countries are now watching Treadstone at the same time,” she gushed. “I got on the tube…and a couple of people were trying to take a sneaky picture of me. And I was like, ‘They’ve been watching Treadstone.'”
Despite the intrusion, Ifeachor wasn’t taken aback. “I just thought ‘That’s OK’ and just turned around. But I’m sure there will come a day or a time where I feel like, ‘Oh, I’m really not in the mood for this.'”
Still, the actress who can’t have a conversation without mentioning her very sincere love of God said even when people invade her personal space “you can’t ever be rude. You have to always put your best foot forward.”
It’s why Ifeachor is trying to parse out the positives when it comes to the BAFTAs’ lack of diversity in this year’s nominations. In an eery repeat of #OscarsSoWhite, every one of the major acting nominees this year for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts is White.
Ifeachor admitted that “it’s not the most encouraging to constantly see that, but I always go back to my faith, not that I ever leave it, but I have to believe that God has the final say and that certain things are only temporary, whether that’s the disappointment of not seeing a great work represented, or acknowledged, or whatever that may be.”
“It’s not always going to be this way,” she added, with the assuredness of a believer.
We’re just going to keep going; keep rising; keep making the work that we’re making; keep creating work of our own and just moving ahead.
While the awards, which take place February 2, have all White nominees in the main categories, the BAFTAs EE Rising Star nominees were more diverse, including two Black actors: Waves star Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Top Boy actor Micheal Ward.
“I didn’t grow up seeing people who looked like me, or actors like me onscreen; strong women in leading roles that weren’t based on a race or ethnicity or anything like that,” Ifeachor continued. “I’m raising the next generation up just as the generation before me and the generation before that. The work that they have done has enabled me to do what I’m doing now. So we’re all, each of us, standing on the shoulders of the person that came before us.”
The actress told ESSENCE that awards like the BAFTAs “can’t be the definition of success.”
“It doesn’t diminish the work that has been done. It doesn’t take away from the progress that has been made. That’s undeniable,” she enthused. “So we’re just going to keep going; keep rising; keep making the work that we’re making; keep creating work of our own and just moving ahead.”