Author Alex Wheatle MBE was surprised when Steve McQueen approached him to feature his life story in his new anthology series, Small Axe currently streaming on Amazon Prime. Originally part of the writer’s room, Wheatle didn’t expect the Academy Award-nominated director to ask if he could center an episode on him. The series follows five stories of the West Indian experience in London over different decades. Alex Wheatle is the fourth film in the series, and it details the author’s life growing up in London’s foster care system before moving to a youth hostel in Brixton where he developed his crucial rocker sound. After being arrested during the Brixton riots, Wheatle met a Rastafarian, Simeon, who helped him change his path and influence him into the person he is today. The Knockturnal got the chance to sit down with the author and discuss his feelings on seeing his life story on TV, the representation of Jamaicans in media, the crucial rocker sound, and how his life in Brixton changed him for the better.
“Alex Wheatle” is currrently streaming on Amazon Prime Video as part of Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” anthology series.