Ṣọpẹ́ Dirisu said he was not invited to play John Constantine in the canceled HBO series Max.
There were rumors that the actor, best known for his role in the film “Gangs of London”, was chosen to play a DC character in a planned series that was to be developed by J. Production of Abrams by Bad Robot.
As Variety reported last month, HBO Max postponed the series after their merger with Warner Bros. Discovery. Instead, the company is working on a sequel to the 2005 film Constantine, in which Keanu Reeves will again play his role.
After the cancellation, Dirisu, whose participation was never announced, tweeted a photo of Reeves in the role, writing, “Give them hell, King.”
— Ṣọpẹ́ (@sopedirisu) September 16, 2022
In an interview with NME, Dirisu explained that in fact he never intended to play Konstantin in the series, but he was attached to some kind of role.
“I do not know what my NDA (non—disclosure agreement) says, so I do not know what I can and cannot say,” the actor said. “But I never intended to play this role.
“I do not know why people thought I was going to. It got to the point where [so many people thought] I was going to [play him], it made me think, ‘Oh, maybe it is!'”.
Despite not being officially selected, Dirisu said he needed therapy because of the racist insults he received online amid rumors of his involvement.
“It took a lot of self-control and I had to talk to therapists and talk to family, friends and partners. It was just, “This thing really upsets me.” He’s changed a little bit.”
He added: “I had to disable the keyword “Konstantin” on Twitter and Instagram. It took me a lot of self-control not to react and not to react to the nonsense that was around the role and my participation in it.”
Dirisu is going to reprise his role as Elliot Finch in the second season of Gangs of London, along with Papa Essiedu, Pippa Bennett-Warner and Michelle Fairley.
The second season of “Gangs of London” will be available on Sky Atlantic and the streaming service NOW from October 20.