Ronke Adekoluejo’s parents are “really supportive”, she says. “They watch me in everything, even when I’m doing things that are not nice to see your daughter do.” One example would be the scene in Rain Dogs, a recent HBO/BBC comedy created by Cash Carraway, in which Adekoluejo’s character has drunken sex next to a corpse in a funeral parlour. Another might be her role in Searchlight Pictures’ period drama Chevalier, directed by Stephen Williams — she plays an African slave who has a relationship with a French plantation owner, and is left behind when their son Joseph Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr) becomes a favourite composer of Marie Antoinette.

Her parents’ encouragement began when her liveliness as a child earned her the nickname ‘Activity’. To help burn off that energy, she and her brother were enrolled in the Anna Scher Theatre performing arts school in north London. “It was just a hobby until my brother started getting jobs, and I started getting jealous. My five-year-old self thought, ‘I’m really good at this but my brother’s average, so what’s going on?’” Her brother would eventually swap acting for the Royal Navy, but Adekoluejo was set on the “best job in the world”.

Graduating from RADA in 2013, she initially concentrated on theatre, with parts in Pride And Prejudice at the Sheffield Crucible, The House That Will Not Stand at London’s Tricycle (now the Kiln), and a play she scripted herself, Teleportation. Along the way she was spotted by Mark Rylance, who recommended her to Steven Spielberg for a part in 2018 sci-fi blockbuster Ready Player One, a “life-changing experience”. Other projects include Disney’s Christopher Robin, and Eleventh Hour Films/Sony Pictures Tele­vision’s Alex Rider series, based on Anthony Horowitz’s teen spy novels.

Her plan now is to act in one play a year, “just to feel like myself”, to do enough television that she can “pay someone to sort out my garden”, and to work on films that tell “groundbreaking, monumental, incredible stories”. One of these will be Mandem In Miami, a coming-of-age comedy she is writing for BBC Film. “I can’t complain about parts if I don’t create the work.”

Contact: Rachel Briscoe, The Artists Partnership