Stephan James hopes Shots Fired aids in discussions of race in America

Actor Stephan James opens up about the difficult process of portraying race relations between law enforcement and minority groups in America in his new show, Shots Fired.
Actor Stephan James stars in the new FOX TV series, Shots Fired. (Getty Images)
Listen15:40

Actor Stephan James was in the middle of filming his new TV show, Shots Fired, when Philando Castile was shot by a Minnesota officer.

For anyone, seeing that news was tough — one of many instances in recent years of a cop shooting a young black man — but James and his castmates took it particularly hard. 

That's because their show mirrors the reality of those news headlines. The series follows a racially-charged shooting in North Carolina and, on a day like the one mentioned above, James admits that everyone is acutely aware that "this is bigger than all of us." 

"It was gruelling to shoot sometimes but no story worth telling is going to be an easy process," James, a Toronto native, admits. "Unfortunately, we had so much source material — it wasn't something we had to fathom." 

Shots Fired premieres March 22 on CityTV in Canada and FOX in the U.S. 

— Produced by Diane Eros and Vanessa Nigro

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