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Death in Paradise star reveals 'devastating' audition process

The actress plays Naomi Thomas

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Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
May 1, 2022
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Death in Paradise star Shantol Jackson has opened up about her audition process for the BBC show, revealing that she was left "devastated" after initially being rejected following five auditions. 

MORE: Death in Paradise season 12: when do they begin filming?

Speaking on The Table Read podcast, hosted by her co-star Tahj Miles, the actress revealed that she originally auditioned for the show back in 2018 but got turned down for the part. 

WATCH: Death in Paradise's Josephine Jobert admits she 'abandoned' Shantol Jackson after leaving show

"I did five auditions and they kept saying 'Hey, we love your performance, but you need to change this and change that," said the Naomi Thomas actress before going on to admit that she and her manager initially thought that she had bagged the role. 

After receiving a disappointing email from the show informing her that she had been unsuccessful, Shantol was devastated. 

MORE: 7 shows like Death in Paradise to watch while you wait for season 12

MORE: Death in Paradise cameos: the biggest stars you forgot appeared in the BBC drama

"Tahj, I won't lie, I balled," she explained. "It didn't happen and I was so devastated and I cried, I was like 'This industry is so awful, why am I doing this? I should do something else.'

shantol tahj© Photo: BBC

Shantol appeared on Tahj Miles' podcast recently

Following a "proper breakdown", the actress decided to keep going. She explained how every year she would send her agent an email saying: "Thank you for still being here with me" because she wasn't getting many jobs. 

Then one day in 2021, she was offered the chance to audition. "I sent my gratitude email like I do every year," she explained. "And my agent said to me, 'You know what? The journey is a marathon, it's not a sprint, and we're still here because we believe in you, we know you can do it.'

shantol jackson ds© Photo: BBC

The actress was initially rejected before landing a role on the show

"I said, 'Well, oh this is nice but still...' And, literally, after that, his assistant messaged me and said, 'You know what we have heard from Death in Paradise, they want you to audition for something again.'"

She then went on to do a successful chemistry read and was offered the part just days later.

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