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The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett / Ashley Walters (Top Boy): “Me & Kano Didn’t Have The Greatest Time!”. The Unheard TRUTH About Top Boy, Career Rejection & Personal Grief! | The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett

Ashley Walters (Top Boy): “Me & Kano Didn’t Have The Greatest Time!”. The Unheard TRUTH About Top Boy, Career Rejection & Personal Grief! | The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett

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In this episode of “The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett,” Ashley Walters, known for his role in the hit show “Top Boy,” opens up about his traumatic childhood, his complicated relationship with his father, and the impact of his father’s death on his life and career. Walters also discusses the challenges he faced in the entertainment industry, the success of “Top Boy,” and his personal growth throughout his journey.

Main Takeaways

Childhood Trauma and Emotional Struggles

  • Ashley Walters had a lot of trauma growing up that made him angry with the world.
  • He didn’t have a father figure around and it made him feel lost about what a man is.
  • He wanted to hurt people the way he was hurt and got into a lot of trouble with the police.
  • Ashley had a lot of therapy to understand himself and the subconscious forces at play in his life.

Complicated Relationship with Father

  • Losing his father affected him deeply and led to making decisions that would come back to haunt him.
  • The speaker’s father was in and out of his life, causing emotional damage.
  • Despite this, the speaker always wanted to see his father and idolized him.
  • The speaker’s mother never badmouthed his father and gave him the choice to see him.

Understanding and Reconnecting with Father

  • The speaker’s father had issues with alcohol and got into fights, leaving the speaker to take care of him.
  • The speaker looked for father figures in other places, like local bad boys and the group Soul Solid, and struggled with understanding what it meant to be a man emotionally.
  • The speaker found out that their illiterate father was actually one of the most intelligent people they know, with a wealth of life experience to offer.
  • The father came to see the speaker in Canada when he knew he only had weeks left to live.

Grief and Personal Growth

  • The speaker didn’t grieve properly after his father’s death and still feels emotional talking about it.
  • The speaker lost valuable footage of his father due to a dissolved production company and has been trying to retrieve it for 10 years.
  • Lessons learned from spending the last two weeks with his father before he passed away.
  • Traumatic experiences can often lead to positive outcomes and personal growth.

Success in the Entertainment Industry

  • Top Boy was a life-changing opportunity for the speaker, who was previously typecasted as a bad boy.
  • The show incorporates real-world issues like mental health and family neglect.
  • Top Boy’s success can be attributed to its complexity and thought-through plots, which allowed it to cross over to different audiences globally.
  • Working on the show created a strong bond between the cast and crew.

Challenges and Growth in Relationships

  • The pandemic forced Walter to stay at home for two years, which was uncomfortable for him as he enjoys challenges and being active.
  • Walter’s relationship with his work makes him feel like he is good enough and fills a void, but it is an illusion.
  • Communication is essential for a loving, committed relationship.
  • Learning to appreciate and adopt different communication styles can enhance relationships.

Lessons from the Director

  • The director’s success is not just due to talent, but also hard work, dedication, perfectionism, love, craft, kindness, and overcoming rejection.
  • The director has a unique perspective on their art form and has developed it over the last two to three decades.
  • The speaker believes that the director’s future projects will have equal impact on the world as their previous projects.


Ashley Walters’ Journey of Personal Growth and Success

Ashley Walters, known for his role in “Top Boy,” shares his traumatic childhood experiences and the emotional struggles he faced growing up without a father figure. Through therapy, Walters gained a deeper understanding of himself and the subconscious forces at play in his life. He also reflects on his complicated relationship with his father, who had issues with alcohol and was absent for most of his life. However, during his father’s final weeks, Walters had the opportunity to reconnect and understand his father’s perspective, leading to a newfound appreciation for him.

Walters discusses the impact of his father’s death on his life and career, highlighting the importance of properly grieving and the regret he feels for not treating his father better during his battle with cancer. Despite the challenges he faced, Walters found success in the entertainment industry, particularly with his role in “Top Boy.” The show’s complex characters and thought-provoking plots resonated with audiences globally, leading to its immense popularity.

Throughout his journey, Walters emphasizes the significance of personal growth and the importance of communication in relationships. He shares his experiences during the pandemic, which forced him to confront his relationship with work and the need for self-reflection. Walters also reflects on the lessons he learned from the director of “Top Boy,” highlighting the director’s dedication, perfectionism, and ability to overcome rejection.


Ashley Walters’ story is one of personal growth, resilience, and success. From his traumatic childhood to his complicated relationship with his father, Walters has overcome numerous challenges to become a respected actor in the entertainment industry. Through his experiences, he emphasizes the importance of understanding oneself, properly grieving, and nurturing relationships. Walters’ journey serves as an inspiration for others to embrace personal growth, communicate effectively, and pursue their passions.

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