Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje joined racist gang

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje joined a gang of racist skinheads as a teenager.

The 'Suicide Squad' star grew up in Tilbury, Essex, during the 1970s, where he was a target for white nationalists and decided the best way to protect himself was to join them.

Adewale said: "I remember having to walk in my underpants. They made my life hell. I remember having dogs set on me...

"I still have scars on the back of my leg from the Alsatian."

I wanted belonging in a town where I was told I didn't belong. My father told me to stand up for myself. When I got proficient at that it got me a certain reputation."

The 52-year-old actor - whose new film, 'Farming', is based on his upbringing - was unofficially fostered out to a white couple and always felt "rejected" by his Nigerian birth parents, Baronet and Sikirat, who lived in London.

He said: "I felt my mum rejected me. But I was only six weeks old when I was passed on. As a child, those were my parents.

"When the rejection came was living in a house of eight to nine children, with rotating foster children."

And Adewale never felt loved by his racist foster parents.

He said: "I never recall getting a hug. We focused on survival. One of my earliest memories is my foster mother telling me she didn't like me."

The 'Thor: The Dark World' actor's biological parents took him back to Nigeria when he was eight years old, but he felt out of place there.

He recalled: "In school I was ridiculed as a foreigner. I couldn't speak the language and got beaten to make me speak."

He returned to his foster family when he was 13 and his life began spiralling out of control, culminating in a failed suicide attempt when he was 16.

He said: "It was the depths of my despair. I tried to put a noose round me and it didn't work."