Nollywood’s dashing actor and rave of the moment, Deyemi Okanlawon, has opened up on his role in Netflix Original Series, ‘Blood Sisters’, which premiered last week on the global streaming platform.
In the series, Okanlawon played the role of Kola Ademola, a sadistic rich guy character who brutalises female victims but gets killed along the way.
Speaking on his role in the movie on his Twitter handle, the actor admitted that perfecting it was mentally draining.
He tweeted: “Kola Ademola definitely affected me more than I care to admit and it took months to get to a semblance of normalcy. Strangely, while I still firmly believe aggression should be met with justice, I now empathise with people who carry such demons.
“As Deyemi Okanlawon I pray to continue to defend victims of discrimination and violence with my life.
“However, as an actor, my craft dictates in order to give the best performance I cannot judge a character’s life or actions but must become the character.
“In order to embody a character, I have to temporarily suspend my personal beliefs to truly understand who they are and why they do what they do.
“This is a very mentally draining process and oftentimes after such experiences I would need help and time to rediscover my true North.”
He also said that the role was a stark contradiction of his upbringing, describing his imitation of the character as a torture.
“Being raised from childhood not to ever hit a woman it was pure torture to now have to push past that to get to the point where the rage and emotions (which my scene partner also needed for her performance) were real yet have the willpower to ensure there was no physical contact.
“Having walked through such a depraved mind as Kola’s, I am now convinced that people who physically abuse others are mentally damaged and possessed by their personal demons likely born out of childhood trauma/poor parenting/societal or other factors,” he added.
Also recounting his sojourn into the film industry, Okanlawon told TCN how he got his first movie role while he was still in the corporate.
According to him, his after-work hours, holidays, paid and unpaid leaves and weekends were spent at locations during his early acting years.
Talking about his debut work in film, he said: “Femi Ogunsanwo and Udoka Onyeka’s ZR7 which was what the audition was for but Daniel Effiong and his producer snuck into the auditions and picked me to play lead in their short film A Grain of Wheat, thus becoming my first film.
“Tolu Ajayi, who I knew from corporate work, saw ZR7 (shot in his secondary school in Ilorin) and we did the short film Blink followed by Abiola Sobo’s In Ireti (a short film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth).
“Tolu then directed Inkblot’s first ever production, a webseries called Knock Knock after which Lala called me for Season 1 of the Gidi Up webseries. All these I did during after work hours, holidays, paid and unpaid leave, nights and weekends.
“By 2013 Gidi Up season 2 needed much more of my time and I resigned from OLX Nigeria where I was marketing manager. Micromedia, AMOF, ROK, EL Originals, and a few producers who believed in me kept me working until I quit acting in 2019 (I wasn’t happy/fulfilled with my career trajectory) to join Silverbird Distribution as Head of Marketing, then Head of Nollywood and Independent Account then acted in the capacity of CEO… and the Covid 19 shutdown of cinemas brought me back.”