Tag Archives: African American Actors

Strong UK Actor Larry Olubamiwo Dominates the Screen in “Catface”

Actor Larry Olubamiwo brings strength and authority into every room in which he enters, so it comes as no surprise that directors and producers frequently highlight the authority he brings to the table by casting him to take on characters with similar strength. This coupled with his deep voice and commanding 6-foot-4-inch frame not only make him a go-to for strong and dominant roles, but as someone at the top of their career, also prove him to be a rare breed of male actor when compared to his contemporaries.

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UK Actor Larry Olubamiwo shot by Karen Scott

In the frightening horror film “Catface”, which won Best Film Award at the prestigious African Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards, the African equivalent to the People’s Choice Awards,  Larry plays the lead role of Kaka. The film, about a vigilante born through supernatural means who decides to take revenge on a violent cult of internet serial killers, co-starred Fanny Escobar from ‘Revenge’ and the beautiful Katrina Nare, who is celebrated for her work on the hit series “Holby City.”

Larry describes his character as having “mystical powers who brings back to life a victim of a serial killer.” The murderer, Larry explains, “preys on people on the internet to exact revenge and prevent him doing it again.” The film is certainly a fitting tale for today’s age of an unscrupulous internet that continues to mystify people all over the world.

When asked about working with Larry, “Catface” director Ogo Okpue explains, “Larry is my go to actor when it comes to the projects I am working on. I have worked with him on three occasions now… His input into the project goes beyond just acting and he gives everything into the projects I have worked with him on.”

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Still of Larry Olubamiwo as Kaka in “Catface”

In a role and project that couldn’t be further from “Catface,” and one that further proves the fact that Larry Olubamiwo is an actor of incredible emotional range, the sought after actor also played a lead role in “Life of Hers.”

Another award-winning production under his belt, “Life of Hers” explores the lives and friendships of a group of people in a cosmopolitan city set against the backdrop of African diaspora. In the lead role of Mr. Balogun, Larry plays a Nigerian businessman who finds success after emigrating to the UK with his wife. In the story Balogun wants his daughter to “follow in his footsteps,” explains Larry. She, however, “wants something different for her life as she is influenced by her friends.”

Larry’s incredible performance, while different from his portrayal in “Catface,” was notably awarded when cast received an award for Best Ensemble at the 2014 Screen Nation Awards. It probably didn’t hurt their chances that the cast with whom Larry shared the screen included TV heartthrob and international sensation Tyson Douglas, known for his work in the hugely successful series “Doctors,” and Juliet de Gannes, who starred in the award-winning film “Hard Time Bus.” That Larry shares the screen in leading roles opposite such illustrious company is merely one more element that proves the long-held industry view that he is truly an actor of unique and extraordinary ability.

“Life of Hers” director Ola Masha explains, “When working with Larry I had peace of mind that he would be able to bring the character Mr Balogun to life. He had a great grasp of the narrative and would make great contributions not only in his acting but in the actually setting of the scene. Larry cooperates greatly with everyone on set and makes the shooting of the scene fly by.”

In further proof of the enthusiastic industry response to “Life of Hers,” the series screened at the British Urban Film Festival.

So what’s in store for the future of this powerful English actor?

“Catface” director Ogo Okpue mentions that he “will be making a feature film soon about people trafficking in which Larry has already been cast.”

Regardless of the incredible projects he has to look forward to, Larry Olubamiwo’s drive to perform is always comes down to his love for the craft, a testament to his integrity and exceptional ability as an actor who authentically brings characters to life, no matter the project or the genre.

When asked what it is that drives him to act, Larry explains, “For me it’s the ability to be able to immerse myself into a character, embody that character and give my interpretation of that character.”

 

 

 

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Featured Actor: Canada’s Nathan Mitchell!

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Canadian Actor Nathan Mitchell shot by Rebecca Eady

 

For Canadian born actor Nathan Mitchell, who is known for his roles in an impressive list of hit films such as “Twist of Fate,” “Newlywed and Dead” and Lifetime’s “The Real MVP: The Wanda Durant Story,” as well as the multi-award winning series “Arrow” and “Motive,” the acting bug bit at a young age, and he hasn’t turned back since.

Mitchell says, “What’s appealing about acting for me is that it’s an art form that requires genuine connection with other people. You really have to listen; you really have to let yourself be affected by the other person to create something dynamic. When you’re that tuned into someone else you have this fun, meaningful experience.”

Starting out in the industry nearly a decade ago, Mitchell skyrocketed to the top of the Canadian TV scene almost immediately when he took on the recurring lead role of Jeffrey on The CW’s comedy “Aliens in America.” Mitchell’s character Jeffrey is the on-and-off boyfriend of lead character Claire Tolchuck, played by Lindsay Shaw from the multi-award winning series “Pretty Little Liars.”

A coming of age comedy about a Pakistani exchange student who moves to America to live with the Tolchuck family and attend high school in a foreign country, “Aliens in America” was an immediate fan favorite thanks to the way it wove together relatable storylines about the dramatic experiences of being a teenager in a way that left viewers feeling good.

One of Mitchell’s funniest and most unforgettable moments in the series was in the second episode when Claire tries to break up with him. Instead of fading out, he stands on her front lawn with a boombox on his shoulder blasting ‘In Your Eyes,’ an icon and effective move on his part.

While “Aliens in America” was the perfect venue for Mitchell to show off his comedy side, but what audiences have come to know the actor best for is his unparalleled skill in drama.

Over the years he’s given numerous memorable performances on hit TV series such as the Golden Globe nominated crime series “Covert Affairs,” the two-time Primetime Emmy nominated sci-fi series “Falling Skies,” the Gemini and Canadian Screen Award winning series “How to Be Indie,” the Joey Award winning series “The Tomorrow People” and more.

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Nathan Mitchell in a dramatic moment as Russell Bowman in “Motive”

In season 4 of the dramatic crime series “Motive” Mitchell took on a starring role as famed BC Furies quarterback Russell Bowman, a distraught husband mourning the loss of his murdered wife.

“There was a weight to this character because he is dealing with the most monumental loss of his life. We get to see some of the happy times they had as a couple. But then you’re dealing with the heaviness of going through such a deep loss,” recalls Mitchell about playing Russell Bowman on the series.

“He has to deal with losing the most important person in his life. Seeing how he handles that is just as interesting as solving the murder itself. Those two parts of the narrative keep you on your toes.”

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Kristin Lehman (left), Nathan Mitchell (center) & Brendan Penny (right) in “Motive”

Mitchell’s riveting performance as Bowman is emotional, honest and impossible to peel our eyes away from, the actor definitely has a gift for bringing challenging and multi-layered characters to life on screen.

With the craze of comic book inspired blockbuster films and hit television series that have swept the entertainment industry over the last few years, it’s not at all surprising that Mitchell is a part of that world too, the DC Universe to be specific.

In season 3 of The CW’s “Arrow,” Mitchell guest starred as Isaac Stanzler, a key character in the developing plot between Oliver aka Arrow, played by Stephen Amell (“The Flash,” “Legends of Tomorrow”), and Roy aka Arsenal, played by Colton Hayes (“San Andreas,” “Teen Wolf”).

The abandoned protege of Wildcat (J.R. Ramirez), Isaac appears on the scene embittered from the betrayal and ready to make Wildcat pay by framing him for a string of mysterious murders.

Mitchell explains, “I came out of the shadows to frame Wild Cat for giving up on me and leaving me in the hands of criminals. It was exhilarating getting to be a part of the DC Comics Universe and bring comic book lore to life.”

A critical subplot in “Arrow’s” overall story arc, the relationship between Isaac and Wildcat reveal what could happen to Arrow if he were to be abandoned by Arsenal in the future; but only time will tell how that plays out.

Nailing the mark with his performance in “Arrow,” Mitchell brings his character to life seamlessly by tapping into the hurt and resentment Isaac has towards Wildcat. In the heart pumping fight scene where Isaac takes on Arsenal, Mitchell makes it’s clear that what’s driving his character is the need for vengeance, which makes him a relatable villain that we hate and feel sorry for at the same time.

As an actor, Nathan Mitchell brings a rare level of diversity to the table thanks to his ability to find the root of what drives each of his characters, an asset that has allowed him to play a wide range roles across practically every genre.

He explains, “The more I truly explore my roles the more I become aware of different facets of myself. There’s a huge psychological component to it. You’re taking the script and deducing how one would act based on the circumstances. You’re always learning about human nature. It’s very fulfilling.”

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Rose McIver (left), Nathan Mitchell (center) & Malcolm Goodwin (right) in the season 2 finale of “iZombie”

Up next for Nathan Mitchell is season 3 of the TV series “iZombie,” which airs in 2017, as well as the upcoming sci-fi film “Scorched Earth,” where he takes on the critical role of Zee. Audiences will also be able to catch him in the upcoming film “The Marine 5: Battleground,” where he takes on the key role of Cole.