O-T Fagbenle is a British actor that has appeared in several films and TV productions such as the film Breaking and Entering, as well as programmes such as Death in Paradise, Agatha Christie’s Marple, HBO’s Looking, BBC’s Eastenders, Material Girl, and several others. His most recent work is a BBC One eight-part crime series called The Interceptor.
Born in London to English and Nigerian parents, The Interceptor lead star was raised in Britain, Nigeria, and Spain. Making him a true cosmopolitan who started travelling at a very young age.
In an interview with AfroCosmopolitan that took place at the BBC New Broadcasting House in London – the Top 30 Actors to Watch in 2014 according to Backstage Magazine talked about his character in the soon to be aired series, his co-star Jo Joyner, his British-Nigerian heritage, his fashion style, as well as his advice for up and coming actors.
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Talking about himself, the London-born actor said he’s partly Nigerian and party British. He said he also spent some time living in Nigeria as a child and find the place to be very interesting.
O-T was full of smiles as he talked about his character as Ash in the investigative series. “Ash is a very complicated character,” he said. Not sure he was talking about how difficult it was to play the role or Ash’s personality, we asked him what he meant by ‘complicated’.
“Ash is a man that is very passionate about his work, but at the same time – takes it too personal,” he said. And as such, he’s prepared to go as far as possible to keep the streets safe for others at the risk of causing irreparable damage to his own life, he explained further. And that also means he has to keep some of the risks he takes in doing his job, away from his family, he added.
Having talked about his family in the series, O-T used the opportunity to talk about Jo Joyner who played the role of Ash’s wife and goes by the name Lorna in The Interceptor. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts trained actor said the Eastenders star is a very good and professional actress and that he found it great working with her. The couple has two children in The Interceptor.
On Ash’s job, O-T said he works with a dedicated surveillance team known as the UNIT. A job that has brought him a step closer to his dream of bringing down the biggest fish in the criminal underworld. But it comes with an uncompromising way of doing things and ultimately forces Ash into a life-changing predicament.
When asked what he thinks and feels about all the buzz around the Interceptor at this moment and the anticipated airing on Wednesday, June 10th, O-T, who said he had a lot of fun on set of “The Interceptor”said he tries not to think too much about what is going to happen in the future – but prefers to concentrate more on now.
Having spent some time in Nigeria and partly from there, we asked him what his thoughts are on the Nigerian movie industry known as Nollywood. He told us Nollywood is a growing movie industry and that he looks forward to seeing the industry collaborate more on international projects.
On his heritage as partly Nigerian and partly British, O-T said: “I am very proud of both heritages and very happy I had the opportunity to experience both.” The actor, who also spent some of his younger years in Spain and Nigeria, said the time he spent in Lagos, Nigeria was great and that he enjoys living in Britain.
On his fashion style, he said: “I would say none as I’m still trying to figure it out.” He went further to say he likes vintage style and sometimes wearing Agbada (a traditional Nigerian attire commonly worn by the Yoruba people).
On What advice, he would give to up-and-coming young people looking into acting he said: “I guess the first piece of advice i would give – (pauses) is to become the hardest working person they know. Essentially, if you know that you are committing yourself fully to something. And you’re working every minute, every day that you can – you’re going to put yourself in a very good position.”
“But one of my hardest school teacher who was my basketball coach, Mr McCain, he said: ‘practice doesn’t make perfect. Practising the right thing make perfect.’ And so, I think finding great teachers, finding great institutions to learn the right way to work, is a really essential part of making good progress,” he continued.
“And I guess the last thing would be love. You have to love what you do, you have to have a passion for what you do. And if you don’t feel that way, you should do something else,” he added.
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Hear his advice below.
The Interceptor is a series about a state-of-the-art law enforcement team whose unswerving mission is to hunt down some of Britain’s most dangerous criminals. The first episode will air on Wednesday, June 10th. It is co-produced by BBC Drama Production and BBC Worldwide Productions for BBC One. And its Executive Producers are Sarah Brown (Oliver Twist, Lark Rise To Candleford) and Tony Saint. The series is produced by Patrick Schweitzer known for works such as Doctor Who and the Whitechapel.
Watch The Interceptor trailer below.
Photo Credit: BBC One