My experience with Kunle Afolayan – Demola Adedoyin

Demola Adedoyin is an actor, model, musician, who is currently known for playing one of the lead roles, Prince Aderopo, in Kunle Afolayan’s October 1.

He was born in Lagos where he is now based. His interest in graphics and audio-visuals saw him gain a Masters in Media and Communication from the Metropolitan University of London. He also studied Film Directing at the Central Film School, London. Apart from acting, he runs his own audio-visual media company called Yin Media.

His first film role was as the boyfriend of a white woman with a racist mother in Secrets’ directed by Fleur Wesling, a UK production. He is also set to star in an upcoming TV, The Island, produced by Storm Records, Nigeria.

As a musician, he produced a single with Ice Prince and DJ Atte under the stage name, KamiLion.

He spoke to PREMIUM TIMES about his acting and the movie that threw him into the limelight, October 1.

PT: Did you always plan on being an actor or was your venture into acting serendipitous?

Demola: That’s it; pure serendipity. I had decided to focus on a more corporate existence. Even my acting classes happened in the form of necessity. In between being accepted after the audition for my 1st film (Secrets) and going on set I wanted to prepare for what I was going to do.

It was my first paid gig. While pursuing my master’s degree I did some part time modelling just for extra income and my online agent recommended me to some independent filmmakers for a speaking part in a short film about racism. After I did the short film, I decided to go to film school and learn about direction and production.

PT: How did you get the role of Prince Aderopo in October 1?

Demola: I was called in for a private reading in Kunle’s office. Then I did the same with other possible contenders at the open audition where Tunde Babalola, the writer of the script, was heavily involved.

PT: What was your main reaction to the script especially the child rape plotline?

Demola: I found it bold and intriguing because Nigerians are usually afraid to delve into such sensitive matters. But Kunle wisely presented it in a way that wouldn’t be deemed gratuitous.

PT: Did it bother you that you were going to play such a negative yet wounded character?

Demola: Not really. You dig deep into parts of yourself that resonate and you make it work. Maybe someone who is the same way might find a lesson in the outcomes and questions answered /raised by the film as the whole.

PT: How did you prepare for the role?

Demola: I stopped weight training and focused on stamina training, because my character is a guy that has to do a lot of running. I decided he wouldn’t be based on any previous villain of his kind in films. I slowed my speech and put myself in his frame of mind, but decided that due to his high level of education, there would be no conspicuous signs of psychosis.

PT: Do you share the same view as Prince Aderopo that Nigeria’s amalgamation was ill-timed even unnecessary?

Demola: Absolutely not. There were two sides to colonisation. Maybe there was a good side effect from it in terms of the side effect of strengthening our desire for education and advancement but having said that, independence was very necessary, no nation should be colonised. All our eyes are open now.

PT: How did you feel acting alongside a veteran like Sadiq Daba and Kayode Aderupoko?

Demola: I got to learn so much from them. They are both very masterful in their work. They have been at it for a while so it seems like they’re locked into character. Even for me, it’s great to watch them.

PT: Describe your experience working with Kunle Afolayan?

Demola: It was an uplifting experience. Of course, he’s a high pressure individual while on the project and some found it tedious but I let it energise me. Also, he made me understand the brief ahead of me, breaking down expectations down before he unleashed me. He gives you a baseline and says, “Take it from there. It’s your show.”

PT: What was your general experience on set?

Demola: It was a close knit bubble of very diverse characters, so there was never a dull moment. Really, the only calm moments were in scenes that required calm.

PT: This is your third film, how does it feel hitting it “big” so soon in your career? How do you plan to ride out this wave crest?

Demola: I feel I am yet to hit it ‘Big’. If I can do more great work then I will and it will happen but I’m still on the way.

PT: Who has influenced you the most as an actor or in life generally?

Demola: As an actor, Denzel Washington; in life, my father.

Demola Adedoyin on set October 1
Demola Adedoyin on set October 1

PT: What are your plans, post October 1?

Demola: My media company will shift focus from corporate identity work to the audiovisuals and for now. I plan to make and be involved in great filmmaking and communications work.

PT: You are also a; what genre of music are you into?

Demola: I personally listen to a wide range of music from R& B to techno, afrobeats and rap to classical, opera and Brazilian bossa nova. But what I’ve always created is a blend of R& B and hip hop music.

PT: What do you do in your free time?

Demola: I’m a knowledge junkie, so there is no free time really, as knowledge will never be completely consumed. I play soccer and basketball regularly and have recently restarted martial arts, which I practised competitively in school.

PT: Are you married, single and searching or single and in a relationship? Describe your perfect woman.

Demola: I’m single, and don’t believe there’s a perfect woman. But situations can present someone who’s right for you as you are. I’ll probably answer better when I’ve found her.

PT: Which actor/actress would you love most to act with? Same for director.

Demola: Actors: Joseph Benjamin, Tope Tedela and OC Ukeje. I’ve worked with Omotola Ekeinde on The Island TV series, which was amazing. I also recently worked with Beverly Naya on a new project and she is so talented. Directors: Kunle Afolayan again, Seyi Babatope. Eric Aghimien is a good action director too.

PT: In which ways do you think Nollywood is making it and how can it get better?

Demola: We need to get better in sound and cinematography but we are well on our way to leading the world in the craft. Especially when distribution and demand catch on properly and the average man has access to seeing great films wherever he is.


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