Bryan Okoye is an actor, artiste and a model. He was born in Jos, Nigeria but hails from Idemili-North LGA in Anambra state. He is a multi-lingual Nigerian who speaks English, Igbo and French fluently. He had his secondary education in St. Gregory’s college Lagos, gained a degree in English from the University of Lagos, and also bagged a Diploma in French Language, from the Institut Francais du Nigeria.
For those who are familiar with him, there’s no disputing fact that his fine features is one of his selling points. However, determination and desire for self improvement helped him to turn himself into the personification of a male beauty. According to him, his passion for acting started from childhood.
”Ever since childhood, I have always felt like an entertainer. I have always been interested in acting and music. I was always in the drama club, participating in a couple of plays while in primary school, secondary school, and drama being an integral part of of my first degree, I acted in a couple of Stage productions while at the university. However, my journey in film and television began in the later part of my National Service year in 2015”
In his bid to improve his skills, Bryan went ahead to bag a certificate of completion ACTING MASTERCLASS, AIFF 2016. Under the tutelage of Nollywood veterans Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD), Lancelot Imasuen and Segun Arinze.
Bryan Okoye has worked with different A-list Directors and actors and has featured in numerous award winning movies, series and stage plays. He played the role of Labata in the acclaimed stage adaptation of Ola Rotimi’s THE GODS ARE NOT TO BLAME by Mellis Copia Production at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja last November.
He has featured in Tv series such as, TINSEL, NOLLYWOOD SCANDALS, SONS OF THE CALIPHATE, BEYOND YOUR SIGHT, WHO WANTS TO BE EMPLOYED, TONY WANTS TO MARRY and most recently, he played a sub-lead role in an upcoming Uche Jombo series titled BOYS ARE NOT SMILING which will start airing by the second quarter of the year. So y’all should watch out for that one..
Amongst some of the films he has been featured are ZERO HOUR directed by Robert Peters featuring the likes of Rahama Sadau, RMD and Alex Ekubo, CRAZY PEOPLE directed by Moses Inwang featuring Ramsey Nouah, Chi Gurl, Ireti Doyle, Ben Touitou, SWEET MAMA directed by Nollywood veteran, Zack Amata, FANTASTIC NUMBERS directed by Paul Papel featuring Rahama Sadau, Yakubu Mohammed, Sani Danja, Sambasa Nzeribe, AY’s YORUBA DEMONS directed by Toka McBarror featuring Ramsey Nouah, Falz, Jim Iyke, RMD and most recently, an epic Cinema film titled ZENA, directed by Daniel Oriahi featuring the likes of Ireti Doyle, Keira Hewatch, Omowunmi Dada, Baaj Adebule amongst others. He is also a voice over artiste and voice actor as he has equally done a couple of radio dramas and commercials.
In an exclusive interview with Asiribase, Bryan Okoye gave us a little insight into his personality and career.
Tell us a little about yourself, how would you describe your personality to us?
I like to refer to myself as a man of few words as I do not talk unnecessarilly. I am more of a listener. I’m basically a chivalrous gentleman, a positive person who believes that every human should be a reflection of what he would like to receive. If you want love, give love. If you want positivity, give positivity because at the end of the day, what you give is what you shall receive. My positive vibe no dey ever finish. Lol.
I’m a passinate guy, passionate about certain things in life like humanity, reggae music (especially Lucky Dube), acting, football. Lol. I am an ardent Manchester United supporter… Reds for life! I enjoy the simple things of life like Hiking, football, basketball and music. I like to speak a lot of Jamaican Patuah. Sometimes I just do it unconnsciously but that is me. Lol. I’m in love with the Jamaican culture and people.
I’m kinda like a romanticist because I love nature and natural things… I am multi faceted as I have different sides to my personality. I could be wild or hyper one minute, and I could be calm. I’m someone who appreciates and acknowledges good things when I see them. I am basically motivated by my passion which sets my soul on fire. My parents have sacrificed a lot in my existence for me and my siblings, and I just can’t wait to give them the world! I’m driven by that force.
How did your acting career begin?
For film and television, it began in 2015 during my National Service year. I had a fellow corps member who was an Actress at that time, and she was always playfully teasing me about joining nollywood as she believed that I had the “looks” for that. She kept persuading me in that manner and to be honest, I was reluctant initially. She actually motivated me to begin going for auditions without knowing if I could actually act or not. I guess she just believed that there was something special and unique about me. So she informed me about any auditions there were and that was how the journey began.
Additionally, fortunately for me, one of my students in the school I was teaching in at that time happened to be the child of one of Nollywood’s veteran movie directors/producers, so through this student, I was able to meet her dad who believed in me and gave me a role in a series he was producing at that time, Nollywood Scandals and Voila..!
Thank you Lydian John, I guess you saw something in me indeed… lol. Honestly, sometimes we all need someone to give us that extra push, motivation and ginger to actually see our potential and find ourselves. Lydian did it for me and I’m grateful.
Any challenges so far?
Obviously there are. But I believe challenges are a normal aspect of beginnings. They toughen you up and get you prepared for the greatness that is to come. Obviously I haven’t gotten to my summit as an actor. I am still very much in my very early stages, only striving and hoping for the best. There’s still a long way to go.
What do you think would make Nollywood film industry better?
Well, I believe that one of the main things affecting Nollywood movies besides bad scripts is lack of editing. If more emphasis and care could be placed on this aspect, things would be more appealing. Also I hope for a time when there shall be greater investments and greater budgets for our movies. Perhaps the Government could be of help in this regard.
Our distribution network are not sufficient and credible enough and for this reason, producers and even actors are not making as much money as should be made. The Board could set up better and tighter frame work for both sales and rentals and if we can overcome the problem of the poor distribution network, there will definitely be more encouragement, smiley faces and all round satisfaction…
If piracy could be curbed for good, and actors could earn more and be satisfied with the fruits of their labour, that would be ideal! Also I think we have a lot of stereotyping in our movies. But then I’m not necessarily saying these have to be removed. They just have to be acted more professionally.
What role can you not play?
I can play every role as long as it doesn’t involve me having to die. Lol. Well, me portraying a character does not in any way mean the character is who I am. As long as at the end of the day, after filming, I drop the character and I’m back to being myself, we’re good.
If you were not an actor, what would you have been?
Who’s your role model?
Your most challenging role so far?
Most challenging role was this project i just finished, Zena an epic movie along side great actors like Ireti Doyle, Omowunmi Dada, Ijeoma Grace Agu, Baaj Adebule, Keira Hewatch etc. We were shooting in a settlement deep inside some forest at the outskirts of lagos. We were there for about 2 weeks, had loads of strange insects hovering around, biting me. As you can see my skin is so messed up right now from bites from sandflies. I just hope they heal without scars and spots.
Also i had a scene where i had to be in a river, rowing a boat and i was quite scared and uneasy because normally i’m scared of water but I had to overcome that fear and grew more comfortable with every shot that was taken lol. There were days when we had to shoot till like 3 or 4am with little or no sleep. It was indeed very stressful but adventurous at the same time. An experience completely different from everything I had done before that. Realizing that people lived in a place like that without good water supply, electricity, internet, mobile network but still they live happilly in peace and content with the little they have in life.
Seeing the children playing around with smiley faces and all that was really inspiring. Teaches a great lesson about life. That experience basically re-asserts that we should be content and thankful for the life we’ve got, for there’s no such thing as a life that’s better than yours. It was a journey to rediscovery and I am thankful and I would still do it over and over again if given the chance to.
What would your ideal role be someday?
A role alongside denzel washington, Christoph Waltz, Viola Davis, Idris Elba or a role that requires me to kiss Meagan Good. I fit craze that day! Lol.
I think every role is distinct and ideal in its own way though. The simple fact that I could change my look or attitude and be anyone is ideal..
Aside acting what do you do?
I rap, I write, I model, I’m a translator and I’m into fashion as well…
Who is your celebrity crush ?
I’ve got loads of them! Lol. I hope that don’t make me an ashawo boy though. Lol. But here it’s Damilola Adegbite and Joselyn Dumas, they are absolutely beautiful women. In Hollywood, I like Meagan Good and Sofia Vargara. Her accent when she speaks English dey always burst my brain! Lool.
How do you relax?
I go to the gym, it makes me forget my troubles temporarily. I love to go to the movies too. Most times alone and people think I’m weird! I listen to music a whole lot, especially rap and reggae. Definitely with head phones or an ear piece because that’s the best way to switch off and feel the music.
Tell us something about you people don’t know..
I have a bad habit of biting my nails. So my fingers are not so pleasant. Lol. I have always tried to drop the habit but I always fail. Lol. Still work in progress though.. Lolz..
What do you do to maintain this hot body of yours?
*coughs*. Lol. Well, thanks for the flattery. But the thing is I work out pretty much and I eat right. Working out for me is more like a hobby and whenever i go for days without hitting the gym, perhaps due to some annoying circumstances, I am usually not happy.
Who’s the lucky girl?
I’m single so Every girl is lucky..
Lol Men! Y’all are always single..
Lol. No. for real. I’ve been single for over 4 years.
Yeah 4years… Haven’t just seen the girl yet that triggers all the passion and emotion in me plus I’m not quite sure I’m ready for the commitment and all that drama that comes with being in a relationship yet. I’m more focused on achieving something for now.
How do you handle female admirers?
Well, I like to be real, and i’m naturally a nice and polite guy who probably has lots of females around. I’m always appreciative of admirers however, and we can always co-exist nicely without qualmz as long as we have mutual respect for each other’s space.
What is your favourite food?
My favourite foods are yam and egg sauce. And pounded yam with afang or bitterleaf soup. If you can cook these for me, you shall find your way to my heart. Lol.
What advice do you have for aspiring/upcoming actors?
Be humble, Believe in yourself, have faith in your own abilities, continue working on yourself, work hard knowing full well that beginings are always the hard times and everything comes to you in the right moment, be patient, be grateful while striving for greatness.
Thanks a lot for your time Bryan
Thanks for having me, it’s been a pleasure.
Best described as a dynamic actor, Bryan Okoye has a unique personality that can suit into any role with ease. Connect with him on;
Facebook – Bryan Okoye
Likedin – Bryan Okoye
Instagram – @bryanbombastiq
Twitter – @TheBraeyn
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