Interview With British Actor ZACKARY MOMOH | Shining In “Seven Seconds”
It’s no secret that with the expansion into film and television production of entertainment companies such as Netflix, the globalized online distribution brought the exposure of many new talents from around the globe to a broader audience.
One of the upcoming stars that will shine in Netflix’s highly anticipated drama series “Seven Seconds”, which premieres on February 23, 2018, alongside Regina King, Russell Hornsby, and Michael Mosley is British actor Zackary Momoh. The Hedonist Magazine had the opportunity to speak with the actor about his aspirations and dreams.
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Zackary Momoh?
I am a God lover, actor by trade and passion, Brother, Harley Davidson enthusiast, die-hard Arsenal Football Club fan, art lover, film buff and all round lovely person from London…or so I’ve been told.
- When and how did you decide you wanted to become an actor?
I decided I wanted to become an actor at least 20 years ago. I had always loved performing from a very young age and would regularly dance and act in school talent shows, but it didn’t really feel like a viable option for me until I reached 18, when my dreams and passions were more refined.
- How is working in the TV/Film industry in the U.S. different than in the UK?
In my experience so far, the U.S. is a much bigger machine with bigger budgets and more diversity across all mediums. I feel that in the U.S. the industry is more open to new stories and new ways of telling them and they have the opportunity to take risks and produce these stories because of the huge market over there. There are some great new stories coming out of the UK but personally I’m more intrigued with the stories being told stateside. I suppose the work resonates with me more in the U.S., especially as a black man.
- Has the combination of both experiences influenced you in any way? If so, how?
Yes, the UK industry gave me my initial start in acting on screen and most importantly the stage, which taught me a lot about myself as an actor, which subsequently kept me in good stead to tackle bigger roles in the U.S.
- With the expansion of Netflix and other online streaming channels, how do you see the TV/Film industry in its present state and how do you envision its future?
It’s amazing what’s going on now with Netflix and other online channels. We’re seeing more great quality work being made and streamed, which allows content to be reached to a wider audience. Also, I love the fact that more and more top-quality film actors/actresses are doing more series. One thing I’ve noticed also, that I believe is great for the film/ TV industry, is that the streaming channels give more autonomy to the creatives, which I believe allows a more diverse and provocative content to be made. In the industry there’s been a long period of seeing things get made just because there’s the possibility it will make a bucket load of money, as opposed to it actually being a great story. That’s created a rinse and repeat culture as Hollywood and UK (to a certain extent) has become more and more corporate. But, the tide is turning and there’s now a healthy balance with interesting, provocative, wonderfully creative stories and corporatism. I suppose there’s extreme value added to the streaming networks now. In the future I see more awards for online shows and for films without theatrical releases and more competitors for the already existing online powerhouses. Digital age is the present and nothing is going to stop the digital thriving. Well other than a technological apocalypse, but we as a civilization will probably still make a series about that too.
- You will star in Netflix’s anticipated drama series “Seven Seconds”, which will premiere on February 23, 2018. What does it mean to you to be part of this project?
Ah! Means A LOT to me. It’s my first project in the states, and I couldn’t have asked for a better story to be a part of. Especially with so much acts of injustices happening in this period, I always want the roles I do to truly reflect elements of our society in some way or another and Seven Seconds does this with aplomb. I’m also a huge fan of really tense crime thrillers/dramas and to be a part of one is a dream come true. I’m excited for the world to see this one.
- What other projects are you working on currently?
Currently I’m producing and developing stories that have been milling around in my head for a while, as well as collaborating with other like-minded creatives here in London. I have about 3 great shorts I want to wrap on before the end of year, God willing.
- What kind of emotions do you aim to evoke in the audience through your performance?
Anger, sadness, fear, disgust, and outright indignation. Which I hope will lead to better understanding. Because the most relatable thing on this earth, no matter who you are, is pain. We all feel it, and naturally we put our own individual pain above others. But I’m hoping this show adds to the increasing advocates for putting ourselves in each other’s proverbial shoes.
- How do you envision your future as a creative professional?
I envision myself not only constantly learning and becoming the best actor I can be, but also holding the elevator open for the people behind me. (Maybe become a poet too, I have a knack for rhyming unintentionally)
- What values do you stand for as a person and do you also apply these values in your profession as an actor?
I stand for faith, hope, and above all, Love. That is the most important thing in this world. Love. The more we spread Love, the better. I apply this in my profession by keeping faith in God and what I stand for, especially when so many things in this industry can pull you away from that. Constant rejection can pull you away from your faith and hope. Envy and bitterness can pull you away from Love. I’ve learnt over time to become impenetrable to these things, which in turn has given me a “bigger picture” perspective. I will continue to strive to be the best person I can be, not just for my art but for the world around me and I hope that will spread like wildfire.
- What do you think about the concept of talent?
Is it something we are born with or something that you acquire over time? Did the egg come before the chicken? Ha! I believe hard work beats talent and talent doesn’t work hard. So that’s to say that we all have talent, but it doesn’t matter unless we work hard at it. We were all born with an aptitude for something. Some people actualize that “something” sooner than others and some never actually find what that “something” is, but we all have it within us. What sets people apart are the people who persevere and work hard on their God given talent. Even Einstein didn’t just sit back and have the theory of relativity drop in his lap. In short, talent is something we are born with but only master with hard work and dedication, over time.
- How do you balance your professional and personal life? How do you reconnect with reality after playing a role?
As it stands the majority of my professional life is trying to get that next dope role, so I balance my professional life and personal by keeping rooted to the fact that there’s more to life than my next job. So, when it’s time to work I work, but when it’s time to rest, I really rest. And occasionally play. Also keeping rooted in my faith in God keeps both professional and personal harmonious despite any adversity. After a role, I pig out. I don’t know why but I always find myself eating my own body weight in junk. I suppose it’s because I’m a bit of a comfort eater and coming out of a role that took up so much of my mind, soul, and body can be an uncomfortable process. I’ll also have a good period of reconnecting with all my friends and family as work can take me away from them for months on end.
- What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in life so far?
Realizing that I know nothing, which allows me to learn more. Oh, and completing my first U.S. series on NETFLIX. I love Netflix.
- Our motto is “ You can be, do and have anything you want.” What’s your take on such a statement?
I feel it’s incomplete (no offense) – my take is “You can be, do and have anything you want – but none of this will follow you to the grave, so share it, with love.”