Olunike Adeliyi [Interview]

Today we have a wonderful interview with a brilliant artist who was kind enough to share a few words with us here today. That person is Olunike Adeliyi. If you are a simple mind like I am, Olunike could be first recognized for her brilliant performance in the Saw franchise that we know and love here at TWS. But, as per usual, there is so much more to love about Adeliyi. She is an amazing actress, voice over artist, and even the curator of something truly cool to learn about entitled The Monologue Slam that we get into in the conversation below that is absolutely fascinating.

For readers just tuning after the last Comedy Showcase we did, only to find that we have jumped into a Sunday Matinee with a french film about suicidie, and now sharing some words from a brilliant dramatic artist…welcome to the diverse land of Trainwreck’d Society! Art is art, and we appreciate all of it. Whether you are standing in front of an audience with the intention to make the react directly at you, or you are on stage attempting to make the audience feel empowered/frightened because of the words you are saying…we love it all. And because of that we, are truly honored that Olunike Adeliyi was so kind to share a few words with us about her amazing career thus far, and what the future holds for this extremely talented human being. So please enjoy some amazing words from one of our new favorite performers, Olunike Adeliyi!

When did you decide you wanted to be a part of the world of acting? Was it an early deep rooted ambition you can always remember having?

I decided I wanted to pursue acting professionally in my early twenties. I started in background and knew very quickly that this wasn’t the angle where I could be in front of the camera at a higher level. So, I left the industry for a few years to attend theatre school at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York to get trained properly and have more opportunities as an actor. I recently revisited an old diary from when I was in grade five and it said that’s what I wanted to do, so it has been in my subconscious my entire life.

Your performance in Saw 3D: The Final Chapter was the absolute highlight of the film, in my opinion. The Saw franchise is a fascinating one to say the least, so I am curious to know what it was like to jump into the world of Jigsaw? What were some highlights for you personally whilst working on the film? 

Being involved in the Saw franchise is kinda like hitting the jackpot, because it’s so well recognized around the world. I receive a lot of interview questions about Saw, because that’s the major impact it has made. I definitely enjoyed the process of making the movie and also became less scared of horror films. All that blood is corn syrup so it helped with the “trauma” I developed from 80’s and 90’s horror films. The highlight for me was the stunts I had to perform. I was hanging on a wire about 20 feet up in the air while holding onto a pipe. That experience was so intense for me, because I’m scared of heights. I got through it and started doing A LOT more of my own stunts since then.

You have actually worked on a quite a few other horror projects, and with this genre being quite a staple here at TWS, I am curious to know what you enjoy the most about working in the world of horror specifically? What sets the horror world apart from the plethora of other work you have done?

Working in the horror world is fun, because I feel there are no limits when it comes to boundaries. Finding new creative ways to scare an audience so that it stays with them for life seems like a fun job. We are still talking about Jaws, A Nightmare on Elm’s Street, Friday the 13th, or The Exorcist. I enjoy working in the horror genre now, because I get to react and reveal all my fears organically. I love all genres equally though. As long as I continue working and perfecting my craft I’m extremely happy.

I am also fascinated by folks who have worked in the world of video game voice over work, which you did on the 2014 award winning game Watch Dogs as Poppy. I am curious to know what it was like to work on a project like this? Was there a creative freedom in trying to bring a character to life with just your voice? 

I did have creative freedom on Watch Dogs. The Ubisoft team was looking for a project to put me in for months. I’ve become a part of the family and it’s a loyal family. Poppy was developed based on my image, physicality, personality, and voice, which I thought was an incredible honour. No acting required.

You have worked extensively in film, television, voice over, and on the stage with amazing roles in each category. With that, what would you consider to be your most beloved way to perform? If you were destined to only do one of them for the rest of your career, what would it be? 

If I could only chose one, which isn’t fair at all, I’d chose theatre. It’s where I began and what will always continue to stretch my talents. It’s the training grounds for actors. Notice all the greats we admire have a lifetime relationship and commitment to the theatre. Broadway has also become my acting class over the past 15 years. I have a ritual where I jump on an overnight bus or fly into New York for one day and see a few plays. Watching the best that do it elevates my motivation to continue perfecting my craft. I just saw Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway and I was front row centre for four hours watching my mentor kill the game. I haven’t missed any of his plays since Julius Caesar. I have even developed a live stage show called the Monologue Slam in Toronto and Vancouver with my business partner Andre Newell that showcases actors every month in front of a panel of industry professionals. Actors battle it out with monologues and the audience picks the winner. It’s a lot of fun and we have been running it for several years now. Many actors have also booked jobs after appearing on our stage. The Monologue Slam keeps an actor practiced while having fun.

[Editor’s note: Learn more about The Monologue Slam at  www.toslam.com ]

If you were handed the opportunity to portray any person of any historical significance in a biopic, who would it be?

Nina Simone or Mariam Makeba (Mama Africa). They were entertainers who used their platforms to freedom fight. They brought awareness to the injustices brought on humanity, especially for black people. As an artist it’s important for us to reflect the times and they certainly did their part with the time they were given. I’m doing that myself with the philanthropy work I do in Haiti with the charity Third World Awareness (twawareness.org). I want to play these extraordinary roles to embody their strength, their vulnerability, their art, their complicated lives, and their grace.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers? 

My future continues to be bright no matter what comes my way. Even when it’s time off to get lost on an incredible journey across the globe. The universe has my life mapped out already so all I have to do is show up and play. Right now I balance university, work, and personal time. I’m a student at the University of Toronto aiming for a Psychology degree and eventually my doctorate, I’m about to start shooting season three of Workin Moms for CBC, the film Darken I star in just released in theatres, I’m working with Ubisoft on a new project, I recently completed the film She Never Died directed by Audrey Cummings, and Chaos Walking starring Daisy Ridley, Tom Holland, Mads Mikkelson, David Oyelowo, and directed by Doug Liman releases next year. I’d say I’ve been blessed and will be eternally grateful to those who recognize my hard work and continue to give me opportunities. I’m also working on my next vacay adventure. Where do you think I should go? Preferably somewhere warm.

[Editor’s Note: Olunike…Croatia! I seriously can’t recommend it enough!!]

8) What was the last thing that made you smile? 

My daughter

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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