Bambadjan Bamba [Interview]

Photo by Cecile Boko

Hello Folks! Today we have some incredible words from an absolute star! It’s Bambadjan Bamba! Yes, he is an incredible actor that you know and love from projects like is reoccurring role in the beloved hit series The Good Place, to one of the finest Blockbuster films of all time, Black Panther. But, while these were the types of projects that initially drew me to have him featured on the site (especially because getting someone from The Good Place on the show would make my 14 y/o daughter think I’m “just, so cool!”), I was excited to learn more about this spectacular performer. And that was when I discovered that Bamba has not only also done a plethora of voice over work, but he has actually gotten by the camera as a writer, producer, and director. To learn that a man who has seemed to master his craft is willing to push beyond the stronghold of the creative forces that be and make his own way in this industry is not only impressive, it’s downright admirable! Bamba is one of those artists that you can tell takes his craft serious, which is a wonderful breath of fresh air amongst the smog of reality.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the absolutely brilliant Bambadjan Bamba!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something that has been ingrained in you since you were a child from influence, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

At the heart of it I would have to say that I got into the world performing arts for acceptance from my peers. I was kid in 5th grade with no friends who barely spoke english and one day in assembly hall someone handed me a mic and asked me to sing and I sang Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There” song and all the sudden I had friends.

 

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affect your work today?

My first paid gig was in 2005 was a short film called ” Battlescars” it was an independent short film about a young revolutionary rapper. Here’s a link https://vimeo.com/9680738

The lesson is to never despise small beginnings. This short film gave me my first acting reel, which helped me get my first agent who I’m still with 15 years later. I’m also still in touch with the filmmakers who are doing big things now.

The current craze that is sweeping through my household is the truly original and unique series The Good Place, in which you regularly appear in. I am curious to know what personally drew you to this project? And how has your experience been working on the show over last 4 seasons? What has set it apart from other projects you have worked on?

What drew me to the project was the opportunity to become a series regular and to play an African philosopher on network tv. Not to mention the fact that Mike Schur created the show and wrote a character specifically for me and asked me if they could use my name. In what world does that ever happen???

It’s been delightful working on the show. It’s probably the most heavenly television set i’ve ever been on. The crew should also be actors on the show because just like the actual Good Place No ego’s or attitudes just good times and hard work.

 

 

We have showcased quite a few folks from the world of Voice Over work, especially in the world of video games. You happened to have worked on one of my favorite video games of the last decade, the brilliant L.A. Noire, from Rockstar. I am curious to know how you enjoyed the world of voice over work? And did you ever play the game itself and bizarrely hear yourself whilst enjoying it?

I do V/O work on a regular bases or should I say I audition for v/o on a regular bases while booking a couple every year. I love it because it’s pretty much the same as acting without the camera element so no hair, makeup wardrobe, lights, room tone, etc. I’ve always played video games so I was so hyped when I bought the game and saw myself in the actual game! Such a surreal experience. Since working on Black Panther I’ve definitely been up for more war video games so I hope one day I’ll be in Call of Duty.

 

Scrolling through your IMDb credits, I noticed a project that I am sadly unaware of, but very intrigued by. It is a short film you wrote, directed, and produced entitled Papa. Could you tell our readers a bit about this film? What made you want to get behind the camera and tell this story?

So Papa is a short film I wrote and directed years ago. It started out as a monologue I did around NYC with a traveling theater group for act risk youths. The father and son element of the monologue resonated so much with young men that when I moved to LA during the writers strike I decided to challenge myself behind the camera to stay busy.

Papa is based on my experience as a teenager growing up between two cultures and the challenges of trying to be American in a home with a stern African father. You can also watch it for free https://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/papa
If you were handed the opportunity to create & star in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

A legendary figure in American history would absolutely be Sidney Poitier. He personifies everything that I hope to be as a leading man in the industry and activist for a greater cause. I remember watching Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner as a child and how his monologue at the end of the film asking his father to get off his back impacted me. It was probably the first time it ever occured to me that you can put your father in his place. I still use that monologue for theater auditions.  I’m sure you can tell that I have a lot of unresolved daddy issues…lol

 

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

I had a recurring role as a bad ass called Remi Toussaint on Amazon’s Bosch season 6 and it drops in April 2020. I’m also prepping a short film called For Teetee about an undocumented  father who tries to protect his daughter from his worse nightmare. Should be in festivals late 2020.

Stay tuned: Twitter: @RealBambadjan IG: Bambathegreat

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

The last thing that made me smile is my wifes response when I told her I wanted to try being vegetarian for awhile. She said too bad I just made some okra stew but it has fish in it. I said perfect why don’t I ease in as a pescatarian.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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