Detective drama Lewis starring Kevin Whatley sees a brand new side kick introduced in the form of actor Babou Cessay. Followingthenerd caught up with him recently to talk about his career so far, Lewis and what the future holds for him.
FTN: Hi Babou, thanks for talking to us today. You had a very different career before getting the acting bug didn’t you?
BC: I worked as an Auditor in the city of london for a few years before re-training as an actor.
FTN: Did you come from a showbiz background?
BC: No, however I recently found out that my Grandad was an amateur actor in Senegal. But this isn’t exactly a showbiz background.
FTN: Severance was your first movie role as the ill-fated Billy. It was actually a cracking movie that you thought was going in one direction then veered off into a dark thriller. How did you get the role?
BC: My first job out of Drama School was a highly acclaimed production of Macbeth directed by Max Stafford-Clark. That got me noticed by the casting director for Severance. Two auditions later I was cast and off to a Hungarian Forest to film for a couple of months.
FTN: It got you noticed as you have starred in Whistleblower, Silent Witness, Law and Order: Uk and the award-winning Luther to name but a few. Is the crime genre something you have always been interested in?
BC: Yes. I watch the Crime and Investigation channel as I have always had a morbid fascination with real crime. I also watch Crime dramas, especially Colombo, so I have always had an interest in it. Now I am catching up with The Killing whenever I have a chance.
FTN: You also performed in the plays, The Serpent’s Tooth and Faustus. Do you like the intimacy of a live audience?
BC: I love a live audience. It’s instant feedback and tests the limits of your confidence and concentration. I have had the good fortune to perform in front of audiences from very different nationalities and their reactions can tell you a lot about the culture of a place.
FTN: Now you’re are breaking new ground as Lewis’ new sidekick, Alex Gray. Does it surprise you people are making an issue of the fact Alex is black?
BC: Yes at first it did. I hadn’t really thought about it. However, now I feel that it must be important enough a shift for people to be talking about it, so whatever good it brings can only be welcomed.
FTN: If you had the chance to star in any show what would it be?
BC: Homeland. I love it.
FTN: What are you currently working on?
BC: I shot a film called Half of a Yellow Sun last year so I am doing some ADR and waiting for it’s release.
FTN: Are you actively pushing for a slot on any shows in particular?
BC: I am actively putting myself out there, with the aim of securing another role, however I can’t say which show specifically at present.
FTN: Babou, it was a pleasure, thank you very much for talking with us today.
BC: Its my pleasure. Thanks for having me.