Saturday, February 8, 2014


 Recently I met up with someone I haven't seen since we raided the mini-bar in his hotel room while we were in Hawaii a few years ago.  At the time he was co-starring in the cult hit TV series Lost, playing the mysterious Mr. Eko..

   Shortly afterwards Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje  (known to pals as Wally) surprised everyone by opting to leave the lucrative role, but the move turned out to be a good one. He went on to appear in G.I. Joe, The Thing, Killer Elite, Bullet in the Head and is now co-starring as the gladiator Atticus in Pompeii.

 His next role will be in the film version of Annie,with Quvenzhane Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild in the title role.

"It’s been a journey, because as much as I was enjoying TV, I had always wanted to get back to films and different characters, and so Lost gave me the opportunity to do everything from blockbusters to smaller films as well," he says.

 But, he tells me, his heart is still set on directing Farming,a movie he has written about his own unusual upbringing. When we were in Hawaii and between trips to the mini-bar he showed me the few clips he had filmed, based on the practice of Nigerian couples farming out their children to English families.  In 1967, when he was six weeks old, his parents – a Nigerian couple studying in London – gave him to a white working-class couple in Tilbury, then an insular dockside community, where he encountered violence and fierce racial prejudice.

   " Farming is a dear project to me, and it’s one that I am really trying to get made and hopefully I am going to do it this year," he says  "It’s been difficult to raise money for it and so I am at now at the point of going to do crowd funding, because I have seen how effective it’s been and you can have more creative power."

-  He promised me we'll hit the minibar again after Farming's premiere.

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