Nigerian born, UK-raised Sope Aluko is part of the cast of the second most anticipated movies of 2018, “Black Panther.”
Playing the critical role of ‘Shaman’ in the film, Sope will be starring alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan.
Sope is a multilingual, dual citizen of both the US and the UK. She speaks four languages; French, ahasa/Indonesian including her native language, Yoruba.
Sope studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Landing a role in Black Panther movie did not come easy. Even though she was recommended for a major role, she didn’t get it but she kept trying for a much smaller role because she wanted to be a part of the project.
“They kept interviewing me for different roles, so I was very happy to see that I was highly sought after. The casting directors made me feel very warm after a 5 minute ice breaker about my name. They honored the Nigerian way of saying it which made me even more comfortable auditioning,” she told OkayAfrica.
Unlike before when it was difficult for an African actor to break into Hollywood because they had the version of Africa they wanted to present to the world, Sope reveals that directors are now more open to casting real Africans with real accents from different parts of the continent.
“Notable names like Yvonne Orji, Lupita Nyongo and David Oyewole have made it easier for those coming behind to break in. It’s cool to be Nigerian these days so it’s a great time for actors in Hollywood because it feels like it’s all finally happening.”
On African creatives trying to break into the industry, Sope advises that they ‘Go for it,’ but more importantly is the fact that they should have a plan B.
“I think knowing the business is important—study who the players are and how it all works. Within the creative space, it’s a marathon not a race. Learn from the mistakes of others and don’t expect too much too soon. Treat the business with respect.”
Sope hopes to be a part of a Nollywood directed, produced, written and distributed film that is shot in Hollywood.