Nigerian-American actor, Gbenga Akinnagbe is a supremely talented performer, best known for his standout work on acclaimed TV shows, The Wire and The Deuce.
He recently took his gifts to the stage, making his Broadway debut in the Aaron Sorkin play, To Kill A Mockingbird. Adapted from Harper Lee’s novel of the same name, the show recently made history, becoming the highest-grossing American play in Broadway history.
In the just-concluded play, Akinnagve played Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. The role placed Akinnagbe center-stage while the various white residents of 1934 Maycomb, Alabama, accused him, defended him and, finally, condemned him.
For Akinnagbe, portraying the character was political, and he recognized Robinson’s suffering in himself. His nuanced interpretation of the character is already earning him Tony buzz, with experts predicting a nomination (and win) for ‘Best Featured Actor in a Play’ at the 2019 Tonys.
Akinnagbe’s performance has been praised as “haunting”, and a Tony win would be a very big boost for his career. Not to mention he will be in good company, joining Cynthia Erivo and Sophie Okonedo as only the third actor of Nigerian descent to nab the prestigious award.
The 2019 Tony Award nominations will be revealed on April 30, 2019.
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