Exclusive Interview: Dennis Mailu Talks Making Movies in Hollywood

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Hollywood actor, Dennis Mailu, was born and raised in Nairobi in Kenya. The multi-linguistic African actor left his home country to fortify and seek out vast worldly experiences so as to build character, a point of view about the world we live in and gain an education. He lived in the United Kingdom for 9 years, a period where he continued to grow as an actor and perform, ahead of the bright lights of Hollywood. Since living in Los Angles, Dennis has scooped up awards in acting and has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most sought after diverse talents in film and television. 

Congratulations on all your wonderful achievements to date. Thank you for chatting with us! What kind of projects are you traditionally drawn to?  

I have a soft spot for projects that have a deep and mysterious plot but engage the audience’s curiosity throughout the story. Genres that I have thrived in and achieved this artistic style is drama, thriller (psychological) and science fiction. 

What is your creative process when preparing for a movie?

The first step of my creative process begins with script analysis, interpretation, and research. Thereafter I love to take all the literal facts about my character, build it whilst memorizing my lines as I endow the text with personal experiences and imagination in order to connect fully to the words. In the same breadth, I love to situate my character within the world of the script, exploring relationships and tone.

I also love doing physical activities such as weightlifting or kickboxing to keep the body active and alert. Our body is the actors’ instrument! Endurance is necessary for the concentration and repetition required whilst filming on set!

Enjoy the “creative process”. Immersing yourself in the small steps on not the final product is where the magic happens!

Tell us about the movie ‘Bald Patch (The Black Supper)

This movie is a psychological thriller and follows Bola Rhodes who, after losing her entire family, is left with the difficult burden of moving on. However, her decision making takes an ominous turn when she meets Daniel and the Mute Man of the Bridge, a cult like organization who make her contemplate between her own life and death. This is a story of mental health, love, and acceptance.

What was filming like?

The filming process was smooth! It was really character immersive and there was service to the plot in every scene movie. I play Daniel who is the Head of the Bridge Organization. The film was directed by Jide Kol, written by Jeffrey Bowie Jr. and Prince Adu Mensah.

Another project of yours, the movie ‘The Spell that Backfired’ has been receiving awards and accolades. Tell us about it.

Yes! The Spell That Backfired, written and directed by Rayna Campbell, is about a young woman, Minnie, who is in Los Angeles trying to fit into the city. She is in need of love and uses magic spells to get back with her ex-boyfriend, However, she gets more than she bargained for as the effects take an unexpected turn.

What is your character like?

I play David, love interest to Minnie. I was able to use my tribal language Kikamba in one of the scenes. What’s interesting is that historically the Kamba people are known for witchcraft and sorcery, which is befitting as the film has elements of magic spells in it! 

The film has been doing fantastic on the film festival circuit. So far it has picked up many awards, nominations, and honorable mentions all over the world.

What was the last movie you went to see at the cinema?

The last movie I went to watch in the cinema was the premiere of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’. It was fascinating to see how visionary storytelling was interwoven with real life scenarios and culture in this film. Furthermore, the visual effects were stunning!

The Oscars are just around the corner, so if you could act in any Academy Award winning movie from the past, what would it be and what character would you want to play?

If I could act in an Academy Award winning movie from the past it would be ‘Training Day’ by Antoine Fuqua. I would love to play the role of Detective Alonzo Harris. The role encapsulates the perfect mix of morality, wit, drama, and fabulous dialogue. It’s one of my favorite films.

Can you tell us a few things not many people know about you?

Oh, wow so ok. I love documentaries on animals and the deep blue sea, I take Calligraphy classes, I speak English, Kamba and Swahili and I am a big mixed martial arts fan!

What’s up next?

I have several movies coming out this year, and a couple of really exciting international projects lined up. Stay tuned!

Are you active on social media? 

Yes! InstagramFacebook and my website is www.dennismailu.com 

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