Here at Populaire, we are inspired by African born stars who make waves globally. Our obsession with black excellence is unrelenting so when Hollywood movie star Hakeem Kae-Kazim agreed to stop by Populaire I was ecstatic!! The Nigerian born, British bred and trained actor has starred in many well known movies including the phenomenal Hotel Rwanda, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Last Flight To Abuja, X-Men Origins: Wolverine – as well as hit TV series – Lost, 24 and NCIS: Los Angeles. I started by asking him==============⇒
Q. Was acting always something you DREAMED about?
I loved acting from a young age. I was in all my school plays and then, I went on to be part of the National Youth Theatre – an annual 6-week theatre workshop in the UK. A lot of kids would audition for it and only about a hundred would be selected to work in this theatrical environment. That’s where my love for the industry and being an actor actually began but I didn’t think I was going to pursue a career as an actor. I was actually planning on becoming a doctor but I changed my tracts and decided to study acting instead.
Q. You have been in some amazing films such as Hotel Rwanda, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Fourth Kind, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. What would you say was your biggest break and when did you get it?
I would say Hotel Rwanda, in 2005 was my biggest break because of the amazing impact that it had.
Q. I love seeing African born actors making it BIG in Hollywood, do you think it’s harder for Black actors to make it in the states?
Yeah, there are definitely fewer opportunities, as the stories being told in Hollywood are not necessarily from a black or African perspective. Also, The thing about Hollywood is that once they see you in one thing, they are not very innovative in terms of their ability to see you out of the box sometimes. So, it’s up to you really to push outside the box.
Q. What motivates and inspires you?
My motivation is my love and passion for being an actor and my inspiration is my children Aisha, Shada and Jadesola.
Q. Are you interested in fashion, and if so how important is it to you?
I like to look as good as I can so yes in that sense I’m interested in fashion, but I don’t keep up with the latest trends, and worry about what designer I should be wearing; that’s not important to me …as long as it makes me look good, I’m happy!
Q. How would you describe your look?
Haha! Tall, dark and handsome I suppose! LOL
Q. Which one of your many achievements are you most proud of and why?
I would say giving birth to 3 girls- – Aisha, Shada and Jadesola.
Q. What are your future plans for Brand Hakeem Kae-Kazim
I am acting in a film that will be coming out soon called ‘Daylights End’ and in the process of producing a film called ‘Yefon’, which is set to be released in 2015.
I’m also working with charity at the moment, called Africa 2.0. It’s a charity that helps to raise leadership standards on the continent, pulling in youths from all over the country to come up with ideas to improve standards in Africa.
I would also love to direct my first feature film; a project I’m currently working on!
Q. Finally can I get a quote from you? Ideally, one that incorporates your ethos, your dreams and what you hope for in the future that might inspire budding actors.
There was a quote I heard the other day, which states ‘A Poor Man is not without a penny, but without a dream’. So keep on dreaming!Work really hard at it and never give it up. I believe if you work hard at honing your skill base, you will get far in life.