Rhoda Ofori-Attah Talks … Netflix’s You

It’s not often serial killers become cultural icons that we admire … but here we are.

Netflix’s series YOU has us in a chokehold as we eagerly follow (and rationalise) the murderous antics of Joe (Penn Badgley), a man who can’t help but kill those who don’t succumb to his whims. You in its fourth season finds Joe living in London, England trying to escape his destructive past by posing as a university professor. However, and as to be expected, with all his good intentions of starting over and keeping his hands to himself, it’s not long before Joe’s old habits return … helped along by another murderer on the loose.

Rhoda Ofori-Attah joins the cast of YOU’s 4th season so we spoke to her to learn more about her time in Joe’s world …

Please introduce yourself …

My name is Rhoda Ofori-Attah and I’m an actress and voice-over artist. I’m of Ghanaian heritage. I was actually born there, but raised in the U.K from the age of 2 in Glasgow, then Cambridge and then my parents settled in Leeds/Bradford, so I ultimately class myself as a Northerner. I’m also going to add that I’m an author in the making, as I am currently writing a children’s book, which I’m determined to see published!

Describe your life right now in a word or one sentence …

It’s magically full, and who knows how it will evolve.

Tell us about your latest project YOU

So I’m in YOU Season 4, the latest season in the Netflix smash hit show. This time, we find YOU’s lead, Joe Goldberg, played by the brilliant, Penn Badgley, starting a new life in London. But in this season, we wonder whether Joe has found his match in a new serial killer, yet to be exposed …

What’s your role in YOU?

I play Detective Monifa Sunday. I’ve been drafted in, alongside my colleague, Detective Andrews (played by the wonderful Andrew Gower) to find the ‘Eat The Rich’ killer. Monifa is a determined, smart and a no-nonsense kind of professional.

L-R: Rhoda Ofori-Attah as Detective Monifa Sunday & Andrew Gower as Detective Andrews – YOU, Netflix

How did you getting a role in YOU come about?

My agents, Olivia Bell Management, are fantastic, so it was an audition that came through them. They have a great relationship with the casting director, Sophie Holland and the rest of her amazing team, including Chandra Ruegg and Faye Timby, so I put myself on tape for the role and the rest is history.

Highs, lows, solutions?

The highs are being in commune/connecting. Firstly, in a literal sense with your character and connecting with it to not only find their humanity but the fascinating psychological work on their behaviours. Secondly, it’s connecting, being in commune on a human level as well. The intimate connections you make with your scene partners and with the camera or audience if it’s stage work is inexplicable – but it changes you on a cellular level which is incredible to experience. It also includes the connections you make with the cast and crew on a project. It’s so special the relationships you form on this job and it’s something I’ll never take for granted.

In terms of the lows, well, that has to be booking the jobs. It’s hard. Even though there are so many platforms these days, pumping out lots of content, there are still so many actors, and competition is tough. Sometimes the reasons you don’t book a job are so arbitrary that you have to be resilient to not taking ‘nos’ too personally. But it’s not easy.

What’s your current plan B?

Ha ha! Ummm, I think I’ll always be creative in some way or another. I’m currently writing a children’s book and I have so many more ideas about reaching children through literature, as I really want to inspire that generation. So who knows … that could be my plan B.

What’s made you Sad, Mad, Glad this week

Grief has made me sad this week. Mad, the unfairnesses of the world and the unkindness of people. Glad, the feedback about my children’s book and the kindness of people.

L-R: Rhoda Ofori-Attah as Detective Monifa Sunday & Andrew Gower as Detective Andrews – YOU, Netflix

What are you watching right now?

I’m currently watching Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal on Netflix. I quite like true crime, having grown up avidly watching Crimewatch UK. This documentary is riveting about the bizarre Murdaugh dynasty, and I highly recommend it.

What are you reading right now?

I have two books on the go, one fictional and one in the realm of life lessons/spirituality. The fictional is Still Life by Sarah Winman and it is beautiful. It takes us from the East End of London to the Tuscan hills, and the new lifeline that Italy brings the characters is stunning to witness. The other is Life of the Beloved and Our Greatest Gift by Henri Nouwen, and my goodness, everyone should read this. In Life of the Beloved, Nouwen has really written a book for non-believers with regard to faith. He talks about how one lives beautifully and healthily in this ever-challenging secular world full of brokenness and distractions. It makes me feel loved and it makes me want to love more – it’s deeply life-changing and affirming.

What are you listening to right now?

Classic FM is constantly on in my flat, I love classical music. I would love to say some hip, contemporary and wonderful new artist, but I’m not that cool. Maybe that could be my Plan B, learn to be a concert cellist …

The last thing you saw on stage?

I watched Linck & Mülhahn at Hampstead theatre last weekend. It’s a fascinating play about the true story of a gender-pioneering couple in the 18th century. It stars my brilliant friend and very talented performer, Maggie Ann Bain.

What’s on your bucket list?

Travel more. I really want to see more of the world and be changed in doing so. We can learn so much from one another, and sometimes staying in the little pocket of home, is not quite nourishing enough. I would really love to do more charity work as well. I have often thought about setting up a charity for children in Ghana. We shall see.

Celebrate someone else …

Can I say my sister? I’m going to. Grace Ofori-Attah, not only is she a Psychiatric consultant, but she is also now a very in-demand screenwriter who has her first scripted show, Malpractice out this Spring on ITV. I might be biased, but I do think she’s very talented and very bright. She understands human behaviour and psychology well, which I think is paramount to creating great work in this industry.

Celebrate yourself …

I think I’m pretty bright too. Not only do I have a Mpharm degree from one of the best Universities in the country, Nottingham, but I practice as a Pharmacist when not acting and I also managed to get into a top drama school, Oxford School of Drama. I am also trying to get my adult brain around learning a new instrument, the cello, as well as trying to learn French fluently. They are both journeys, but proud I am doing them. Oh yeah, and I’m writing a children’s book.

Whose footsteps are you following in?

You know, I really do feel my ancestors’ DNA integrated into my own cells. I don’t know if this is universal to so many black people (I personally feel that it is) but I am so aware of the traumas of my ancestors that I feel called to live a life that they couldn’t live and in doing so, honouring them. I stand on their shoulders and I am ever grateful for the people that they were.

What’s Next?

Well, YOU Season 4, part 2, premiered Thursday, March 9th. I am also a new character in Shadow & Bone, Season 2, which came out on Netflix on March 16th. I also pop up in Great Expectations for Hulu and BBC. That streams on March 26th on Hulu and BBC One at 9pm. In addition, I currently voice the documentary, Making Babies on UKTV with Alex Jones. And did I tell you I was writing a children’s book? You’d think I was writing a children’s book, the number of times I’ve mentioned it.

Where can we find you?

Roaming the streets of Notting Hill … Do you mean on TV? Well, you can currently find me on YOU Season 4, part 1 and 2. You can also find me in the first series Top Boy and Season 3 of Sex Education, both on Netflix.


YOU season 4 is streaming now on Netflix

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