If you are a fan of genuine, versatile, expressive artists, Bayo Gbadamosi brings all of that to the table and more.
He is one of the best reasons to be a fan of the exhilarating sci-fi series War of the Worlds, with his heroic role as Kariem. Vulnerable, yet unshakable, Bayo brings a reflection of humanity in his performance that you cannot help but want to see more of. With Season 2 on Disney+, we get to go round 2 with the pulsating, gritty world of humanity at its most exposed. Following an encapsulating performer in Bayo who pulls you along with his performance.
We caught up with Bayo for his thoughts on Kariem and on the success of the post-apocalyptic War of the Worlds.
Please introduce yourself…
My name is Bayo Gbadamosi, I am Nigerian-British and I am an actor.
Share a word or sentence which best describes your life right now …
Season 1 of War of the Worlds was the declaration of war rather than both aliens and humans meeting for a battle, can we look forward to a reaction to the invaders in Season 2?
Certainly. In season one, the aliens had the element of surprise in their favour. In season 2, several months have passed since the first wave of attacks and humans are finally starting to mount their own attack in a bid to save what’s left of humanity.
The series features magnificent performances by an ensemble cast. Who has really impacted you by their performance and method on set?
This is such a tough one to answer because I genuinely admire the work of all the actors on our show. But seeing as I must pick, I am amazed by how seamlessly Aaron Heffernan (who plays Ash) is able to switch between comedy and the more dramatic and emotionally demanding scenes.
This take on War of the Worlds feels more cerebral than the explosion-filled interpretations we have had in the past, why do you feel it’s worked so well?
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. While our take on War of the Worlds embraces its Sci-Fi origins and also has many moments of intensity and action, the show is quite cerebral and focuses on these ordinary people faced with an extraordinary situation. I think focusing on the characters in this way resonates with viewers, as they can see themselves in the characters.
Kariem ticks all the boxes, determined, sensitive, protective, brave, what would you think would have been his arc if the invasion had not happened?
Kariem already had his life turned upside down before the Alien attack ever occurred, so I would hope that he would have found refuge in the UK and ultimately found happiness doing something he loves.
Is there a Kariem scene in season 2 that was especially challenging and can you comment on your work behind it?
If I did, I’d be giving away a major spoiler, so I’ll keep my lips sealed on that one.
Emily and Kariem’s pairing in season 1 was in the vein of Kyle Reese/Sarah Connor in Terminator and Hicks/Ripley in Aliens, where the redemption of one is found in the protection of the other, but the season finale of season 1 really threw a tantalising new element into that pairing going forward. Can you comment on how their relationship will change in season 2?
In Season 2, the bond between both characters still exists, however, Emily’s connection to these Aliens becomes a point of concern for Kariem (as it does for other characters) and begins to shift the dynamic of their relationship.
Your arc is equally an inspiration to watch from Law degree and with a Masters to successfully pursuing the arts, have you any advice for anyone on a similar journey?
I think I initially had imposter syndrome starting out in this industry having not been to drama school. So my advice to anyone on a similar, non-traditional route into the industry, is to be a student on the job. Aim to learn and grow with every opportunity you get to practise your craft – auditions, readings, workshops etc. You’re an actor even when you’re not at work, so spend that time reading, going to see plays, watching film & TV, taking classes, workshops, etc, so when that opportunity presents itself you are prepared to take it on and make your mark. Also, find a healthy balance between pursuing your career and living your life. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and requires balance to stick it out.
What do you feel War of the Worlds illustrates about us as a species?
In the face of a common enemy, humans who may never have normally interacted with each other are forced to unite and work together, using their various skills and experience. I think the show attempts to highlight that we have more in common than we may realise and our species is strongest when we embrace and value what makes us all individually unique.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU…
- A favourite book you have to have in your collection? I don’t have a favourite book, but I recently read Making Wolf by Tade Thompson which I thought was fantastic.
- A song/album that defines the soundtrack of your life to date? I’m obsessed with music and that makes this question almost impossible to answer. But I absolutely love Fela Kuti and currently really loving Omah Lay & Amapiano music.
- A film / TV show that you can watch/have watched repeatedly? Ozark & The Boys. Film – Literally all of the Marvel Movies.
- The first stage production you saw and what it meant to you? The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney. It wasn’t the first stage production I saw, but it was one of the first and certainly the one that has had the biggest impact on me. I came out of that show unable to put into words how I felt. I was mesmerised by everything about it and after watching it I decided I wanted to become an actor.
- What’s made you sad, mad, and glad this week? Sad – England losing at the finals of The Euros. Mad – The racist responses to Rashford, Sancho & Saka not scoring their penalties. Glad – How far the team came and the solidarity they showed through the whole tournament.
War of the Worlds Season 2 is available on Disney+