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Behind Closed Doors with Dennis Mailu



Movie Marker Magazine went behind closed doors with actor, Dennis Mailu to talk acting, life before LA, and some of his movie inspirations.

Welcome to Movie Marker! I understand you were born in Kenya. What was it like growing up there?

Hey! Yes, I was born and raised in Nairobi in Kenya. The first language I learnt was Kikamba, which is my main tribal language, a language I constantly used during trips to the village throughout my upbringing. I also speak Swahili and English fluently. Growing up I enjoyed performing and started my path in acting during high school, where I did plays and discovered myself! I loved the thrill at the time! I have always been adventurous and when I wrote and acted in a play that won some awards, I knew I was destined for Hollywood!

What made you decide to leave Kenya?

Daring to be great comes takes high courage and sacrifice and it is the reason I left my home country to fortify and seek out vast experiences to build character, a point of view about the world we live in and gain an education.  I lived in the United Kingdom for 9 years- a period where I continued to act and perform. Thereafter, I moved to Los Angeles for further training at both the New York Film Academy and American Academy of Dramatic arts, the latter where I got awarded the Prestigious Charles Jehlinger Award for Excellence in Acting.

That’s superb! What have you worked on so far?

As an actor, I love curating artistic visual and vocal performances that focus on strengthening human behavior and connection. I have worked on various projects including Blue Light Melody on Amazon Prime, Why Me documentary as well as award winning and nominated short films The Spell That Backfired and PREY amongst others.

What makes you unique?

What makes me unique is firstly, bringing my distinct African heritage and authenticity into the industry. I was born and raised in Nairobi Kenya, and I am from the Kamba ethnic tribe. I speak my native tongue Kikamba and Swahili as well!

Secondly, I have the ability to be malleable and adapt in any creative/collaborative process. I studied in the UK and was fortunate to travel to other parts of Africa and Europe before coming to the United States. Interacting with different nationalities and cultures has broadened my point of view, which is key for my creative process in that I accept every given circumstance, and live moment to moment in performance.

Has there been one particular moment in your career that you’re most proud of?

A proud moment is when I got to attend my first red carpet event in Los Angeles at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre. Blue Light Melody, a project I acted in, had its screening debut at the Indie Night Film Festival prior to Amazon Prime video.

What’s been the pros and cons of pursuing your acting career?

Pros of my career are that I have the chance to express my creativity, travel the world and socialize with famous people. Cons include experiencing audition rejection, spending time with family and fierce competition.

What can we expect to see you doing over the next few months?

I have a lot of projects coming out at the top of 2023 that are right now in post-production. Plus, I’d like to travel and work in more States in the US. One of my passions is to delve deeper into animation and voiceover. I would love to bring African stories and characters to life.

How can people find and follow your journey?

People can follow me on IMDb | Instagram | Facebook | Website

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