The next time you see actress Jackie Appiah blasting guns and exchanging punches and kicks on your TV screen, do not be surprised because she can become a great action star.
According to the Ghanaian Hollywood actor Senyo Amoaku who was recently featured in Sylvester Stallone’s blockbuster ‘The Expendables’, Jackie has what it takes to be a great action star. The tall actor also disclosed that his production company, ‘Title Run Films’ (TRF) is putting things in place to bring Hollywood style action films to Ghana.
When GhanaCelebrities.Com asked Senyo whether he is willing to work with an African movie production with a good storyline or not, he said;
“Of course, my production company is blueprinting to bring Hollywood style action films to Ghana and abroad. But the difference being is our films will maintain a wide appeal. Action is action in any language but you have to have the right pieces in place to execute the project properly. I think Jackie Appiah would make a great action star as well.”
When the Hollywood star was further asked whether he enjoys watching Ghanaian movies, Senyo quickly answered; “I have seen some of the films of Ghallywood and my impression is I’m anxious to see more. African film has a wonderful history and I love to see its expansion over the years, hopefully I can add to it’s rich tradition. Though “The Gods must be crazy” still ranks as my favorite.”
Apart from ‘The Expendables’ that he played the role of a ‘Tall Pirate’, Senyo Amoaku also known as DNA has appeared in notable movies like ‘The Revenant’ and ‘Decisions’. He has also done national commercials with AOL and Wii leading him to network television shows like In Justice (ABC), Heroes (NBC) and Gary Unmarried (CBS).
Checkout the full interview below…
GhanaCelebrities.com:- Sup Senyo, nice having you today.
Senyo Amoaku :- Blessed man it’s a pleasure.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- Lets start from the childhood, how was your growing up like?
Senyo Amoaku :- I was always kind of an outcast. Middle child, older brother is a coach younger brother an athlete. So I guess performing was my way of fitting into the mix. Played football, traditional and American, and hung out with the “Popular” kids but I never was one of them, I think it helped the hurt because adversaries inspire great things in motivated people.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- How did you get into acting?
Senyo Amoaku :- People always said I was funny maybe because I grew up as a fat kid so it was my release valve, my brother Director Kwame Amoaku got instrumental work for me as a production assistant so movie sets became routine to me. I was rapping at the time, needed a manager for that, he offered me a new outlet and I’m adaptable I suppose because here we are. But make no mistake I LOVE ACTING!
GhanaCelebrities.com:- Great! Tell us more about your brother Director Kwame Amoaku.
Senyo Amoaku:- Kwame is an amazing cinematic visionary, he is also a stand-out thespian having been in blockbusters like “Hardball” w/Keanu Reeves, “Payback” w/ Mel Gibson and “Barbershop” w/ Ice Cube to name a few. We work as a creative team I write, he directs and we both produce and perform theatrically. He’s also been my liason and mentor in the film biz and I wouldn’t be where I am without him, he kicks ass…literally.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- When did you start your career as an actor?
Senyo Amoaku :- I’ve been considered a “working” actor since 2004. It started with a Discovery channel reenactment series, then I started landing national commercials with AOL, Wii, and then I did a Kraft DiGiorno’s pizza spot that ended up doing really well stateside. This led to network television on shows like In Justice (ABC), Heroes (NBC) and a recurring sitcom character named “Ira” on Gary Unmarried (CBS). Apparently Sly Stallone saw something in me and brought me into “The Expendables”.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- We heard you have performed with icons like Black Eyed Peas, The Nappy Roots, how did you start your career as a musician?
Senyo Amoaku :- Well as many know my Father is a respected music professor and paved the way for a successful music run, I consider myself extremely driven and was determined to prove something to him and myself that we were going to make it. I recorded an album as DNA-1 that’s currently on itunes, then in 03’ met Jerry Heller the manager of NWA and he produced music for me that still plays on MTV shows worldwide today.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- So are you still into music?
Senyo Amoaku :- Very much so, I love seeing new artist breakout like Knaan, seeing the World Cup concert with The Black Eyed Peas was amazing! Those are my friends and its great to see them venture beyond expectations. Right now I’m bumping that Damien Marley and Nas, Distant Relatives is a great album.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- Sup with DNA, what does it mean, how did you get the nickname?
Senyo Amoaku :- When I met Jerry Heller the manager for NWA he took one look at me and said who are you DNA? I was like who? He said “The Dopest Nigga Alive!” Coming from a 70-year old Jewish man it was a shock but that’s when I knew I was working with a genius. He found NWA, The Black Eyed Peas, Bone Thugs, Elton John and so on, I mean what was I supposed to say? (Laughs) Good thing I kept my ego in check, I almost cracked his face!
GhanaCelebrities.com:- What kind of roles do you often prefer to play?
Senyo Amoaku :- Action. I think Ghana and Africa as a whole are hungry to support an international action star and with the introduction Stallone has given me, I’m ready to kick some ass. Action movies contain all film elements, comedy, drama, thrills, sexiness and of course violence!
GhanaCelebrities.com:- How did you land your role in ‘Expendables’ as a ‘Tall Pirate’?
Senyo Amoaku :- I had an audtion in Hollywood, then a month later they called and said Sly Stallone wanted to meet with me. First off he’s bigger than you think about 5’10. He’s a nice, tough guy a real man and he said “You’re a good actor, but I have already cast a Pirate Leader (Amin Joseph), but you’re an African right? Yeah you could be like a Tall Pirate”. After a rigorous Three month training regiment I found myself in New Orleans, LA standing eye to eye with Stallone, Li, Statham and all my boyhood idols, it was surreal to say the least. Few months later I checked out the trailer and there I was, never give up on your dreams, right?
GhanaCelebrities.com:- You have setup a film production company called Title Run Films (TRF), tell us more about it.
Senyo Amoaku :- It’s a full service production company, were in development on several projects including an action film with an all-star African cast but it’s still early in the process. But really its for all the people out there who have questions about their dream of being in the movie business we are top consultants from novice to expert if you got an industry question, Title Run Films has an educated suggestion.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- So far how many movies have you been featured in?
Senyo Amoaku :- Quite a few. The notable ones are ‘The Revenant’ a comedic vampire film that swept the indie awards nationwide in 2009, played a radical liquor store robber. Then I did ‘Decisions’ which is actor Corey Haim’s last film, again as a shady handler named “Smoke”. Then of course the most recent being with Stallone in ‘The Expendables’ which was a big step forward towards my action film star ambitions.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- What are the problems facing up-coming actors in Hollywood?
Senyo Amoaku: – Like everywhere when the ambition exceeds availability, as the cost of shooting quality films increases, well-known talent becomes necessary to recoup the cost of production. I advise young actors to get into student films and local commercials before diving head first into Hollywood. If Anthony Anderson or Laurence Fishburne transition from Movies to T.V, that pushes TV stars to guest stars, Co-stars back to commercials and those actors to extras again, and that’s the shift happening in Hollywood right now. Also the entertainment biz is more open than ever to the social media now so literally everyone is a critic, qualified or otherwise comes with the territory.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- Apart from acting, are you into any other projects?
Senyo Amoaku:- My focus is actually screenwriting, I’ve written several well reviewed scripts and plan to have a more progressive agenda in that area in the coming years. I also still write and compose music for film and television most recently my music was on “Last Comic Standing” a popular reality show.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- Any awards/nominations yet?
Senyo Amoaku:- I’ve been nominated for numerous theatre awards like the NAACP and Ovations, as well as receiving a TV Guide award for Ghost Whisperer online and a Peoples choice award for Gary Unmarried as for Best New Comedy. But I’d love to be in Nairobi for the AMAA’s that would be a great accomplishment. Most promising actor for a Ghanaian in America, hey why not? (Laughing) Put in a good word for me.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- What movie are you currently working on, when should we expect it?
Senyo Amoaku: – My next scheduled project is with industry veteran Michael Madsen (Kill Bill/Donnie Brasco) in his directorial debut in “The Human Factor” from writer Eric Goren. A wonderful piece about an epidemic of transient vanishings in New York City, we start lensing sometime next year, I play a baddie alongside Eric Roberts. And of course I continue to audition and look for quality projects to develop. But what I would love to do is work with Stallone again, sweating, swearing and blasting guns all in the name of summer fun! Sly, you know where to find me…
GhanaCelebrities.com:- Do you watch African/Ghanaian movies?
Senyo Amoaku:- I have seen some of the films of Ghallywood and my impression is I’m anxious to see more. African film has a wonderful history and I love to see its expansion over the years, hopefully I can add to it’s rich tradition. Though “The Gods must be crazy” still ranks as my favorite.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- Would you like to work with an African Production that has a good story-line?
Senyo Amoaku:- Of course, my production company is blueprinting to bring Hollywood style action films to Ghana and abroad. But the difference being is our films will maintain a wide appeal. Action is action in any language but you have to have the right pieces in place to execute the project properly. I think Jackie Appiah would make a great action star as well.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- Tell us something about your parents.
Senyo Amoaku:- Well my Father was a music professor who taught all over the United States. He currently resides in Ho (Volta Region) where he recently released a new album his name is William K. Amoaku, he was the director of the national theatre but has since retired. My Mother still resides nearby in San Diego, Ca she is also from the Volta region, love my family.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- How often do you visit Ghana?
Senyo Amoaku:- Haven’t been there since my Fifth birthday, I’m pretty domesticated to be honest but the Black Star bloodline is rich in my veins.
GhanaCelebrities.com:- When do you plan to visit Ghana?
Senyo Amoaku:- Soon GH Nation, real soon. Thanks.
Check Out the Trailer Of Expendables Starring Senyo Amoaku Below…
Interview By: Obour Amankwa