JIMMY AKINGBOLA is currently starring in the serialized one-hour dramatic re-imagining of the ’90s sitcom Bel-Air on Peacock.
We caught up with Jimmy to talk about the new season and his acclaimed documentary Handle With Care.
AC: Given where the Season 2 finale left off, what do you think audiences can expect from the next season of Bel-Air?
JIMMY AKINGBOLA: I think the audience can expect to see a messy and edgy season three, with plenty of easter egg moments. The way season two has ended means things are going to heat up big time. We will find out more about what’s going on with Geoffrey. Who took that photo? What does it mean? I’m really excited about exploring his world and back story.
What do you think is Geoffrey’s ultimate goal?
I think Geoffrey’s ultimate goal is to protect his son, Fredrick, and the Banks Family at all costs. He will do whatever it takes to keep them safe.
Can you recall any funny moments from on-set filming?
One of the funniest moments for me was when we filmed the scene where Geoffrey and Uncle Phil visited Doc and Lorenzo. There was a lot of tension and alpha male energy flying around on set. But then to break the tension, in between shooting the scene, we all started singing The End of the Road song by Boyz to Men. It was a beautiful and funny moment.
What can you tell us a bit about your documentary Handle With Care?
Handle With Care is an unflinching but celebratory feature doc exploring adoption, fostering, children’s homes, and the lived experiences of the parents and children of adoption/fostering. I wanted to make a universal film that inspired young people in care and maybe people wanting to adopt or foster. I feel like we rarely see positive stories about adoption or fostering, so for me, it was really important to show that your tough beginning doesn’t have to dictate your future. And that unconditional love can change a child’s life.
As an actor, what are you still trying to learn?
I’m still trying to learn how to rest and not feel like I must do every job opportunity that comes my way. I love working but rest and reflection are two important things actors don’t do enough.
How can you tell when you’re reading a great script?
For me, it’s when I get excited and have no idea about where the story is taking me. And I lose track of time and I see myself in the script as I’m reading it.
When did you begin to see acting as a potential career avenue?
It was when I was 16 years old and at college. I wrote a monologue and performed it as a stand-up comedy piece and at the end of the performance I was given a standing ovation. I’ve not looked back since, and I’m very grateful.
How important is social media to you right now?
Social media isn’t that important to me. If I’m honest I think we must be careful about how much we embrace it and protect our mental health. I don’t take it too seriously, but I am aware of how important it is for my acting career. I can see the benefits of how it can connect me with my fans and help me share not only my work but also important information and messages around the world.
What’s the biggest realization you’ve had this past year?
There’s so much power and strength in Vulnerability. It’s not a weakness.
Everyone seems to have an app idea at the moment, what’s yours?
If I share my idea, I’ll have to get all Geoffrey on you and have you “Sorted”. So, let’s leave it there.
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES