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Black Entertainers

Actor Thomas Olajide stars in “ Learn to Swim"

Actor Thomas Olajide stars in “ Learn to Swim"

Photographer : Alejandro Santiago

Photographer : Alejandro Santiago/Actor Thomas Olajide stars in “ Learn to Swim"

In "Learn to Swim." What is it about and what's your role?

Learn To Swim is a sensual and poetic feature film directed by Thyrone Tommy about a young black jazz player who learns to face his grief. I play the role of Dezi Williams who is haunted by his past. It is a past he is fervently trying to avoid. The more he avoids it, the more his past literally invades his present, forcing him to contend with his inadequacies.

Tell us about your journey into acting

I first got into acting near the end of high school under the teaching of Jodi Dirksen and Brenda Crichlow. From there, I continued my training at the national theatre school of Canada. Upon graduating, I began my professional career primarily in theatre and have only recently started to really pursue a career in film and TV.

What is your biggest inspiration as an actor?

Seeing anyone engaged in what they do is an inspiration to me. This could be in acting, but it could also be in a completely unrelated profession.

What's your favorite all time movie or TV show to date and why?

A movie that comes to mind is Capote starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. When I saw his performance for the first time it totally expanded my imagination. I had no idea that an actor could do what he was doing. I had no idea that acting could be that...

Where do you see your career patch in 5 years?

That's a very interesting question. I’m not sure I think in those terms, to be honest.

Who are your ideal co-stars on any project of your choice? Ideal co-star?

Simply speaking, I just want to work with those who engage fully in the work. That full engagement needs to be fuelled by kindness and consideration for themselves and others of course. With those traits, the space can be highly focused while still being open and creative. Similarly, an ideal project would be working with a Director, and a team, that have a need to tell that particular story at that particular point in time.

How can fans reach out to you via social media?

I can be reached at @olajideta on instagram!

What other projects shall we watch for 2022 that you would like to share?

‘Nothing is lined up for the coming year as of yet! Guess we'll see what the future brings!’