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Actor Kola Bokinni of Ted Lasso speaks about life as an actorDec 07, 2022
Photographer : Hayden Blaz
1. How do you prepare for playing Isaac? Any pre-filming rituals?
Isaac is a man, mountain, a beast, and the captain of a premier league football team- pressure! He is also kind, emotionally complicated, and very blunt ha! Prepping for Isaac is so much fun. I play a lot of football and I start to think like Isaac. It's hard to put into words, but it’s like Isaac is a jacket and during the off season as I call it, I take it off and hang it up and then when it’s time to film again, I take it out and put him back on. It’s a weird feeling. My personality and Isaac's operate in opposite sections of my mind.
2. What's it like on set and off set? Who's the funniest out of the cast?
It's great! We all hang out A LOT! We actually get along and have similar tastes and interests. On set it is always fun and very creative. The funniest out of the cast (if I had to take myself out of it) would be Billy Harris, who plays Colin Hughes. He really tickles me! Maybe because we both have similar backgrounds.
3. How do you stay in shape? Do you have any tips for our male readers?
I play football and run a lot. I also have to watch what I’m eating because I love food and beer! There’s nothing better than a cold beer on a hot summer day. In order to enjoy that, I make sure I get my cardio in, whether it is swimming, biking, or running.
4. How do you like to spend your time when you aren't filming?
Holidays! I’m a travel bug. I love discovering knew places and of course the sun. I’m very much an open book, so on my days off, I love to do something I haven’t done before or something a little out of my comfort zone. I just get dressed and start walking sometimes and see where I end up.
5. What is your favorite thing about filming the show?
Easy! It's that the show is not afraid to speak about topics that are deemed taboo or that get brushed under the rug. It bravely faces these issues and breaks them down. I always think if it can get one person struggling with a certain problem to speak up or not feel as if they are alone, then it has done its job.
6. What has been your most influential role you have played?
I'm still just a pup in this industry and I feel like my more influential days are ahead, but if I was too say one role it would be Isaac. The subjects that Ted Lasso touch on are very sensitive and I have people daily sending me messages on social media thanking me or telling me how moved they were when watching. It brings me so much joy to know that our show can have such a profound effect on so many people.
7. What or who is your inspiration in life and your career?
My mum was my inspiration in my life and was my biggest fan. Sadly, she is not with us anymore. The belief and morals she instilled in me have had a massive effect on my adult life. She taught me that no one is perfect and it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it only matters how many times you can’t get up and keep fighting. The good times wouldn’t be as sweet without the bad.