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SNAPPY 7: Biko Nyongesa – I like playing the intellectual villain roles

Biko Nyongesa played a villain called ‘Superpower 2’ in the first season of the internationally acclaimed television show Sense8, something he says was an eye opening experience.

As an actor, he has appeared on several TV series including Tabasamu and Higher Learning. He has also had roles in films such as Haifai Kitu, Grand Mistakes, Ties that Bind and Shattered among many others.

Nairobi News caught up with him and below are excerpts of the interview:

1. How was the experience being a cast member on Sense8? – It was a wonderful experience, eye opening. It blew my mind away because of the level of professionalism. When I got to the set, I saw how the Germans and Americans were conducting their sets, I wondered why have some people been here for years and they can’t even do the simplest of things? It was just simple professionalism. I enjoyed myself and learned a lot.

2. What role did you play? – I played Superpower 2, the right hand man for the main villain. When I went for the auditions I was an underdog because I had never done anything like it. It was a joy because I beat people who had been in the industry since I was in school to get the role and play a villain.

3. What was the major difference on the set compared to what you are used to? – The level of professionalism, how people treat each other on set, how directors treat actors on set, how actors relate with the directors, the crew and everything. First I thought the directors will be shouting at us on set so that we can fear them. That is the reason we do not get anywhere in this industry. Our actors do not feel motivated, they feel forced. I learned how to grow.

4. Briefly who is Nyongesa? – Nyongesa is just a humble kid who grew up on the boundaries of one of the biggest forest in Kenya, Turbo forest in Uasin Gishu. I did not grow up with art in my mind. The schools which I attended did not have any art classes. I remember one day in form two I was in front of the class making jokes and I didn’t realise the teacher was standing outside looking at me through the window. Later at the end of the term the teacher wrote on my report card that I was a joker which got me punished by my parents.

5. You were a musician. Why did you stop singing? – I wasn’t working for me. Sometimes you just have to accept that this thing is not working for me. That was just a moment in my life that got me where I am now. Music is not as accommodating as film.

6. What roles do you like to play? – I like villain roles, but not the regular villains roles. I like being the intellectual villain who uses his brains to overcome the biggest obstacles in his life.

7. What inspires you? – The need to inspire others, especially the young people, and also to inspire a lifestyle. I prefer staying in the background as others shine. Being a director allows me to remain behind the scenes.