Interview & Photo Credit: Owen James Vincent
During this crazy time were in one of the TV shows that has kept us going is Netflix's Sex Education. We had the pleasure photographing & chatting to Tomi Ogunjobi who starred in Season 3 of the series playing Eric's fun Aunty Beryl. We sat down with Tomi to talk about her time on the show, behind the scenes stories and we asked her what Aunt Beryl's reaction would be like if Eric came out to his family.
Hey Tomi! Thanks for talking to ReVamp Magazine. First thing we want to ask you is how it was being cast in such a huge Netflix show?
It actually came as a surprise really! I've done a few short films prior to that with a real good friend of mine, Tomisin Adepeju who is a young upcoming film director. He's really good friends with Runyararo Mapfumo (the director of Sex Education), they went to film school together and I think she saw me in one of Tony's short films and wanted me. That's how I got in to Sex Education! The casting director got in touch with me, asked me to read a few lines and send self tapes. Then the rest is history!
You played the role as Eric’s fun Aunty Beryl. How did you prepare yourself for this role?
You know what I would have to say - that was one of the easiest role's for me to play because I was playing myself. My son watched the episode I was in and said "Mum that's not acting - that's just you!" [laughs]. Ncuti Gatwa who played Eric is such a nice person and so easy to work with, even the Grandma was so lovely! We all felt at home and it was so easy for us to work together.
In the episode where Eric visits his family in Nigeria. He kept his sexuality a secret from them. If he came out to his family how do you think his Aunty and Grandma react?
I think it's a different scenario with Nigeria being a very conservative traditional atmosphere and background. In the previous scene before the wedding, the Grandma asks him "When are you going to get married?" "When are you going to bring your girlfriend to me?" and it shows that everyone seems every man has to have a wife. It's becoming more relax and open now but a lot of the generation will find it a very hard pill to swallow. I think Aunt Beryl would find it easy to accept because of her age and exposure and her personality but we know that the Grandma would struggle.
Have you got any funny behind the scenes gossip while being on set?
There is one! On our third day of shooting, our trailer was ten steps to the studio. There were all these range rover's picking the cast up and driving them on set. They came to our trailer and told us to get in the car and we were like No! We will walk! It's not far [laughs]. We've got legs!
Have you got any advice for actors who want to become an actor?
Oh I would say if that is your passion and that is what you want to do then invest in it! Do a lot of extra work and what you like about acting. Get your Spotlight profile, get those headshots and just don't give up!
Lastly, have you got any upcoming projects that you can tell our readers?
Yes! I've got a few commercials coming up and in November I've got some TV and short films lined up too!