Your new series Housemates - in a few words, what is it
about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?
Housemates is about
three friends living together (Leon, Ashley and Kwame), in season one we
experience a day in the life of these fellas. Leon, the character I play,
is a DJ, very fun, bright, outgoing, hard worker and still single. In
season one Leon is challenged into doing something he's not used to, he's
asked to talk about an uncomfortable event and his put-on spotlight to
decide whoís cooking is the best between his two best mates.
did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much Greg David
Monga can we find in Leon, really?
to be honest Iíve always been fan of shows such as Fresh Prince of
Bel-Air, My Wife and Kids, Martin etcÖ so, I kind of just
drew (inspired) from it, and of course my experience in acting had a lot to
do with it. I think the fun part, the outgoing, the brightness, the
singleness is definitely me J
To what extent could
you identify with the subject matter of Housemates on a personal
level, and do you have any wild housemate stories of your own?
First of all, I was
born in Congo and Iíve been living in the UK for 7 years now, so for
me in terms of identity I feel like I am strongly connected to my
background and I strongly identify myself with online dating, considering
that I am on Tinder (therefore I agree with everything Leon says on the
I still live at home,
so unfortunately, I havenít got a WILD housemate stories YET.
did you get involved with the project in the first place?
Well, I was minding
my own business doing my thing, when Anthony sent me a DM on Instagram
asking me if I was interested in working on a project he was creating, I
agreed right away not knowing much of it but knowing Anthony I knew it
was going to be good. He then sent the script over, I read it and it
turned out that I was right, it was freaking amazing.
can you tell us about Housemates' director (and co-star) Anthony
Vander [Anthony Vander interview -
click here], and what was your collaboration like?
I met Anthony Vander
two years ago at Identity School of Acting, we were in the same group,
even performed in a showcase together. I remember Anthony telling me
after we had just come from a night club in celebration of our showcase
that he liked my performance and that I was really talented, it was only
after he invited me to be part of Housemates that I actually believed
his compliment lolÖso I have worked with Anthony before, which is why I
knew what I was expecting from him as a co-star in Housemates
worker, passionate and enthusiastic) - heís the type of person who once
he commits into doing something he will do it, regardless the challenges
it may have or brings, which is very inspiring. So as a co-star he was
always there in the moment of a scene giving it all, that created a
spiderweb making us connected with each other, an ensemble needed to
make Housemates what it is, a family show.
However, itís the
first time working with Anthony as our director, he gives you directions
and at the same time gives you independence as an actor, for example
when we met for our read he told us if we didnít feel comfortable
saying a line the way it was written we could discuss it with him, see
if it could be changed or say it as we feel our character would say, and
thatís something rare in this industry, having freedom. Iíve learned
so much with him as a director.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
We shot Housemates at Anthonyís moms house - who by the way made amazing
food, sheís a great cook and a fantastic host, the atmosphere was
amicable and because the weather was good (sunny) so our mood was good as
well and every one of us was excited to be there.
future projects you'd like to share?
this very moment I donít have anything apart from the ones Iíve
already shot and not allowed to share, yet.
What got you into
acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the
Ball Z, Dragon Ball got me into acting, I guess I could say anime and
movies in general, Iíve always been hooked into it since I was a
kid (5 years old) - I remember missing classes in year 1 just so I could
catch the latest episode of Dragon Ball, and so I wondered since then what
it would be to be on TV, then 4 years after I came in the UK I decided to
pursue my dream of being an actor, I then joined the Identity School of
Acting, where Iíve been training for the past 3 years.
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior
I recently worked in
a short film Kindred, which has been selected for film festivals.
Kindred is about Esther who is forced to reconnect ties with her family when her
5 year old daughter urgently needs a matching bone marrow donor. A
beautiful short film that sensitively explores universal themes of
interracial relationships and belonging, written by Naomi Grant and
directed by Janet Marrett.
How would you describe yourself as
an actor, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?
I consider myself as an actor to be versatile, Iíd like to think that I
can do any role, I dig deep into the character's life, past and present, I
look for the sole purpose of what my character wants and what would
happen if I donít get what I want, these technique helps me find my
For a deeper understanding I do the Uta Hagen Questions which are:
- Who am I?
- Where am I?
- When am I?
- What do I want?
- Why do I want it?
- How do I get it?
- Whatís in the way?
After answering these
questions, which gives me a deeper understanding of my character, I then
start learning the script and playing with it in deferent types of
emotions such as sad, happy, excited etcÖ
(and indeed actresses) who inspire you?
got amazing actors such as Robert De Niro, Will Smith, Denzel, Al Pacino,
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Tom Hanks, John Boyega,
Damson Idris etcÖ so youíve got the old and the new generations, I
could go on with the list, but those ones are on my top 10.
Diamond, Dunkirk, Captain Phillips, Darkest Hour and of course most of the
Marvel films ...
the list could still go on.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
I donít have any films that I deplore, however there are films out there
that I will fall asleep, something I donít usually do, unless its
boring, an example would be Man of Steel.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
can find me on IMDb, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as Greg David Monga.
Anything else you're
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
mentioned pretty much everything.
for the interview!
you for your time.