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An Interview with Greg David Monga, Star of Housemates

by Mike Haberfelner

July 2018

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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.

 

What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much Greg David Monga can we find in Leon, really?

 

Well, 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 subject).

I still live at home, so unfortunately, I havenít got a WILD housemate stories YET.

 

How 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.

 

What 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 (hard 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.

 

A 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.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

At 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 subject?

 

Dragon 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 to Housemates?

 

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 characterís desire.

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

 

Actors (and indeed actresses) who inspire you?

 

Youíve 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.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

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Blood 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.

 

Your website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

You 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?

 

Youíve mentioned pretty much everything.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thank you for your time.

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

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