The idea of making a film - a film that I had certainly never seen before - about the slave experience was a huge responsibility. It's a project that requires a wider understanding of the geopolitical nature of the slave trade, of historical and modern-day racism.
It's a strange thing, but you get this click in your brain; the wonderful feeling that the entirety of a character is suddenly available and accessible to you.
I was attracted to 'Half of a Yellow Sun' because of the story.
I was already devouring literature and I was the ripe old age of 15 when I decided to be an actor. I just thought plays were the most fantastic way of expressing life. I thought I'd discovered Shakespeare - 'hey, there's a new guy in town, don't know if anyone's read him.' I was just excited about the whole thing, from day one.
I don't tend to offer up a critique unless I have a clearly formulated alternative, because there's nothing worse than people on a set or any kind of artistic life who critique something but who don't have anything to offer.
As a child, I was just never that interested in the lives of my favourite actors, like Cary Grant. I do wonder whether knowing too much about someone's personal life interrupts an audience's ability to suspend disbelief, to really invest in the characters. My preference would always be that people engage with the work.