Nollywood star Tobi Bakre has opened up on tearing down his psychological defences in order to embody the character of Obalola in Jade Osiberu’s crime drama Gangs of Lagos.
Set in Isale Eko, Lagos, the film is a gritty tale revolving around Bakre’s Obalola and his two friends as they navigate the inner workings of organised crime.
According to him, he downed two bottles of herbal bitters within five minutes and did not feel anything. He also added that proximity to a graveyard during a scene had a major impact on him and his co-stars.
“For ‘Gangs of Lagos’, that was challenging because like for the first time… you know as guys now, we build so many walls like you are ready for all the possible sad outcomes in life mentally.
“Like you don’t know it but… I was now playing the role of a strong guy but then in the same movie, he had moments when he had to be vulnerable.
“Bro, I had the toughest time. I had to tear my walls down.
“You know those plastic [herbal bitters] drinks na? I drank two within the space of five minutes.
“I just felt like I drank water because I didn’t feel anything. I was listening to the saddest music.
“This is the song I always remember from Gangs of Lagos, Celia song by Tiwa Savage. It is a very emotional song.
“I wasn’t trying to fake it [my role]. I needed to be actually sad, I needed to be there. So, I was putting myself in the scenario of this character.
“I was self-reflecting. There was a graveyard right in front of where we were shooting. So my head was in different places.
“And eventually, we shot that scene. After we shot it, and they said ‘cut’, everyone stayed quiet.
“And people in the background were sobbing. It was almost as if for that moment everybody forgot that we were acting and some people were actually tearing up”, he shared.
Bakre also revealed how hard it was to let go of the character after the movie shoot came to an end.
“It [the character] leads sometimes, like my wife now when I got home initially… Hardly, anger is the last emotion you can get but my fuse became shorter.
“On the road, I’m driving, my fuse is a bit shorter because of this character I’m currently infusing.
“So, after the whole thing I had to just ease out”, he added.