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Sam Adegoke Talks Nigerian Heritage, Modeling and the CW’s “Dynasty”

Actor and model, Sam Adegoke gives insightful perspectives on embracing his Nigerian heritage, cultural diversity in Hollywood and his role on The CW’s Dynasty. Remaining true to one’s ethnic roots is essential. It’s how we connect to a sense of community and self-establishment. These influences add a richness to life and provide experiences that can be shared with others. What better way to celebrate these elements than through creative arts? Adegoke pays homage through fashion and by infusing traits of his heritage to acting roles. Strides are being made towards broadening the scope of cultural representation on the silver screen, but its still an uphill climb. The movement for inclusion is slowly emerging as industry creatives acknowledge and welcome a broader viewership. If fiction is a reflection of reality, then individuals from various communities should be present. It’s important for viewers to have characters who look like them and share in their unique experiences.

The CW’s Dynasty is based on Aaron Spelling’s 1980s soap opera, but this revamp offers a more diverse cast. The plot unfolds as two elite American families clash over the control of their fortunes and offspring. The classic’s reboot was created by Sally Partick, Stephanie Savage, and Josh Schwartz. Alongside Adegoke, the hit show features the acting talents of Elizabeth Gillies, Grant Snow, and Nathalie Kelley. Although Adegoke is unsure of his inspirational source for modeling, this did not hinder his success. Growing up in Minnesota afforded him many modeling opportunities. There was a huge market for children models in sale circulars distributed by corporations like Best Buy and Target. He also participated in Target runway shows for their new collections.

Adegoke describes Jeff Colby as a multi-layered character who is misguided, but well-meaning. He finds common ground with Jeff through shared similarities such as humble beginnings and being a self-made man. A strong connection is forged through his personal experiences since he was born in Nigeria, raised in the United States and moved from the hood to the suburbs. Despite the mistakes his character makes throughout the show, he believes audiences will still root for Jeff because he means well. When asked about Hollywood television becoming more diverse, Adegoke states, “I think it is. I mean, we still have a long way to go. I think the CW is on the cusp of trying to push the narrative to have more individuals represented. So we can appeal to a broader audience.” Although he feels Hollywood has not yet arrived regarding this issue, he remains hopeful and enthusiastic for what the future holds. Adegoke praises Black Panther for making strides and proving there is a market for this. He emphasizes the importance of viewers having characters who look like them and presenting their shared experiences.

He states that he pitched the idea of Jeff Colby being Nigerian to Dynasty’s show creator, Sally Patrick. It was vital since the reboot is set in Atlanta and there’s a large Nigerian population in the area. His idea was well received by Partick and she convinced the network to approve it. Having the opportunity to use his native tongue in the show was a celebratory moment for him and the Nigerian community. Jeff`s Nigerian heritage was also highlighted through his wardrobe. Adegoke was beyond pleased with knowing this might be the first time his native tongue was spoken in a major broadcast television show.

When asked for his definition of a Quintessential Gentleman, he stated, “He’s somebody who prides himself on having a breadth of knowledge and experiences that take him out of his comfort zone. He’s someone who has good taste in music, food, certainly in clothing and just in life and learning.” He believes people of color in Hollywood have power. Empowerment is expressed through characters from all walks of life being represented and having an equal voice. “I feel like the black experience is being normalized, which I think is super dope. I want to normalize the African experience. Nigerians and Africans are amazing storytellers and most of our stories are oral histories.”

This rising star is well-worth keeping an eye on. Proof if need be that good work ethic, humility and remembering where you started from can place you on the path to success. No matter where a person comes from, they have a unique purpose and gift to share. Adegoke’s flourishing career offers a profound example of this life lesson. Young Hollywood hopefuls can learn from this and be inspired to continue pursuing their dreams.

Photographer: Dash McIntosh Videographer: B Rob Stylist: Bruce Franklin Creative Director: Dane Young Location: HomeByMartell

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