Thursday, March 21, 2019
Toby Onwumere talks playing the role of Capheus in Netflix’s ‘Sense8′
By Lapacazo Sandoval Contributing Writer
Published May 18, 2017

Toby Onwumere (Courtesy Photo)

“The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you,” a powerful statement by astrophysicist, author, and science communicator, Neil deGrasse Tyson and one that paints an accurate and distributing picture of Netflix’s Sense8, created by Lana Wachowski, Grant Hill (“The Matrix”) and J. Michael Straczynski (“World War Z”)

Sense8 is strange but that’s a very, very good thing. The story is centered on eight characters, from different parts of the world, who experience a violent vision, and soon find themselves mentally connected by the experience.  They become able to see and talk to each other as though they were in the same place, with access to each other’s deepest secrets. Not only must the eight adapt to this new ability and to each other, they must figure out why their lives are now in jeopardy.

“It is not a game, this is a war” is the battle cry for the new season—now streaming—with the determined dark forces tracking down the cluster of the eight connected characters who are called “sensates.” In season two, they will learn more about BPO, the secret organization searching for their cluster and others like them, and will work to protect themselves from this organization that is out to hunt and kill them.

Perhaps inspired by a quote by Neil deGrasse Tyson — “We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us’—the sensates are done with playing it safe.

As reported in Deadline, the character Capheus was replaced after British actor Aml Ameen, who played the role in Season 1 abruptly left the show. The blogs all cited strong creative differences between Ameen and creative management.

When one door closes another one opens and closes for the role of Capheus—the young Kenyan bus driver living in Nairobi trying to earnestly earn money for his AIDS-stricken mother’s medication—in walked Toby Onwumere.  The classically trained actor is a graduate from the prestigious UCSD MFA program was cast in a week.

Onwumere was born in the United States to Nigerian parents and although Sense8 is filmed all over the globe, he now calls Los Angeles home.

Here is what TOBY ONWUMERE (Capheus) had to share about the world of Netflix’s Sense8.

Q: If you could choose to live in three places— simultaneously—where would that be and why?

Toby Onwumere: Great question. ‘If i could choose to be 3 places, they would have to be:

a. Owerri, Nigeria. My mom and dad as well as most of my extended family are there right now and I haven’t seen them in some time.

b. The coast of Croatia. I have never been, but I am dying to go, and it easily looks like one of the most beautiful places in the world.

c. Berghain in Berlin. I think I will leave [why] it at that.

Q: Astrophysicist like Neil deGrasse Tyson have strongly suggested that multiple universes exist and further to the point that we might be living—ourselves—within a type of matrix.  Poking at the biggest question that all mankind has asked and still asks: why do I exist.  Do I exist? Thoughts?

T.O.: Working on this show has without a doubt further solidified my beliefs on humanity and why we exist. I truly believe that we are put on this earth to love one another, and having the ability to be a part of this beautiful and daring show has further brought that truth to light for me. We often lose sight of that and get caught up in agendas and narratives that seek to cause discord and create division, but Sense8 has taught me that love is the cornerstone of our human experience. From working on this show, I have learned that everything happens for a reason. For well, or for ill.

Categories: Entertainment
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