Veteran actor Eddie Mbugua was featured in the popular Hollywood movie, Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.
Speaking to Mpasho he revealed the ins and out of shooting his character and at one point he had a heated argument with award-winning actor Chiwetel Ejiofor who was directing the flick.
So, how did he bag a role in the movie?
“I was called for auditions, but I was reluctant as most international movies depict Africans in a derogatory way. However, after acing the shortlisting, I spoke with Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was to direct the movie, and I got to know the crux of the plot, so was delighted to be a part of the project.”
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There are stories that you and Chiwetel got into a fight during filming in Malawi?
“What happens in Malawi should stay in Malawi. The euphemism is a mild professional tiff. The common error made by Western black actors who play African roles is diluting our mannerisms. We gesticulate more than Caucasians in our communication, our lips are a lot more animated when we speak and Africans are extremely passionate in speech vis-à-vis other races that tend to be placid.”
“I felt restrained and I made it clear that I am an African, playing an African character who is in Africa, so I need to be authentic. I wasn’t being flippant but protecting my character, as any professional actor ought to.
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“I told him in pidgin “I don’t mean to pour sand for your garri, but I no go act like an oyinbo person.” (I don’t mean to soil your glory, but I don’t want to act like a white person). My point was eventually taken into consideration. I certainly won’t get a birthday card, but the job was done.”
How was the rest of the filming?
“It was great. We were an amalgam of three continents; nationalities from 6 different countries, all focused on glorifying William Kamkwamba’s success. It was beautiful.”
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Your role was very small?
“Yes, I was paid to point my finger. Charles Daud was pivotal in Chief Wimbe’s story but not William Kamkwamba’s so they edited a number of my scenes with Joseph Marcell (Jeffrey from The Fresh Prince of Belair) and Chiwetel Ejiofor or it would have been a lengthy Nollywood Part A and Part B movie. They needed an actor who, juxtaposed between those two legends, would hold his own and I delivered.”
Check out the trailer of the film.