Nigerian-Irish Olatunde Olateju Olaoloru just caught our eye on new TV series – The Handmaid’s Tale which tells the story of a future world where totalitarian and Christian fundamentalism rules an area called Gilead which used to be the United States. Women are brutally subjugated is this new totalitarian, hierarchical regime and women by law are not allowed to work, own property, control money, or read. Also, there is infertility worldwide and only a few women in Gilead are fertile women—they are called handmaids and are groomed to bear children for the upper ruling class.
Fagbenle who has also caught the eye of many ladies now (receiving numerous wedding proposals via social media over the past several months) plays the role of the main character’s (June) husband, Luke Bankole after he remarried. Bankole is also father to their daughter, Hannah but his second marriage is not recognised in this new fanatical world and so Hannah is illegitimate. “It’s funny because I was looking back on my Instagram and I saw that I had a bunch of feminist posts but that was all before Handmaid’s Tale. My whole life I have considered myself a feminist,” he tells The Evening Standards.
It’s a role many will now remember him for because of how popular Handmaid’s Tale has become since its first episode. Known more as O. T. Fagbenle, the 36-year-old has been acting, writing and directing since he was 14. From training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts to acting in Shakespeare at Hong Kong Arts Festival. He has won several prestigious acting awards including, an MVSA award for Best Actor, he led his cast in in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom to an Olivier Award (the most prestigious honour in British Theatre), he is the first British actor of mixed race heritage to play a lead in a period drama in the history of UK television (Walter’s War). He is also the first to play a leading role in an HBO series (Looking) and to win a best actor award at the M.E.N.
Olatunde Olateju Olaoloru has also won Best Actor in a Leading role at the M.E.N, recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award at the 13th African Film Awards and won the award for Best SciFi/Horror for the short film he wrote and directed, Moth, at the London Short Film Festival.
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