'Sistas' star Chido Nwokocha gushes about working at Tyler Perry's new studio and being on a female-led show
'Sistas', a comedy-drama series, written, directed and executive produced by Tyler Perry, follows the lives of four single black women. Relating quite literally to the current social set, it follows their careers, relationships, friendships and romances, and tunes into the social media aspect as well. Chido Nwokocha, one of the actors on the show, caught up with MEAWW in-studio and shared his journey being part of the 'Sistas' cast, his character and working with Tyler Perry.
On how he landed his role on 'Sistas' after previously auditioning for 'The Oval' and got Tyler Perry to notice him, "I was fortunate enough to audition at a casting session, and they liked my audition and flew me out to Atlanta. I actually auditioned for a couple of roles on 'The Oval' and tested for a couple of roles. They liked me enough, and they said 'actually, we have a better fit for you on this other show.' I remember when I auditioned, I had started a new job, and I was bartending and at the end of the shift, I got a call from my manager saying, 'Hey, Tyler Perry wants to bring you back out to test for this other role on 'Sistas'' And, I lost my job that day and flew out and got the part!"
Nwokocha plays a very 'interesting' character, Gary Marshall Borders on 'Sistas' - starting off as a character you can't help but fall in love with and then the red flags start popping up. When it came to humanizing his character and defending his actions, Nwokocha said, "Gary is a very complex character, he's a guy struggling with what he has versus what he wants and it's very interesting just trying to navigate the emotional levels of this character because on the surface there is likability to him, he is very charming, he does have a lot going for him, he is very self-aware but then there is another factor there, where he's cheating on his wife. Not to give too much away, but he's the guy that, as the show goes on, you start to understand why he moves the way he moves and the love is strong between him and Andi."
Even though the show revolves around the four women, Nwokocha hopes the audience continues to 'have a strong connection with the men'. "You know as part of the storyline and what we're bringing in with the women involved as well," he said.
Shot at the famous Tyler Perry Studio, Atlanta, Nwokocha talked about working at Perry's studio and seeing the entire space, "Everything we shot was on set, even when we were filming, we didn't even see the entire studio yet. You know, we got there and we were in our little area filming. We were fortunate enough to be invited to the grand opening of Tyler Perry's studio and that's when we were able to go around. Because, when we were there, we were just focussed on filming! We took the tour, we got around - I mean, they built a whole White House on the lot - we got to see the baseball field, it was so much going on. Wow, it was like this is all studio out here!"
Being on just a big production space with multiple productions going on, Nwokocha explained the bond with his male castmates, "All of us have some kind of background in football and we'd joke around that we were a big team, and you know, that was our locker room area. That's how we were mingling, it was like training camp! Every day we were waking up in the morning, coming in doing our deal and then go home. The cast really got along, we all love each other, you know we all have different backgrounds and how we got here and our stories were very compelling. So, we just formed a very tight-knit group and even on our days off we got together and rehearsed constantly because we wanted to put a good product out there."
He had no problem being part of a female-led show, "I grew up with all women, I have three sisters! It's always fun, the women on our show are just phenomenal and incredibly hardworking. It's easy to follow their lead because they bring so much to the table, they are present every day and they're giving you so much. So for the guys you know, we show up, and like 'what do you need from us?'. It's cool to see the billboards and know this is what we're part of," he said proudly.
When asked, 'What was it like working with Tyler Perry on this project, for women?', he says: "There are producers there and the girls on the show too, are giving in their inputs, so it allows for a very open space for a very relatable show, for the women to tell the type of stories they want to tell. Working with him, - Tyler Perry - he moves at a very rapid pace - so it sets a standard for us to come in and be prepared, deliver what we are supposed to deliver, and he does create a space where you can come in and play. It's a very actor friendly and a lot of fun to show him what kind of characters we're bringing to the table."
Outside of 'Sistas', he will also be playing a role in the new 'Top Gun' movie. He is sure excited to be part of the big project.
There is no confirmation if 'Sistas' will come back for a second season but catch season one of 'Sistas' on BET on Wednesdays at 10/9c.