Five Questions For Edi Gathegi

Gathegi stars in the film “Criminal Activities” which is out on VOD.

Edi Gathegi

From “X-Men: First Class,” “The Twilight Saga,” “Aloha,” “Gone Baby Gone” to NBC’s popular television series “The Blacklist,” Edi Gathegi has been building an impressive reputation in Hollywood for the past 10 years. The 36 year-old Kenyan born actor plays a gangster called Marques in the mob film “Criminal Activities,” and talks about his latest action packed thriller, which stars John Travolta and Michael Pitt.

The film follows four friends who make a bad investment when they borrow money from a mobster and is certainly an interesting premise, what was the attraction to the role of Marques?
The attraction was the challenge. It was like a vocal exercise and a Shakespearean challenge. I run towards challenges and not away from them.Edi Gathegi as Marques in Criminal Activities

Marques spends a good portion of the film in a rather uncompromising position, how did you approach his character and did he change much from what was initially written on the page?
It is very close to what was on the page. I connected with the character when I read it and it was just showing up, trusting that I have everything at my disposal and playing with delivering.

The film marks Jackie Earle Haley’s (“Little Children”) feature directorial debut. What’s a Jackie set like?
A Jackie set is a great environment for actors. He understands how to make it safe and how to give an actor notes to be able to perform. He’s just a nice guy and I would work with him again in heartbeat.

You were born in Nairobi, Kenya and coming from a similar African culture where our focus is usually more astute professions such as law and medicine, were you ever discouraged from becoming an actor?
My parents got behind me from day one and supported me 100%. This industry is too difficult not to have the support of your family. I owe them everything.

Acting was not your first choice and you initially played basketball before becoming an actor, why did you fall in love with acting?
I never had an aspiration to be a professional athlete, but at the time I was interested in basketball and then I hurt my knee. I took an acting class which turned into something way beyond what I ever fashioned. I fell in love with it as I just wanted to do everything. Acting is really sort of the best way to do everything. I get to immerse myself in it.

“Criminal Activities” is out on VOD. Check out the trailer below:

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