In an exclusive interview, Flickering Myth sat down with Dennis Mailu to talk about acting, life in Los Angeles and his role in The Spell That Backfired…
Hi Dennis Mailu, welcome to Flickering Myth! Was it always your dream to be an actor?
As a child I was always fascinated by performative art. I loved mimicking what I saw on the television. From jumping off sofa sets in the house dressed as Batman, to mouthing along the words and moves to the Power Ranger shows and pretending to be a professional wrestler with my brother. A common factor in all of this is that it gave me utmost joy.
I knew it was my chosen path since I got involved in acting on stage in high school, in the UK and currently in LA still receiving the same child-like joy in projects whilst receiving acclamation for my work at the same time.
Congrats on your leading role in ‘he Spell That Backfired. Can you tell us about the movie and the role you played?
The movie, The Spell That Backfired is about a young woman, Minnie, who is in Los Angeles trying to fit into the city. She is in need of love and uses magic spells to get back with her ex-boyfriend. However, she gets more than she bargained for as the effects take an unprecedented turn. The movie is a romance mixed with drama and horror and was written and directed by Rayna Campbell.
I play David, the love interest to Minnie. It was a fun shoot as I was able to use my tribal language Kikamba in one of the scenes. Historically the Kamba people are known for witchcraft and sorcery, which is very fitting as the film has elements of magic spells.
How can we see the movie?
At the moment the film is enjoying its festival run. So far, its received incredible success and reviews in Hollywood, London, Berlin and even Tokyo. It’ll be out in 2023, and I can’t wait for you all to see it.
What is your creative process when preparing for a movie?
The first step of my creative process begins with script analysis, interpretation, and research. Thereafter I love to take all the literal facts about my character, build it whilst memorizing my lines as I endow the text with personal experiences and imagination in order to connect fully to the words. In the same breadth, I love to situate my character within the world of script-exploring relationships and tone.
I also love doing physical activities such as weightlifting or kickboxing to keep the body active and alert. Our body is the actors’ instrument! Endurance is necessary for the concentration and repetition required whilst filming on set!
Enjoy the “creative process”. Immersing yourself in the small steps, not only the final product is where the magic happens!
How would you describe the projects that you typically prefer?
I have a soft spot for projects that have a deep and mysterious plot but engage the audience’s curiosity throughout the story. Genres that I have thrived in and achieved this artistic style are drama, thriller (psychological) and science fiction.
Which actors/directors would you like to collaborate with in future?
I would love to collaborate with Damian Lewis, Ryan Coogler, Jonathan Majors, Tessa Thompson, Denis Villeneuve, Oscar Isaac, and Elisabeth Moss.
If you had one message to give to your fans, what would it be?
Whatever your vocation is, be passionate and consistent, you shall reap hearty rewards and blessings from that.
How can people find and follow your journey?