“I drank strong alcohol, went to graveyard to play role in Gangs of Lagos” — Tobi Bakre

Tobi Bakre, popularly known for his appearance on the reality show, Big Brother Naija, recently played the role of Obalola in the movie, ‘Gangs of Lagos’. In the film, Obalola is a street king with a traumatic childhood that left him with emotional scars.

Speaking about his experience in playing the character, Tobi shared that it was a challenging role for him because he had to tear down his mental walls and be vulnerable. He explained that as guys, they build walls and prepare for sad outcomes in life, but in this movie, he had to be vulnerable and emotional.

To prepare for some of the emotional scenes, Tobi shared that he drank two plastic herbal bitters within five minutes and listened to sad music, including the emotional song ‘Celia’ by Tiwa Savage. He explained that he was not trying to fake his emotions but needed to be actually sad and in the scenario of the character.

“For “Gangs of Lagos’, that was challenging because like for the first time… you know as guys now, we build so many walls like you are ready for all the possible sad outcomes in life mentally. Like you don’t know it but… I was now playing the role of a strong guy but then in the same movie, he had moments when he had to be vulnerable. Bro, I had the toughest time. I had to tear my walls down.

“You know those plastic [herbal bitters] drinks na? I drank two within the space of five minutes. I just felt like I drank water because I didn’t feel anything. I was listening to the saddest music. This is the song I always remember from Gangs of Lagos, the Celia song by Tiwa Savage. It is a very emotional song. I wasn’t trying to fake it [my role]. I needed to be actually sad, I needed to be there. So, I was putting myself in the scenario of this character.

“I was self-reflecting. There was a graveyard right in front of where we were shooting. So my head was in different places. Eventually, we shot it,” he said.

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