What do a panther and pawnee, Indiana have in common?

The answer is Actress, Sope Aluko.

She starred in Marvel’s Black Panther and alongside Amy Poehler, in Parks and Recreation.

Now she’s trying her hand at filmmaking.

Deco caught up with the star at Liberty City’s African Cultural Arts Center to get the details.

London-born Nigerian actress, Sope Aluko moved to SoFlo and caught the acting bug.

Sope Aluko: “As Steve Harvey would say, I jumped with a parachute without the backup. I literally just did it. Now I’ve been an actor working for 14 years.”

And she’s worked the silver screen gigs the city has to offer.

Sope Aluko: “Miami was a booming town back when I started so everything from burn notice.”

Natpop Sope Aluko In Parks And Rec: “Now, from the hometown of Pawney Indiana in the United States…Leslie Knope.”))

Sope Aluko: “Then I booked Parks and Recreation. I booked Law and Order SVU. And then it started opening up from there.
So my first major film was the Identity Theft with Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.”

But her blockbuster film break came in “panther” form.

Sope Aluko: “They told me that I can come in for one line, no name role, it’s going to work for one day. So I went in and worked that room. I did every single way I could. And then I didn’t hear anything for like six weeks and then I doubted of course. But then I got the call and they said they created the role of the Shaman for me. And then I ended up working for six weeks and these amazing friendships that I made. When Wakanda Forever, when I finished wrapping that I literally got in touch with my co-writer and we were able to kraft this story, Chidera.”

This short film surrounds the Nigerian spiritual ceremony of dada hair.

Sope Aluko: “So I play the mother, Ma. The mother of Chidera. And the story is really about Chidera and it’s about her not knowing where she is in life. I was very clear on how I wanted it shot. The process I knew was going to be difficult and it was even more difficult because I had this charge that I had to have an all-female crew. Who would’ve thunk it that years later that now I am coming in as a filmmaker? Even when I say that word I’m like, Ah, oh my god I’m a filmmaker.”

Chidera has its world premiere at the American Black Film Festival in Miami Beach on June 15th at 1:15 p.m.

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