Interview: Sam Adegoke Talks Dynasty – Exclusive
Pop City Life had the chance to chat with actor Sam Adegoke about his role on the CW series Dynasty. We spoke with Sam about starring in the reboot of the classic series, his love of art and clothing design, and what viewers can expect from the upcoming episodes.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Sam Adegoke below:
To start off, can you talk a little about your character on The CW’s Dynasty and what originally attracted you to the role?
Sam Adegoke: Jeff Colby is certainly one of the more complex characters I’ve played, and a challenge is always attractive. He’s a whip-smart, self-made tech billionaire with a high moral compass who believes in doing what is right and will sacrifice anything and go to any length to protect his family. At the same time, he can’t let go of past wrongs that happened against his family, and his lust for power and revenge could be his very undoing. He can be charming or curt, patient or quick-tempered, visionary and shortsighted all at the same time, and that constant dichotomy and all those layers and textures make for a very fun character to play.
The fact that CW was reprising an iconic franchise with such an iconic character as an African American was very appealing. Dynasty was a juggernaut of a show that shaped a whole decade and was extremely influential and popular, so an opportunity to be part of that legacy plus the diversity of the casting had me sold.
What motivated you to initially pursue acting? Is there anyone who influenced or inspired you?
Acting was something I’d secretly always wanted to do but didn’t seriously pursue until I was already in my 20s for two reasons. First, the arts weren’t really encouraged as a career choice in my family. I’m the youngest of seven in a migrant Nigerian family full of doctors, and the mandate was to follow in their footsteps and learn a “respectable vocation.” Second, and somewhat related to the first, was simply … fear. I was fresh out of college, and had a great-paying job that moved me to LA. Seemed foolish to throw that away for what seemed like a pipe dream, and the fear of trying and failing prevented me from chasing the dream.
Two things really motivated me to finally make the leap. The first was when my older brother John began taking theater courses, and I saw him somewhat go against that family expectation and how much he was enjoying it. The second and far more pronounced motivation was the unexpected passing of one of my best friends. It really made me face my own mortality in a way that I never had to before, and I decided I wasn’t leaving this earth without having explored this thing that kept calling to me.
Is there anyone you would love to work with someday?
So many. David Oyelowo, Andre Holland, John Malkovich, Oscar Isaac, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Rachel McAdams, Charlize Theron, Benicio del Toro, Idris Elba, Javier Bardem, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Willem Dafoe to name a few. There are many artists whose inspire me and whose work I really admire and hope to share a screen with someday.
Viewers may be familiar with the original Dynasty from when it aired in the 80s. Where do you draw your inspiration for your character? Were you a fan of the original series?
The original was before my time, but I certainly did my homework and watched it. It was such an iconic show that I feel it would be disrespectful not to do research before we began filming the reboot, so I watched several of the most iconic episodes and thoroughly enjoyed every last one. It was importance to me to honor and understand the history of the show and what came before me to make this possible. However, with the network choice to make this version of the Colbys a black family, it was equally important to me to seize the unique opportunity I had to make this character my own. For that reason, I intentionally have not watched the whole original series. I didn’t want to have strong preconceived notions about who Jeff was or should be based off the original. I wanted to discover and create that in my own way.
You have a lot of artistic interests aside from acting, including music, art, and clothing design. Do you have any plans to pursue these types of projects on the side?
Yes. I enjoy painting and designing clothes, but with so much of my materials and work space being back in LA, it’s been challenging to keep those balls in the air. I’ve currently been focusing a lot of my time on writing. I took an interest in film projects with rich stories from the African diaspora that I feel are very important to tell.
I’m definitely sowing the seeds of designing garments again and plan to do more with that when I get back to LA. For now, I’m really inspired to write, and you can do that from anywhere. I’m learning my voice as a writer, and the stories that I want to tell and characters I want to tell them through are very exciting to me.
How has the experience been working with the cast of Dynasty? Are there any fun memories that stick out for you from filming?
Our cast is great. We hang out a lot outside of set, and that’s by choice. The best memories are just chilling at each other’s houses and having dinner parties, or exploring restaurants in Atlanta together. Everyone definitely shares a passion for food! We also try and get together to watch Dynasty each Wednesday, to the extent we can, for those who aren’t shooting that day. A real fun memory was going to Miami together for Rafael De La Fuente’s birthday. That was a blast.
How has the fan support been for you so far? Do you enjoy interacting with fans on social media?
The fan love has been overwhelming and I am so grateful for their support, especially abroad. I took a trip to Brazil for New Year’s and the love was unreal. They really watch and are huge supporters of the show. It was surreal and very humbling to experience that kind of love for your art. It wasn’t long ago that I was aspiring to be a full-time actor for a living, and I know how important it is to feel engaged and inspired by artists that I was a fan of. I never want to lose sight of that and I take every opportunity I can to engage fans. There is no show without them!
Dynasty was known for consistent drama and twists to keep the audience coming back for more. What can you tease about what viewers can expect from the upcoming episodes?
Sooo much more drama! Things have really picked up and some crazy story lines between Fallon and Jeff need to be resolved, especially now that we know Jeff is orchestrating his revenge for Blake Carrington putting Jeff’s father Cecil in prison for 11 years. We also found out in the last episode that Fallon is now aware of Jeff’s plan, so a huge battle between the Colby and Carrington houses is coming. We’ll also learn a lot more about Jeff’s relationship with his father and sister, and some backstory on the Colbys, which I’m excited for people to learn.
What are you most excited for the viewers to see?
I love that I get to speak my native tongue of Yoruba from Nigeria on the show. I pitched the idea to make Jeff Nigerian earlier in the season and our show runner Sallie Patrick loved the idea. Nigerian culture has never been highlighted this way through a series lead on a major broadcast network, and we’re making history. I’m excited for all fans to keep watching the drama but especially excited to give Nigeria some representation on a big platform like this and make my people proud.
Thank you so much to Sam Adegoke for taking the time to chat with us! We really appreciate it.