Hollywood’s newest fresh face, Kofi Siriboe, is set to star in OWN Network’s “Queen Sugar.” The contemporary drama chronicles the lives and loves of the estranged Bordelon siblings in Saint Josephine, Louisiana, as they navigate the triumphs and struggles of their complicated lives in order to run a failing sugarcane farm after a family tragedy.
The American-Ghanian actor made his silver screen debut in Ice Cube’s The Longshots and since then has appeared in the Academy Award-winning film Whiplash. Currently, Siriboe has Hollywood buzzing about his standout performance as “Flaco” in the urban coming-of-age story Kicks, which hits theaters Sept. 9, 2016. Siriboe will take on the dynamic role as Ralph Angel, the youngest sibling of the Bordelon family. Formerly incarcerated and recovering from a downward spiral in his personal life, Ralph Angel has his mind set on one thing since his release from prison: making up for lost time between him and his beloved 6-year-old son Blue with the help of family members.
The series is a chilling adaptation of a novel by author Natalie Baszile titled “Queen Sugar.” Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay will both serve as executive producers. DuVernay is the brains behind the series. She directed two of the episodes and handpicked a powerhouse all-female roster of directors.
Make sure to catch Siriboe in the anticipated series premiere is set for Sept. 6 and 7, and will then air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on OWN. Check out his interview below:
Tell us about your role in “Queen Sugar” as Ralph Angel. What kind of person is going to love your character?
Ralph Angel is a young man who was formerly incarcerated. He is dealing with re-entering into life and society. He has a son that he was separated from and has a situation with his baby’s mother. That’s all unsettled things that they have to deal with. More than anything he is just trying to build a new life and deal with who he used to be in the past and who he wants to be now. He wants to be there for his son and make his father proud. He wants to be the man that his family always thought he was. He is just very emotional, sensitive and vulnerable which I think is different than a lot of men that we see on TV. I think that he is okay with it based off of what he’s been through. He is okay with being himself. I think the kind of people that are going to be drawn to Ralph Angel is a wide variety. I would say definitely young men and I think young women as well. I always say he reminds me of like a single mom in a sense of we don’t really see single fathers especially displayed through the media. I think single women and single mothers are going to be able to relate to a lot of Ralph Angels struggles. He is definitely conflicted but has a great soul so he is just going to work through those problems of the two voices that go off in his head.
Why did you want to get involved with this production?
To start, it was just such an amazing story based off of a book. I had the fantasy of an actor to bring the character to life that was a book and then made into a television show. Of course, Ava DuVernay being a part of it and it being on Oprah’s network I just all around was like, wow, this is amazing. This would be such great people to work with and connect with. As I said before I just love the idea of women creating things and doing it on such a large level. I also wanted to be a part of that but I didn’t know how so for this to manifest is great. It was so unexpected. God had a much bigger vision than I did. It just became more and more real once I got the script and once I read the first episode. Once I connected with Ralph Angel I immediately knew the perspective that I would tell. I’m grateful that Ava shared the same thing with me and we were able to build and create this character. But just immediately everybody who was a part of the project from the ground up is just like amazing. To be in the midst of that is just special.
The OWN Network just had a premiere with the cast in New Orleans. You definitely captured the hearts of the ladies and expanded your female fanbase. We want to get the inside scoop on your ideal perfect match and what kind of woman grabs your attention. What’s your ideal date?
Hmm … My most romantic type date? If I really like you, my goal is to solo you out. I like to be able to be one-on-one and get intimate and allow us to connect on that level. Whatever that would be, whether it’s just a walk to a nearby restaurant or checking out some hot music or taking photos. It’s not about what we’re doing but more about how we’re doing it. I like great atmospheres, like if we’re in a park or a museum or an art gallery. That’s a cool way to solo you out but still be around like a good vibe.
What’s your best pickup line?
I actually don’t have a pickup line. I am very present to the moment. If I see you or I’m attracted to you or if I just feel like we were meant to talk that night and it was just actually a divine thing I would just say what felt right in the moment. If there was something about you that I noticed I would just introduce myself or ask your name. I don’t really want to try and get you with a line. It’s more of just an introduction so you can see me and look into my eyes so if something doesn’t go off from there then you have a choice now.
What’s your favorite scent or perfume on a woman?
I have smelled some great perfumes but I really love the oils. I don’t know one specific but I love like vanilla and caramel with a little hint of whatever they put in them. I love that smell; it’s like an organic, pure smell.
What was the overall experience like working with Ava DuVernay?
It has been a dream. I couldn’t have asked for a better director. As an emerging actor, I feel blessed to have been paired up with somebody like Ava who is so intimate and just caring with her process. It’s not just work to her. She creates an inclusive environment and makes sure everybody is together. They’re women, men, and just all races and we’re creating something that we all understand on a frequency that’s shared. She feels like a family member. She feels like somebody that really cares about you as an actor, as a human being, as an artist, for yourself now and for your future self. It’s good to know that in the earlier process in my career I am able to have somebody like her guide me and teach me so much knowledge. It’s really, really cool. It’s a dream come true.
What message do you want people to get from watching “Queen Sugar”?
I want them to be able to see themselves in every single character. I think the kind of work that we strive to make is reflective work to show everyday people with everyday lives and everyday struggles. A lot of TV nowadays has heightened stakes and it’s great because all of our friends are making those TV shows but it’s something cool without being able to see yourselves every week go through problems and realize that you’re not alone and that your problems are actually manageable. There is sometimes somebody going through something worse than you. It’s really just the hope that people watch the show, be entertained and see their brothers, sisters, moms and aunts and just have a little more compassion for themselves and the people around them.