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O. T. Fagbenle          

British-Nigerian Actor, Writer & Director; Best Known for his Role in "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Black Widow"

O. T. Fagbenle is an English actor, writer and director. He is an award-winning stage performer in his native England, and also proved to be a versatile presence in features and on television, most notably in the HBO series "Looking," Sky1's crime series "The Five," the Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale" and Black Widow. Fagbenle made history when he became the first person to write, direct, compose, star and executive produce the opening episode of a TV series on a major U.S. network with his show Maxxx (Hulu).

As a young man, Fagbenle learned the alto saxophone and played with a variety of groups, including the South Coast Jazz Band, at major venues like the Royal Albert Hall. He then landed his first stage role at 16 in a Nigerian production of Shakespeare's "Macbeth." The experience convinced him to pursue acting as his true calling, and after training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he made his professional debut in a 2001 production of "Les Blancs" at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England. Fagbenle earned much recognition on the stage with a nomination for 'Best Male Performance' at the prestigious Off West End Awards and the Olivier Award for best revival. Fagbenle appeared in guest roles on several television series before making his feature film debut "Breaking and Entering." Subsequent screen appearances included "I Could Never Be Your Woman" and the American web series "Quarterlife," which allowed him to create original songs for his role as a professional musician. Fagbenle also played the real-life Walter Tull, the first mixed-race officer in the British Army, in the BBC production "Walter's War," and starred in the HBO series "Looking" and the BBC crime drama "The Interceptor." Fagbenle also wrote and directed a pair of short films, "Big Bad Blood" and "MOTH (Man of the House)" which won Best Sci-fi Horror at the London Film Festival. In 2021 Fagbenle was cast to play Barack Obama in "The First Lady" and Cameron Lautner in "WeCrashed." For his standout role as Luke Bankole in "The Handmaid's Tale" he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

News


24 Hours with O-T Fagbenle

Dapper with a capital D was my first thought upon seeing O-T Fagbenle stroll into DuJour’s offices. Coolly dressed head-to-toe in a three-piece suit without the jacket, (driving cap included), 36-year-old Fagbenle was surprisingly—dare I say, delightfully—dressed up in comparison to his latest down-to-Brooklyn role. In Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Fagbenle plays Luke, starring opposite Elisabeth Moss and Samira Wiley, to name a few. And that’s just the beginning.

Interview: Maxxx’s O-T Fagbenle

Fagbenle discussed with us his extremely personal project Maxxx (based on a series of pilots we actually discussed at that very same press day). The show builds on the pilots in a way that really runs the gamut, as the series, about a possibly washed-up pop singer (played by Fagbenle, one of the many roles he has in the creation of the series), is funny, cool, sad, serious and above all, it’s musical, which seems to be a constant for Fagbenle. The man of many talents is currently quarantining in Tanzania, and the following is a condensed and edited version of our conversation discussing Maxxx, The Handmaid’s Tale, and oh yeah, a slightly anticipated Marvel movie by the name of Black Widow.

O-T Fagbenle interview: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

“His wife and child are in mortal jeopardy, as is his sanity,” describes O-T Fagbenle in regard to his character Luke Bankole’s mental state in the fourth season of Hulu‘s Emmy Award-winning drama “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which premiered with three episodes on April 28 and will conclude its 10-episode run on June 16. In our exclusive video interview, Fagbenle discusses how his character is “put through the wringer” in new fashion in the show’s current installment, which the actor calls “mind-melting.”

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