Playing the role of young Jeff Colby, Ezekiel earned his first major role on CW’s Dynasty—a show based on Aaron Spelling’s 1980s classic soap opera that eventually rose to be America’s number one show.
Check out my exclusive interview with him below:
Hey Ezekiel! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello everyone, my name is Ezekiel Ajeigbe. I’m of pure Nigerian blood, but I was born in Texas. I am a young actor in the states that occasionally models here and there, and also dances when a nice melodic tune graces my ears! I am a fan of nature and wildlife, so I guess you can say I’m a nature boy at heart lol. I love meeting new people everywhere I go, but it especially brings me great joy to meet people that are doing what they love to do in life.
Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
So when I wake up, the first thing I do is thank God for another day, because life is a gift and we are indeed blessed if given another day. Then I go off to get myself ready for the day to go knock out the things I have to do. If I’m not heading to set or to a photoshoot, then I’m probably making a comedy video for social media, or driving Uber/Lyft for extra cash. I also squeeze in a nice work out from Monday-Thursday.
What institution(s) did you attend and what did you study?
I went to the University of North Texas and was studying Electrical Engineering and Technology.
How were you discovered and what inspired you to go into acting?
I’m not so sure I was ever “discovered” as you put it. In fact, I’m waiting to actually BE discovered lol! I’ve always been interested in acting ever since I was a kid. I remember specifically watching the 90’s Nickelodeon show Keenan & Kel or All That when I was around the age of 7. As I was watching, Keenan was on the screen doing his thing and I remember saying to myself something along the lines of, “man I can do that! In fact, I can do it better! Why is he on TV and I’m not?!” Ever since then, I’ve always had a passion for the arts.
You also model and dance too. Tell us more about that?
I started modeling similarly around the same time I officially started acting which was in 2014. I was told that it’s good to be diverse in the entertainment business, so I decided to use modeling as a platform to help get my face out there. I started in runway, then moved on to print work. Now a days, I come up with creative concepts to post on social media for artistic purposes or in collaboration with a brand I may be working with.
As far as dancing goes, I’ve been dancing since I was 1 according to my mom. But I don’t remember being any good until I turned 7 or 8. I don’t know what it is, but when I hear good music my body just begins to move in a rhythmic way. It’s always been that way since I was little.
What was your first audition process like?
My very first audition was for an independent film back in 2014 called Meeting the Folks. I went in the room and didn’t really know what to expect. The director, Fred T., asked me to do a monologue. Then he asked me if I could do anything else, and I started naming the things I could do. As I named them, he wanted to actually see me do it which caught me off guard. I was really shy back then when it came to showing my talents, but I showed him everything I could do anyways and he seemed to like it. Although I didn’t get any parts in the film, I remember him saying “I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about you that’s different and I have some future projects I want you to be a part of if you’re interested.”
You played “Young Jeff” on CW’s Dynasty, how did you get your role and what was the experience like?
Yes, I am “Young Jeff” on the CW’s Dynasty. It’s actually a crazy story how it all came about. Around November of 2017 I was working part time at an electronics shop as an electronic technician. An actor named Sam Adegoke walks in to get his device repaired and my manager asks me to fix it. I repair the device then he comes back in to pick it up and we just start casually talking. He discloses that he’s an actor and I tell him the same. We eventually exchange contacts and kept in touch. 3 months later I get an email from a casting site called Actors Access about a role that I fit, which just so happened to say “looking for a young Sam Adegoke to play Young Jeff Colby.” I honestly thought it was pretty cool for a guy I know to have a role description with his name in it, so I screenshot it & send it to him as a congratulatory gesture. Next thing you know, he replies and says “you know what, you would be good for this role. Send me your info.” Then I told him that I wasn’t trying to get a role, I was just trying to congratulate him, but he insisted that I send my info anyways. So I do, then a few days later I get a message from the casting director of the show to come in and audition. So I tell my agent, she insisted I go, so I went and did the audition. I thought my audition was terrible and that I could have done better, but about a few days later my agent calls me and tells me that they loved what I did and want to give me the role. Then I became Young Jeff. The experience of it all was very humbling. It was my first time being on a big studio set for a network show with all the big lights, big cameras, and everything! They gave me my very first trailer and treated me like a king! It was such a great experience, but I was masking all my excitement in order to make it seem like being in a studio was a regular thing for me.
What other shows/movies have you starred in?
I am starring in a film called Marvelous, directed by Kaheem Yisrael, The House Invictus, directed by Uche Aguh, and To Be You directed by Chad Eddy. I also make an appearance in a film called The Giant, directed by David Raboy and Little Mayne and the Knuckleheads, directed by Brain K. Burns. As far as TV, I’ve done 2 other TV pilots that await to make their way to the screen. I’m pretty confident that they’ll get picked up by a network soon.
You have acted in a few TV series and movies, what will you say are some of the differences of being on either the big or small screens?
In film, it seems to me like you can really take your time with your performance pieces since there aren’t really any time constraints once the project is complete. But in TV, they’re either trying to fit everything into a 30 min. episode or a 1 hr. episode which makes you more cautious of the way you deliver your performances. If scenes are too long, they can sometimes get cut out of the final edit before it airs on TV. Also, in film you can shoot an entire movie in anywhere from about 2 weeks – 3 months (depending on the project) and you’ll be done. Where as in a TV series, it could possibly go on for years. So you’ll be that same character as long as the show is running.
Speaking of differences, what type of TV shows do you find yourself watching?
I haven’t had time to watch much TV lately due to my busy schedule, but when I do I watch all kinds of TV shows. My Hero Academia is a pretty good anime show that I absolutely love. Stranger Things is amazing. Lost in Space I really good, and Big Mouth is hilarious! I don’t necessarily lean to a specific genre or show type. Whatever peaks my interest and is a quality show, I will definitely watch.
I heard you have never been to Nigeria, is that true and why?
Yes, that is true. Growing up in the states, my parents would always promise my siblings and I that we would all go as a family one day, but I’m 22 now and that “one day” has yet to come! Being a total of 6 of us in the immediate household can make the trip a bit pricey to my understanding, so I would assume that was the reason we have yet to go. My parents however, have been back to Nigeria several times. I may plan a trip soon.
Any plans to take the skill and knowledge you have gained from Hollywood and showcase them in Nollywood?
I’ve thought about it since I’ve had individuals like Frank Donga & Muyiwa Ademola speak to me about Nollywood, but I haven’t come to a final decision yet. but I may test the waters to see how I like it out there.
Tell me more about your love for acting and how you use it to communicate through your work?
Acting has been a passion of mine since a very young age. I honestly believe entertainment has something to do with my life’s purpose since all my natural giftings and talents from God revolve around entertainment. All the skills I have now I discovered in my elementary school. I began dancing at 7 or 8. I started playing instruments such as the saxophone and drums/percussion when I was 11. I learned that I was naturally funny when I was 9, and the list can go on and on.
As far as communication goes through my work, I personally want to use my abilities to play heartfelt type of roles and true stories, similar to that of the film The Pursuit of Happiness. If you go back in time and take a look at acting in its original theater form centuries ago, it was intended to teach life lessons and was used as a form of healing. Theater was there to somewhat mend the brokenness in humanity by telling relatable stories and situations through performance. So in a way, I want to do the same.
What will you say motivated/inspires you to stay dedicated to what you do?
A wise man once said to me that everyone was specifically designed to do something in life. What that “something” is depends on the gifts that they posses. Your gifts are typically the things that come to you naturally without having to be taught. When you can figure out your gift, then you will know what it is you’re designed to do. After knowing your gift, cultivate it and allow it to grow. Then use it to the benefit of others. So with me knowing that this is part of who I am, I don’t hide my light. I let it shine. What allows me to continue on is the fact that anyone around the world may be in need of the light I carry. If I choose to stay dim, then I’m just doing the world a huge disservice.
What’s your 5 Dos and Don’t when it comes to acting?
- Keep God 1st.
- Do the best you can with what you’re given.
- Be able to adapt to any situation. (Things tend to change at the last minute sometimes.)
- Be kind and respectful to everyone!
- Be confident in your craft.
- Come unprepared.
- Be a diva.
- Be late to set or rehearsals.
- Follow the crowd.
- Be unprofessional.
What do you do to stay in shape, do you go to the gym?
Yes, I go to the gym Monday through Thursday. I alternate between leg days and upper body days, so that way I work each group at least twice a week. Eating the right things plays a big part into my fitness as well. A lot of fruits and vegetables and other healthy food options are usually what I cling to.
How do you balance your personal and professional life?
Balancing the two is only as hard as you make it. For me it’s pretty simple. If I’m on set or at a photoshoot, then I’m in my business mode. I’m still my goofy self of course, but I’m more serious since I’m there to work. When I’m off set and not working, I’m back to my daily routine that I talked about in question 2.
How would you describe the entertainment scene in the United States, when it comes to encouraging new talents?
The entertainment business in the United States is BIG. There’s opportunity everywhere, but you have to be willing to put in the work in order to position yourself right where the opportunities are. Location of these opportunities all depend on what specifically you are trying to do in the business. If you’re into music, Atlanta, Georgia is a nice place to do that. Los Angeles, California has a nice music scene as well. If you’re into country music, Nashville, Tennessee is the place to go. If you want to get into high fashion modeling New York is where you need to be, but there are other modeling opportunities in LA and Atlanta as well. As far as acting goes, Atlanta has been pushing a lot of projects out in the past few year, but there’s still work in LA and New York as well too.
What is your take on the latest sexual allegations rocking Hollywood?
To be honest, I really don’t pay attention to such things now a days. The only time I hear about things of that nature is when the entire general public is talking about it and someone tells me the allegations directly.
What do you consider the most common stereotype about Hollywood?
In my own experience, what I’ve seen starting out would be that most of the serious African American roles usually stem around a broken family or something gang related. It’s rare that you ever see an African American, especially a black man, play something in a positive light that doesn’t stem around being in a broken family or having some kind of gang relation. Black Panther however is slowly changing that for us all.
What aspect surprised you the most once you started as an actor?
What surprised me the most when I first started was the fact that a director named Fred T. gave me a leading role in his project. I honestly wasn’t that good when I first started, but he believed in me enough to give me a shot to bring his script to life. In a way, he helped me build my confidence starting out.
Looking back to when you started acting and modelling, is there anything you would like to change about the industry?
I wouldn’t change anything, because I believe that everything I went through in the beginning was to mold and shape me into the man I am today. I think when people go through those trials and tribulations of the things they’re trying to pursue, it shows whether they really want it or not.
Which brands, clients, photographers, models, actors, producers, directors, etc, have you worked with?
The list is too long to name everything and everyone I’ve worked with before. But to name some, I’ve worked with Gatorade, the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars, Randall Ford, Grant Show, Nicollette Sheridan, Jamal Woolard, K. Bell, King London, Nexbelt, Dean Graziosi, Matthew Hawethorne, Will Wallace, and many more.
What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
I don’t really know. I see every new project as a big stepping stone and success for me and my career. There was one instance when I got a call from a producer overseas that was really interested in working with me. I thought that was pretty cool. It showed me that I’m at least doing something right to be able to catch the attention of a producer in a different county.
Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
I literally have an entire list of individuals that I want to work with. I can’t name everyone on the list, but Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Zoe Saldana, Nesta Cooper, and Gucci are a few of them.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge thus far was to leave everything and everyone I know in order to follow my acting dreams. I was in school at the time studying something that I hated, so telling my Nigerian parents that I want to drop out of school to go and act was the hardest things I ever had to do. To sum up the story of how it all happened, both parents didn’t believe in me and told me that I’ll never make it. They also said if I don’t finish school that they won’t support me, which is tough to hear when you’re 20. But I knew in my heart that I was doing the right thing because of a still small voice inside that kept nudging me to go after my dreams.
Tell us two things people don’t know about you?
1. I’m a lucid dreamer (look it up if you don’t know what it is)
2. I’ve saved 2 people’s life so far during my time here on earth.
You are very active on social media. Do you think its important to be online and if so why?
Social media is changing a lot of things, especially in the entertainment industry. I do believe it’s important to be online to some extent, but don’t overdue it. I’ve seen a lot of people with a high social media presence get thrown into a movie or TV show without prior acting experience, while you have the highly trained actor with less social media presence get overlooked due to the lack of followers. It makes a lot of great actors mad now a days, but we all have to adapt to the new wave in my opinion.
You are a Nigerian actor born is Texas but now currently based in Atlanta. How is that working out for you?
It’s working out beautifully! I’ve done a total of around 7-9 projects in the time that I was in Atlanta. Most of them haven’t been released. I’ll be heading to LA after the new year to make my mark out there.
What are your must visit travel destinations?
Some on my list are Dubai, Aruba, Maldives, Bermuda, Croatia, Bora Bora, Bahamas, and a whole page full of other places!
Name 5 things we should take seriously about our style choices?
I honestly think everyone has their own unique sense of style, so I don’t believe in having a set number of things to take seriously when it comes to style choices. As long as whatever you put on makes you feel good about who you are as a person, then I’d say you’re winning.
How would you describe your style?
I wear whatever looks good to me. I don’t really have a set style that I lean towards. I switch it up all the time.
What style genre appeals to you the most?
Whatever appeals to me when I open up my closet in the morning lol! Like I said before, I switch up my style all the time. One day I can walk out the house really suave and sophisticated from head to toe, and another day I can come out in boots, ripped jeans, and a fitted shirt and still look fly. I’ve been told that I look good in anything I wear.
Name your 5 must have accessories/essentials?
- My phone
- My wallet
- My ID
- My flip shades
What are your favourite fashion trends?
Lately I’ve been rocking a few sets of circle framed shades that all flip upwards. I like to be different and not wear what everyone else is wearing. I don’t follow trends, I set them.
Do you eat Nigerian food and what is your favourite dish?
Yes! Jollof with fried plantains and puff puff is my favorite. Pounded yam with stew is one I enjoy eating as well.
What songs are currently on your playlist?
- Show Love by: 1k
- PhewMetaphysical by: Vic MensaNo
- Brainer by: Dj Khalid
- Complicated by: Mike x AngelGet
- Back Right by: Lecrae
- Transform by: Aha Gazelle
Apart from acting, modelling and dancing, what other projects are you currently working on?
I’m in the works of making a single. I’ve already had a producer create the beat for me, now it’s a matter of putting the lyrics on it and getting it recorded in the studio.
Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
Keep God first, know exactly what it is you want to do, never give up, believe in yourself and don’t listen to the people that tell you something contradictory to what you’re trying to do.
Any specific plans for the future?
I plan to start my own production company and create my own films. I have a lot of ideas in my head that I need to put out. I’m in the process of writing a movie at the moment that’s been long overdue for the type of film it is. To my understanding, it’s never been done before, so it’s bound to capture the attention of millions of everything is done correctly.
Any final words?
I appreciate you interviewing me. I always enjoy the love I get from my Nigerian people!