VENTS caught up with leading man Dennis Mailu to chat about his latest movie, ‘The Spell That Backfired.’
Hey Dennis! Welcome to VENTS. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Before we dig deep, tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello! My name is Dennis Mailu and I was born and raised in Nairobi in Kenya. The first language I learnt was Kikamba, which is my main tribal language, a language I constantly used during trips to the village throughout my upbringing. I also speak Swahili and English fluently.
What got you into acting?
Growing up I enjoyed performing and started my path in acting during high school, where I did plays and discovered myself! I loved the thrill at the time! I have always been adventurous and when I wrote and acted in a play that won some awards, I knew I was destined for Hollywood!
Tell us about the movie, The Spell That Backfired.
The movie is about a young woman, Minnie, who is in Los Angeles trying to fit into the city. She is in need of love and uses magic spells to get back with her ex-boyfriend. However, she gets more than she bargained for as the effects take an unprecedented turn. We filmed it in Los Angeles, and it is currently doing fantastic on the film festival circuit.
What character do you play, and do you have any similarities?
I play the leading man, David. He is a stylish hipster of African descent and is utterly fascinated by Minnie. So much so that he is calculative and goes through great lengths to ensure he has a budding romance with her – some chivalrous and others, well… no spoilers! What was really cool about him was I was able to use my tribal language Kikamba in one of the scenes. It was really appropriate because historically the Kamba people are known for witchcraft and sorcery, which is befitting as the film has elements of magic spells in it! I love to use my culture in movies. Blending cultures in movies and bringing part of you to the project is so important. It’s what makes us unique as actors!
What makes a good filming environment for you?
A good filming environment for me is when the cast and crew have a collaborative and cohesive understanding that they are a team …. a well-oiled machine where every movable part is vital to complete the task at hand, to conceive a beautiful piece of cinematic art.
If you weren’t into acting what else would you be doing?
I would be working for the United Nations as an Environmental scientist. I am fascinated by animals, the deep blue sea alongside human interaction.
Wow! Dennis, how can people keep up with you?