Interviewed by Jason Kennedy, CSA
INTRO: I first met Tosin Morohunfola in November of 2017 when reading him for a guest star role on NCIS. He had just moved to Los Angeles from Chicago. Tosin was so prepared and thoughtful about his choices; it was a no-brainer that he earned himself a call-back. And while he didn’t get that particular role, he was so good in front of our producers and director. I knew we had found someone special and it was only a matter of time before the right role came around. It didn’t take too long! After bringing Tosin in for a few more episodes, he booked a great guest star role that he nailed yet again in the audition. Every time he comes in, he is humble, professional, and prepared; he listens, he makes smart choices, and he is such a likable guy. Tosin is the kind of actor you WANT to work with. And he’s been working quite a bit since then, having recurred on multiple shows including Black Lightning and The Chi. I predict it won’t be long before he gets a series or takes off in features. Get him while you can!
1) Has there been a casting director that has encouraged and/or supported you in your career?
Several! One in particular that sticks out is Karge/Ross Casting in Chicago. They changed the course of my career. A couple years ago, I was doing a lot of theatre in Chicago and starting to do more and more small TV appearances on the Dick Wolf Chicago shows. Then, after I booked “The Chi” on Showtime, I knew it was time to pursue film and TV more heavily, but I didn’t know how. So I had lunch with Marisa Ross and Christal Karge, and to my surprise, they had already recommended me to Meredith Rothman, who would ultimately become my manager at Anonymous in LA. To know that these women remembered me and took interest in my career and my progress was mind-blowing to me. And deeply reaffirming and comforting too. I would’ve never moved to LA without them.
2) What work are you most proud of?
Right now, I’m most proud of my work in Love Is on OWN. It was a short-lived show, but my character’s journey asked me to be the most vulnerable I’ve ever been. It felt emotionally raw. I was raging, being silly, and crying all in the same scene. I was naked (figuratively and literally), and I think it showed. I’m very proud of the outcome and the story we told.
3) How did you get your SAG-AFTRA card?
Doing a silly commercial about five years ago. I don’t even remember what the product was; I just remember learning that all the money I made was gonna have to go to paying my initiation fees. Haha.
4) What was your first IMDbPro credit and how did you feel when you saw it?
The first one I can remember is a short film called Alpha Bravo Charlie that I did with my best friends in college. I made absolutely no money and only college peers saw it, but I had the time of my life making this screwball-spy-comedy and learning my way around the camera comedically. Seeing the credit on IMDb legitimized EVERYTHING for me. I felt so accomplished. I was a “real actor” now.
5) How has IMDbPro helped you market yourself to filmmakers?
Mostly it’s helped me research and vet people I’m not sure about by checking into their past work or collaborators. I also just like being able to update my profile at my leisure; that’s really nice. And I enjoy uploading the pictures I want to cater to the right image of how I see myself.
6) Any funny casting room stories?
I had several callbacks for Hamilton and this one casting associate was so invested in my success that, when I rapped the hell out of “My Shot” for the creators, she literally threw her hands up in the air in the back of the room where only I could see her. It was really charming. Glad I made her proud.
Also, one time early in my career I walked into the WRONG AUDITION ROOM. I was mortified. But after I realized my mistake, I asked to come back and audition anyway and got the part. I did not get the part at the audition I was actually supposed to be at though, hilariously.
7) Tell us a fun fact about you outside of acting:
David Oyelowo is my second cousin and we’ve never met. We always miss each other. When one of us is at a family reunion the other isn’t. Most recently, I think they went to Abu Dhabi last year, but I was shooting “Black Lightning” or something. I’m related to one of the most famous black actors in the world and yet we’ve never crossed paths. I’ve worked with many of his collaborators though: Oprah, Trai Byers, Mykelti Williamson, Bashir Salahuddin. Just not my cousin! It’s a conspiracy.
Also, I’m obsessed with being at the beach and I come from an immigrant family who can’t swim. (Feels like I’m playing with fate.)
I’m also a screenwriter, director, and a drummer. Not everybody knows that stuff.