Gbenga Akinnagbe

  • Fort Bliss Screening with Michelle Monaghan and Gbenga Akinnagbe


    Fort Bliss Screening

    One of the most common approaches for actors to take on their character in a given scene is to ask themselves the five W’s: Who, what, when, where, and why. Such was the advice from our recent guest and star of Fort Bliss, Michelle Monaghan. Michelle, who recently starred in HBO’s True Detective, played the leading lady whose character returns home from an extended tour in Afghanistan and struggles to rebuild her relationship with her young son. “I couldn’t believe what an amazing role this was,” Michelle told to a full house of New York Film Academy students. “The script was near perfect and completely original.”

    Our other guest, actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, known for playing Chris in the HBO hit The Wire, wholeheartedly agreed with Michelle in terms of the material’s originality. To them, one of the most important aspects of the film was its ability to inform the audience of the difficulties soldiers face when returning home from combat. The two of them went to the actual Fort Bliss to sink their teeth into the environment and ultimately film at the location. The film’s authenticity really shined on the screen.

    Gbenga and Michelle were gracious guests, answering insightful questions from students and our moderator, Acting for Film Chair, Glynis Rigsby. Of all of the advice that was given, one that stood in particular from Michelle was in regards to the actor’s audition process, “If I can at least make a connection with the casting director, that’s a plus.” She added, “Don’t be so hard on yourself. Remember, they want you to get that job. After all, they invited you.”

    As for Gbenga, his wisdom was to not wrap yourself up into the business too much. “Do and value things outside this business.” His advice came after his years of experience, noting how stressed actors can become when their entire life becomes ‘the industry’. Indeed something to think about when embarking on such a strenuous and competitive field.

    You can watch the Q&A in its entirety in the video below.



    September 19, 2014 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 8138

  • New York Film Academy High School Graduate Produces Feature Starring Academy Award Nominee Alfre Woodward & Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire)


    NYFA Graduate Jo Henriquez

    NYFA Graduate Jo Henriquez

    New York Film Academy High School Programs graduate Jo Henriquez, 23, just completed principal photography on feature film Knucklehead starring Academy Award Nominee Alfre Woodward and Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire). Henriquez was a producer on the project along with collaborators Milos Silber and Todd Wiseman.

    Gbenga Akinnagbe with Alfre Woodward

    Gbenga Akinnagbe (left) with Academy Award Nominee Alfre Woodward (right) in Knucklehead, produced by NYFA grad Henriquez

    Henriquez graduated from three separate New York Film Academy High School Summer programs: Digital Filmmaking at Princeton, Acting for Film at NYFA-Disney, and Filmmaking in Hollywood. Says Henriquez, “It was at these summer courses where I truly began to develop my craft as a filmmaker, and those were summers I will never forget.” Henriquez has since produced five advanced level short films including two he directed, worked with Hayden 5 Media to create commercials and music videos, and managed over $100,000 in production budgets.

    Henriquez on set of Knucklehead

    Henriquez (far left) on set of Knucklehead, filming a scene with Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire) 

    The opportunity to work on a feature arose when college friend and collaborator Milos Silber reached out to Henriquez about an ambitious project: “They had no money and they wanted to commence principal photography in 10 days. It was unreasonable – absurd in fact – but it was an opportunity I’d be stupid to miss.” Henriquez, who is only a year out of college, now has feature film Knucklehead and two shorts in post production, two feature films in development, and teaches at a Digital Filmmaking Workshop during the summer months in his native Aruba. Comments Henriquez, “I enjoy going back to the island [Aruba] and bringing back some of the knowledge I was fortunate enough to acquire in the USA at programs like New York Film Academy.”


    July 8, 2011 • Acting • Views: 4498