Shining a spotlight on celebrities and athletes who love to travel. Created and developed by Stacy Steponate Greenberg.
When the role calls for: good looking, smooth, and successful, and you are perfectly cast in it, you know things are going well, and so they are for Chido Nwokocha on the hit Tyler Perry show “Sistas”. The comedy-drama follows the lives of four friends who bond over all the complications that come along with being single. On the show, Nwokocha is in love with one of the “sistas” but – and it’s a big but – his character is married. You can imagine all the trouble that ensues. This is Nwkocha’s first series and soon he will be seen in what will no doubt be a blockbuster: “Top Gun 2”, starring Tom Cruise, so the sky is both literally and figuratively the limit for this young star. The Overhead Compartment pumped some iron and ran a couple laps with the talented Chido Nwokocha, to get an update on his hit series, his bright future, and what it’s really like to work with Tyler Perry.
The Overhead Compartment with Chido Nwokocha starts now….
OC: You star in the hit BET dramedy series Sistas, about four single women and their friendship, their relationships and romances. You play a married man involved with one of the four. What is it like being a part of that group?
CN: Being a part of this group has been incredible. For a lot of us, this is our first series or regular role and we all came together and shared our stories and we built a bond between us. We are out there filming and we spend 90% of our time with each other even on our off days. We always plan to go out to eat and we all liked the idea to build our friendship because we felt if we could continue to have a bond off the set, when we get on the set our chemistry will shine through to the show. It’s just been an awesome ride.
OC: Sistas is written, directed and produced by the brilliant Tyler Perry. Can you tell me a story of something you’ve seen that illustrates why he’s been so successful?
CN: He’s just incredible. He has provided so many opportunities for a lot of people to get their breaks or keep them working. For me, just watching him work has been amazing. I’m a big workout person, I work out all the time and would try and get to the gym early. It seemed whatever time I would get there, he was always there before me. His dedication is unbelievable, he will work on the show, then he will be off writing, maybe goes home and then comes right back to work out and start the day over again. He is amazing.
OC: If you weren’t an actor, what would you be doing?
CN: My dream was to play football. I wanted to go to the NFL and I played at the collegiate level and once I knew that wasn’t going to happen I knew it was acting. All the stuff I have learned in football…the work ethic, battling injuries, waking up early and learning how to perfect your craft, because if you’re not doing it you can literally turn your shoulder and see somebody who is going to do it or willing to do it. I carry that into my acting. You may not be the biggest athlete or the strongest but if you have great character, you come in ready to work and you’re a good person, then I feel like you can have longevity in this industry.
OC: What was your greatest athletic achievement?
CN: My greatest accomplishment was getting a scholarship. I went to junior college for two years and then I really worked at football and grew so much, not just with size but mentally and understood what it took. I set a goal, stayed out of trouble, went to school and did what I said I was going to do. And I said, from here on out if I put my mind to something I can achieve it and I have carried that with me and will forever.
OC: How closely do you follow football still?
CN: Saturdays and Sundays are pretty much it. I sit down on the couch, hang out with some of the guys, we always have football Sunday.
OC: What have you learned about the way actors live that most fans don’t know?
CN: Well, it’s a lot of work. I think people see the glitz and glamour but there are so many parts and different levels. There is a lot of uncertainty and you don’t know when your next job is going to be at the end of the day and that can be very scary and there is a lot of insecurity. You try to maintain confidence but there is so much rejection going on with booking a part that it can take a toll on you. You just have to hope that you have a great circle around you, good friends that can keep you grounded. I am very fortunate, my family is everything. I am the second of seven kids and my siblings are my best friends and they help me through this whole process.
OC: You have a part in what stands to be one of the biggest blockbuster movies, Top Gun 2. What is it like being around Tom Cruise?
CN: I got a chance to meet him. It was crazy, he has an aura around him. Just the whole experience of working on a blockbuster film, see how things work, I just took it all in and I’m going to take this experience with me and hopefully it manifests into some more opportunities to do this.
OC: What’s the first thing you do when arriving at a hotel room?
CN: A high jump on the bed, open the terrace and take it all in.
OC: Complete the following sentence: I never leave home without:
CN: My chapstick. Even though I have lost a thousand of them. Actually, I find them randomly in different parts of my house or in my car. I’m the king of losing them but I will always find one. Carmex is what I like the best.
Chido Nwokocha, please use care upon departure as items may have shifted in The Overhead Compartment during our journey. Thanks for choosing us for your travel tips! Have a wonderful day!
Stacy Steponate Greenberg brings over 15 years of travel and marketing experience to Pursuitist. With her column, The Overhead Compartment, Stacy interviews celebrities and athletes bringing an insight into their lives and travel habits. Stacy spent 11 years at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in various capacities, serving stints as Director of Marketing for the St. Regis and Sheraton brands, and Senior Director for Starwood Residences. Prior to Starwood, Stacy worked as Manager of Marketing for Hyatt Hotels. A native of Chicago, Stacy resides New York City with her husband and two kids, who like to “rate” the various hotels on their travels with their mom. Reach Stacy via Twitter twitter.com/StacyGSG.