Pop Quiz
Actor, The Deuce
Akinnagbe has third billing, behind James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, in the new David Simon series The Deuce. He plays a pimp in dirty, steamy mid-’70s Times Square. Editor Sherri Kimmel poses a few questions to Gbenga.
Gbenga AKINNAGBE Portrait Image
Photo: HBO/ Paul Schiraldi. Gbenga Akinnagbe as Larry Brown.
What movie best describes the progression of your career?
a. All the Right Moves
b. Night of the Living Dead
c. A Man for All Seasons
"A Man for All Seasons" book cover
Poster: Universal History Archive/Contributor
Which Oscar-winning actor do you admire the most — and why?
a. Sidney Poitier
b. Denzel Washington
c. Daniel Day-Lewis
This is a setup. You’ve got my favorite actor of all time on that list, so I gotta go with c.
3. When you flip back through your Bucknell yearbook, what comes to mind?
a. Why were we ever into Kid Rock?
b. I need to attend Reunion next year.
c. Both of the above.
" "
“Studying abroad changed my life, and I credit Bucknell for that.”
4. Who should portray you in a movie — and why?
Eddie Murphy
a. Eddie Murphy
James Franco
b. James Franco
Barack Obama
c. Barack Obama
Can I combine two? A love child between Eddie Murphy and James Franco. Eddie Murphy brings across in his early movies a hopeful, aspirational, fall-on-my-face-and-get-back-up type of comedy. That’s a large part of who I am. I’ve fallen on my face over and over laughing at myself. James Franco has this kind of brooding smarminess that I have a twist of. But you can’t help but root for him. All of those things add up to the story of the lives I’ve led.
Photos: Getty Images
You’re a man of style, with your own furniture company, Eitan Vintage, and T-shirt company, Liberated People. As Larry Brown in The Deuce, you sport some pretty wild threads. Please describe your favorite costume from the show, head to toe.
There’s a lot of great costumes on that show but one of my favorites is this cowskin coat they made for me, which actually goes head to toe. It’s heavy, but it’s beautiful. It’s brown and white. If you’d see my head poking out of it, you might actually think a cow was standing on two legs walking down the street.
What’s a college memory you can’t wait to tell your grandkids about?
The experiences I had studying abroad in Mexico. I had never even been on a plane before. Even when it was difficult, when the grades were low and the money was low, they found a way to make it happen. Studying abroad changed my life, and I credit Bucknell for that. I’d say that to my grandkids.