Born in London, England to Nigerian parents, Caroline Chikezie went from studying medicinal chemistry at Brunel University to landing a spot at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts to pursue her true calling. After years on British TV, Caroline has successfully transitioned to Hollywood. This month, you can catch her on FOX’s ‘The Passage’ starring alongside Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zac Morris himself), Henry Ian-Cussick, Emmanuelle Chriqui, and others.
When did you realize you could pursue acting as a career? Were your Nigerian parents supportive?
I’ve always known I wanted to be an actress, from as early as I can remember. As a kid, I saw the movie ‘Bugsy Malone’ and it impacted me deeply and cemented my resolve to one day become an actor. It just seemed like a fun thing to do!
My parents were horrified by my career choice. They didn’t consider it a serious profession and so they urged me to reconsider and become a medical doctor, like my father. They made it clear that medicine would be the only career they would support.
What was the transition from British Television to Hollywood?
I got very lucky because I was fortunate enough to have a few of my UK shows play on American television. As a result, I had some American agents express interest in representing me. I flew to LA to meet with them all and then signed to the chosen agency.
Tell us about your latest role in FOX’s, The Passage. What can we expect from the show?
I play Dr. Major Nichole Sykes on The Passage. She’s the head of Medicine at Project Noah, a secret government medical facility that is conducting drug trials on humans, using a virus that has the potential to be a cure all for all disease, but also has the potential to wipe out the human race. Dr. Sykes, is the sort of person you’d want heading up your team in a crisis situation. She’s cool under pressure, highly intelligent, and is willing to accept any consequence (no matter how terrible) of any decision she has made. She’s strong, yet vulnerable and has a good heart. You can expect loads of suspense, highs, lows – even a love triangle. You name it, the show has it. There’s honestly something for everyone on this show.
Can you tell us about any of your Nollywood projects?
I have a TV show called ‘The Governor’ that I shot in Calabar, Nigeria in 2015. It was executive produced by Mo Abudu for Ebony Life TV and it was a truly wonderful experience.
It was a dream come true for me to be working back home on Nigerian soil, especially as I was able to eat all the delicious authentic Nigerian dishes that are hard to come by in the West! I also shot a delightful Nigerian musical called ‘Inale’ (directed by Jeta Amata and produced by Keke Bongos) in Benue state, Nigeria. I’m always on the lookout for Naija projects to get into.
Your Instagram bio reads: God is the greatest. What does it mean for you to be a Christian actress in Hollywood?
Yes o. God is the greatest, indeed! God is my rock in all things. My only prayer in life is, ‘May the will of God be done’. That means that I put my best foot forward in everything I do and then let go of any attachment to any particular outcome and trust in God. Without my faith, especially in my chosen profession, it’s quite possible that I would be plagued by insecurities and seeking validation from my job or people within my industry. My faith in God covers me in love and gives me a deep sense of peace.
That’s beautiful. Do you have any personal projects you’d like to tell us about?
I have a few personal projects that are in the very early stages of development so I won’t go into too much detail right now. What I can say though is that one of my projects involves fashion and beauty. Plus, I’m writing and developing a TV show.
Styling: Jennifer Austin
Makeup: Melissa Murdick
Hair: Randy Stodghil
Photography: Michael Becker