‘Lovecraft Country’: Wunmi Mosaku on Her Journey From ‘Annie’ Fan to Starring in HBO’s Bold New Series

     August 16, 2020

It’s Lovecraft Country premiere day! I’m quite psyched for this especially powerful and bold show to get out into the world, but the show’s big debut is also the perfect reason to shine a light on the incredible Wunmi Mosaku. I had the pleasure of chatting with Mosaku in January at the Sundance Film Festival for her stellar upcoming feature release, His House, and if you couldn’t already tell from the title of that article, I’m a big fan and think it’s only a matter of until she becomes a household name.

With that in mind, it’s probably no surprise that I was beyond thrilled to have Mosaku as a guest on Collider Ladies Night to learn more about her sources of inspiration and her journey to Lovecraft Country. We discussed a little of everything including her early passion for Annie, her experience studying at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, what it was like working with Zack Snyder on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and more before making our way to her new HBO show.

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Image via HBO

In Lovecraft Country, Mosaku plays Ruby, the sister of Jurnee Smollett’s character, Leti. While Mosaku most certainly makes an impression in the pilot, trust me when I tell you, she goes above and beyond in upcoming episode. We’ll share the spoiler-heavy portion of our conversation after that material airs, but right now, check out what Mosaku had to say when asked for a quality of the show that’s become more striking to her given current events:

“Yeah, I guess the necessity of community. That wasn’t something that I had really paid too much attention to. In my head, racism was an issue that needed to be fixed by the racists. Like you needed to convince that person one at a time rather than a systemic thing that needs a whole group effort. And, you know, this thing about Lovecraft Country, it is a team effort. It’s an ensemble piece. They’re fighting these monsters that are metaphorical and actual, and it’s a team effort. I think that’s the awakening I’ve come to over the last few months. I wasn’t thinking like that a year ago. I wasn’t thinking this is everyone, that it’s the anti-racists movement. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it like that. I thought it was up to those people to change rather than all of us changing everything together.”

If any piece of entertainment can inspire change, it’s a show that pulls no punches like Lovecraft Country. Mosaku praised showrunner Misha Green’s unapologetic approach to bringing this material to screen:

“She hasn’t censored herself. I censor myself all the time. I’ve realized that I am very rarely honest. Outside of my family, I am very rarely honest when I step outside of the door. I feel like I present the way I need to present in order to survive and feel like I can navigate. But it’s an energy that I put into navigating the world that I’m not putting into myself, I’m not putting into my artistry, I’m not putting into my family, my friends, what my dreams and hopes [are]; I’m spending this energy, figuring out how to be in this world that doesn’t feel like it’s for me. And Misha has just said, ‘No, this is it. We’re not pulling any punches. We’re not gonna ask for forgiveness. I’m just gonna say it how I see it, say it how I feel it.’”

There’s a whole lot more from where this came from so be sure to check out Mosaku’s full episode of Collider Ladies Night at the top of this article to hear more about her experience making Lovecraft Country, the guitar and singing lessons she took while making the show, how RADA’s buddy system helped her establish a community while navigating the industry and more. If you prefer, we also have a podcast version of the conversation for you below. Catch the first episode of Lovecraft Country tonight on HBO!


Wunmi Mosaku:

  • 00:45 – Annie was an early source of inspiration for Mosaku; the moment Mosaku knew that she had to be an actor.
  • 02:30 – The play Mosaku did when she was young that first signaled to those around her that she really had what it takes to be an actor.
  • 03:56 – How the RADA buddy system helped Mosaku make the transition from school to starting her career; the importance of the community Mosaku built at school.
  • 08:36 – That time Mosaku scored a big role and had to let it go due to an injury; why this moment was a major turning point for her.
  • 13:30 – Why Mosaku is so grateful for the BBC; what it was like breaking into Hollywood.
  • 15:57 – What’s the biggest difference between working on a BBC project and a giant HBO show like Lovecraft Country?

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    Image via Elizabeth Morris/HBO

  • 17:53 – What it was like for Mosaku stepping onto massive franchise sets like Fantastic Beasts and Batman v Superman.
  • 19:33 – Mosaku revisits her experience working with Zack Snyder on Batman v Superman.
  • 21:40 – What elements of Lovecraft Country stand out to Mosaku more now given current events, compared to when she first signed on for the project?
  • 24:10 – Mosaku revisits filming the pilot of Lovecraft Country.
  • 25:55 – What it’s like working on a series where each episode feels so distinct, tapping into different genres and putting the spotlight on different characters.
  • 27:22 – Mosaku talks about trying to learn to play guitar and taking singing lessons.
  • 29:06 – Mosaku talks about showrunner Misha Green’s bold approach to the material.
  • 31:10 – Mosaku talks about her upcoming film His House and how it addresses the immense challenges of emigrating.
  • 33:33 – Mosaku answers some random questions! Find out what she collects, the meal she’d pick if she could only have one meal for the rest of her life, and the last show she binge watched.

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