Categories
Rising - Ent

Tony Okungbow talks ‘Restless City’ and why Ellen DeGeneres is his role model…

Posted by | RayCornelius

Everyday Tony Okungbow brings just a little more laughter and funk to the already popular daytime talk-show, The Ellen DeGeneres show. Not only is he her resident DJ and side-kick but he is often times the bud of many of her jokes.

But there is more to Tony than making the audience members laugh and shake their rumps. He is a rising actor that is starring in the much talked about indie film “Restless City” which opens this weekend in select theaters in NYC, LA and ATL.

The film is being distributed by AFFRM [African American Film Festival Releasing Movement] and has already created quite a stir at the Sundance Film Festival.  The Nigerian-British star recently sat down with BET.com to discuss his new found passion, why he sees AFFRM as the new model for distributing indie films and why Ellen is more than his boss but an inspiration.

On what attracted him to the Restless City script…

It’s the story of the invisible person. People we see every day, be it the guy selling fruit on the corner or the guy you buy a bootleg bag from on Canal Street — this is the story of those people, they just happen to be African, but it’s a story that transcends race.

On the importance of AFFRM releasing this film…

In my heart of hearts, I really do believe this is the new model for the distribution of indie films. They are doing some incredible things. I don’t know if you’ve followed the press for Restless City so far, but we are a tiny film and we’ve gotten such incredible exposure. We were in 13,000 taxis, we’re on Billboards — it really is amazing. I really do believe this in the new model that’s going to develop for independent film releasing. What this means to Restless City is someone who understands and has an investment in your film is distributing it. We’ve all heard the stories of films that are great, someone comes and snatches them up and we never hear from them again. We never see the right publicity, we never see the right distribution and the film disappears. With this, everything that we want to see in a distributor is what AFFRM and Ava [DuVernay] have brought to the table.

On Ellen being a role model and her best piece of advice…

Years ago, I went into her dressing room and she showed me a lot of the feedback in terms of what people were saying, “My dad is sick but every time your show comes on he gets up and he moves,” or “My mom is depressed and she hears Tony’s contagious laugh and she feels better.” She said, “Never think that what you’re doing is not affecting people.” When she told me that I viewed my job in a different way. Also, just by watching her and the amount of things she tackles, she is branding herself and becoming this incredible person in the industry — I copy her. I definitely do and I’m proud to say I do. I have a great role model, watching her be a CoverGirl, activist, vegan, talk show host and producer. So that for me is the best advice she gives me on a daily basis.

Click here for the full interview and check out the trailer of Restless City

[youtube id=”z4VjY0h4YuI” width=”600″ height=”350″]

By admin

Ray Cornelius is an entertainment news blogger and media personality. He is also the host of Jazz 91.9 WCLK's arts and entertainment show "UPFRONT." He lives in Atlanta.

41 replies on “Tony Okungbow talks ‘Restless City’ and why Ellen DeGeneres is his role model…”

When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!|

Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.|

I have been surfing on-line greater than three hours lately, yet I by no means discovered any interesting article like yours. It’s lovely price enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content material as you did, the internet can be much more helpful than ever before.|

Thanks on your marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage that you continue your great posts, have a nice evening!|

You’re so interesting! I do not think I’ve truly read through something like that before. So great to find somebody with a few original thoughts on this issue. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality!|

Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your weblog? My blog site is in the very same niche as yours and my users would genuinely benefit from some of the information you present here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Regards!|

It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

If there is a friend in the horizon, the heart will fly; if there is hope in the heart, laughter will be refreshing; if there is a fate in life, dreams will last; if there is always a greeting, friendship will set sail.

Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info specially the remaining part 🙂 I deal with such information a lot. I used to be looking for this certain info for a very lengthy time. Thank you and best of luck. |

I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your information. This great article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.|

Awesome blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get feed-back from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a lot!|

It’s appropriate time to make a few plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this submit and if I could I want to suggest you some attention-grabbing things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles regarding this article. I wish to read more things approximately it!|

Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.|

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *