Hakeem Kae-Kazim is a truly gifted British-Nigerian actor best known for his roles as George Rutuganda in Hotel Rwanda and as Colonel Ike Dubaku in Season 7 of 24. His mother, an accountant, and his father, a civil engineer, moved to study in the UK when he was 1. Hakeem was classically trained in the UK at the highly regarded Bristol Old Vic and was invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company shortly after graduation.
After many glowing reviews and sharing the stage with the likes of Brian Cox and Sir Ian McKellan at the National Theatre, he made a transition to television with several noteworthy leading roles, including Julius Caesar for the BBC. Kae-Kazim moved to South Africa, where he developed a big following as a celebrity actor, appearing in a number of TV shows and feature films before catching Hollywood's attention with his riveting performance in Hotel Rwanda.
After landing in Los Angeles, he was cast as a pirate lord in the box office blockbuster, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. He followed this up with roles in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Fourth Kind, Attack on Darfur and recurring parts in Lost and then Season 7 of 24, as well as the series prequel film, Redemption. More recently, he's played to critical acclaim in Man on Ground, featured in Human Target, NCIS: Los Angeles and Criminal Minds before landing the role of Mr. Scott in Michael Bay's series, Black Sails.
Hakeem's impressive list of film and TV credits extends to video game voice work for Halo, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Kae-Kazim is an international actor in high demand and while you know his face, his Top Ten Movies interview will give you a chance to discover a little bit more about the man behind the mask.
"...I would most probably choose me to play me!"
I can't watch movies without...
- As obvious as it is, I would say popcorn! Oh and my glasses!
Which famous people share your birthday?
- I believe I share my birthday with Julie Andrews, Zach Galifianakis and Jimmy Carter! (1 October)
What is the first film you remember watching?
- I think I remember watching In the Heat of the Night and Sir with Love both starring Sidney Poitier.
What's the worst movie you've ever seen?
- Probably one I was in actually – but I won't mention which one!
Which movies have made you tearful?
Who is the most famous movie star you've ever met?
- Probably Johnny Depp.
What's your favourite movie line?
- I absolutely love the quote...
“I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die." – Blade Runner
And the other one has to be:
"They Call me Mr. Tibbs" - In the Heat of the Night
Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?
- Well ultimately I would most probably choose me to play me! Either myself or Idris Elba... and if Idris isn't available, Chad Law!
If you could produce a movie, what would it be about?
- If I were to produce a movie, it would be about a great African hero of some sort.
Finally, your top ten movies of all-time...
- Wings of Desire ...written by Wim Wenders. I found the imagery and story of angels coming to earth was very powerful.
- The Lives of Others ...written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmack. I found the exploration of characters living under an oppressive system was done extremely well, as such characters often limit the actors ability to be creative.
- In the Heat of the Night ...directed by Norman Jewison. As you know one of my favourite quotes comes from this film, but ultimately it's a powerful story where an African-American was able to take his place as a man in America.
- Oldboy ...directed by Chan-Wook Park. I really enjoyed watching this film; the complex and darkness explored was fantastic, it was about revenge but done in the most thoughtful and patient way.
- Nine Iron ...I loved the long silences. This film had a visual power to it that was so strong it filled the silences spectacularly!
- The Dark Knight ...the reboot of batman franchise starring Christopher Bale. I loved the performances, especially Heath Ledger. I just loved the new take on it, it had a real darkness to it.
- Once Upon A Time ...visually, this was a real treat. The exploration between the imagery and the soundtrack and the way the two married and connected was wonderful.
- Petty Blue ...this French film is a powerful exploration of love and insanity.
- Earth, Water, Fire, Air ...it's just a beautiful film!
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ...directed by Matt Reeves. This is a visual CGI masterpiece and there were some fantastic performances by the actors involved too!
Top Ten Movies with... is a people series on SPL!NG, featuring a host of celebrities ranging from up-and-coming to established personalities from all industries including, but not limited to: Internet, Radio, TV, Film, Music, Art and Entrepreneurs. It's a chance to discover who they are, find out where they're at and to get a fun inside look at their taste in movies.