Chido Nwokocha and His Positive Mineset
Written by Vaughn Stewart
Photography by Nogen Beck
Clothing by Designer Jonathan Marc Stein
Chido Nwokocha achievements seem to be a direct result of the positive attitude that he possesses, and it seems to be working. Cool America caught up with the actor to find out his secret to success.
Chido, where are you from?
I am from Nigeria, second of seven children and grew up in Sacramento, CA.
How did you end up in Hollywood and start acting?
I wanted to act my entire life. However, football had a stronger hold on me when I was younger and I was fortunate enough to earn an athletic scholarship to play at Ohio University. The goal was to make it to the NFL, but once that didn’t transpire, I knew it was time to go after my dream of acting. So, I moved down to LA in 2015 and put that plan into motion.
Were you naturally comfortable auditioning when you first started?
I think my background in sports definitely helped me with channeling the nerves that came with auditioning. It’s not easy. There is an adrenaline that comes with it, but I actually enjoy the process of going into the room and getting personal interaction with the casting directors.
“Having a voice is not something to take lightly.”
What was you first professional job?
My first role was on “Scorpion” on CBS. I was so excited. After a few months of moving to LA, I was on TV. I will always remember that moment when I got the call and a chance to work.
Tell us about your Sistas and the character you play.
I play Gary Marshall Borders on the show. He brings a lot of drama. He is very successful and wealthy man who normally gets what he wants. He is in love with Andi and will do everything he can to be with her. Albeit, sometimes it doesn’t go as planned and creates a wild rollercoaster ride for the audience to watch and be a part of.
How did you feel when you first met Tyler Perry?
It was incredible. He is a very accomplished and talented man who has scratched and clawed for everything he has gotten in this industry. You immediately respect someone like that, especially when you hear his story and the trials and tribulations he has gone through to be where he is at in life. He’s a great man and it’s awesome to be working with him.
Are you currently working on other projects?
Recently I had a guest spot on the hit show “The Resident“ on Fox.
“ (I) Stand strong in my faith and my love for my family.”
What character really screwed around with your mind and kept you up at night?
I haven’t really had a character like that just yet. But I cannot wait for one that allows me to experience that. It would mean that I am on to something special.
Where do you get you inspirations when you’re working on a character?
I definitely get to pull from life experiences. I got into acting a little later in life so I had many professions that forced me to interact and work with many different types of people and personalities. So, that helps when working on some characters.
What ‘s your favorite thing to do when you have a free day?
SLEEP in, then workout and watch a movie with a glass of wine
Who have you worked with, up to now, that has influenced your acting the most?
I can’t really point to one particular person at this moment as it’s still relatively early in my career. But each experience on set has been instrumental to my growth and development as an actor.
What actor/actress inspired you at the beginning of your career?
Watching Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Regina King and Idris Elba.
What are you currently streaming?
“Snowfall,” and “Godfather of Harlem”
Give us an actor, actress and director that you would love to work with.
Jamie Foxx, Viola Davis and Ryan Coogler
You’re in amazing shape. Has keeping fit always been part of your life?
It has always been a part of my life. I found a love for fitness and taking care of my body throughout my early years playing football. And even though I am done playing ball, I still train like I do.
2020 and the pandemic were crazy. Any revelations for you?
Understanding that it is ok to set boundaries and take some time to myself.
“I was fortunate enough to earn an athletic scholarship.”
Do you use your celebrity to bring awareness to things that you want to change or bring attention to?
Yes, having a voice is not something to take lightly, you have to understand as your profile continues to grow that you have a bigger voice. So, it is definitely a great opportunity to shine a light on topics that may be overlooked.
What advice would you give an aspiring actor?
Understand that it’s not all sunshine and roses in this industry. There is a lot of work to be put in. Patience is a virtue. And, if this is truly your passion and your dream, then go for it because it’s worth it. You got this!
We are called Cool America. What do you think is cool about America?
It’s the land of opportunity. You can make something of yourself if you’re willing to put in the work.
What’s cool about you?
I’m just a kid from Sacramento daring to dream big. Staying positive, working hard and not being afraid to go after what I want in life. Standing strong in my faith and my love for my family.