Naomi Ackie interview: ‘Master of None’
“Doing this job has strengthened my purpose to make my own stuff,” reveals actress Naomi Ackie about “Master of None.” For our recent webchat, she continues, “Being a part of a project where my voice was really heard gave me a really sense of empowerment. I’m not just an actor; what I am is a storyteller. That can have many different forms.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.
The third “Master of None” season carries the title “Moments in Love” and is a departure from its previous iterations. Rather than focusing on the character of Dev (Aziz Ansari), the newly-available episodes on Netflix focus on Denise (Lena Waithe) and her relationship with partner Alicia (Ackie).
Ackie explains that a picture in her house of Goldie Williams was put into the show. This inspired her performance of Alicia, who declares herself a “bad bitch.” The actress says, “She has the bravery to leave behind something that feels comfortable. That bad bitch stuff, I do it myself. Sometimes you have to call yourself a ‘bad bitch’ even when you don’t feel like a bad bitch. Sometimes you’ve got to do things on your own. If you are not going to pump yourself up, who else is going to?”
With a smaller acting role this year, Ansari directed the entire season. The episodes feature wide shots and lingering scenes. Ackie admits, “Some of those scenes go for a really long time. I remember sometimes Aziz would keep the camera rolling. You’re like, ‘Aziz, dude just say cut.’ He wants to encourage a longer attention span in people. There’s something about the mundanity and the stillness. When the drama does happen it’s almost more impactful. For so long they have been doing the dishes and feeding the chickens. And then boom! We also were were finding moments in the stillness. I almost feel like some of the silences are as loud as some of the action.”
The former “Star Wars” star reflects, “I still remember the first day I was on set for ‘Star Wars.’ There was legit 500 people on that hill. I went up that hill and I cried because I was so overwhelmed. Then to be doing ‘Master of None,’ where it’s a really contained piece. The thing that always stays the same, no matter the scale, is the connection you make with people. On that set everyone is the same. The energy doesn’t go away, it doesn’t matter the scale.”