Martins Imhangbe: Breaking The Moulds of Past Restraints
Movies, TV series and Plays are the portal into other decades, worlds, and transport us into a parallel universe in which we tap into different emotions and perspectives. Their purpose is not only to entertain but to also allow us to enter different realms which are of our choosing. As an actor, you become the guide to all of this which is why the talented Martins Imhangbe chose the path of an actor. “ I enjoy storytelling, hearing stories, and being transported to different time periods, or worlds,” he shared with a warm heart. “The imagination fascinates and excites me.”
And in that moment he remembered being in his mid-teens doing a version of Romeo and Juliet “and catching the acting bug.” Working side by side with such experienced actors, Martins hoped to achieve the same thing they did, to “inspire people to think, feel and learn through storytelling.” You see, before making his TV debut, Martins performed on stage in many plays such as ABSOLUTE HELL (National Theatre), AN ADVENTURE and THE ROYALE (Bush Theatre), and THE TRAGEDY OF KING RICHARD II (Almeida Theatre), as well as DEATH OF A SALESMAN which happened right before booking BRIDGERTON. With a warm heart he believes that, “the energy shared between the actors and a live audience is very special.” For those of you who have been to a play, I think we can all agree with this!
From the main stage to the backlot, the talented actor will be starring in Season 2 of Bridgerton set to come out in just a few months. Continuing in his role as Will Mondrich, the world’s first black sporting superstar, “it’s been great to be able to spend so much time with a character and see how his journey evolves,” shared Martins. From the get-go, he was drawn to the role of the icon in Black British History and has built a relationship with the character through the filming process. As he also opened up, “I have learnt to adapt and trust in the storytelling, focusing on being as clear as I can with how the character of Will contributes to this world.” And that he does!
It goes to show that hard work and research can truly help you become your character. “I did a lot of reading on who he was in order to get a sense of the times he lived in and his motivations in becoming such an icon in boxing and entrepeneurialship,” explained the passionate actor. “I found this very inspiring, especially considering the fact that racism would have been such a major obstacle in those times.” On top of the mental prepping, he also did a lot of boxing and calisthenics training with Cuong Hua at commando temple. Lastly, they had an incredible coach on set who was responsible for all the fight sequences, “rest in peace Brian Nickles.”
It goes without saying that the series highlights important topics from a time where change was needed and is made up of a cast and crew who, from the beginning, have made everything possible for the actors to be at the peak of their performance and portray London in its Regency era. “Communication has been great and production has really worked hard to ensure we were all looked after during these Covid times,” he said with much heart.
BRIDGERTON does more than just entertain, it “portrays people of colour as humans in all their magnitude and complexity, which is universal,” opened up Martins. “Inclusivity is the norm and should be reflected in our storytelling, otherwise we do a disservice to ourselves and each other.” Having to face the challenges in regards to race, the actor explains how it usually comes from “conscious and unconscious bias.” Continuously having to deal with the idea of stereotypes and prejudice, it pushes him to continue to push forward and “break these moulds, for myself and others, challenging perceptions in order to change the narratives.” Something we see happening throughout the industry but are still in need of. We need more people to promote the idea of change and acceptance. No matter the race. No matter the gender or sexual orientation. No matter the religion. No matter what makes you unique or special, those differences should be celebrated and not shunned!
Martins Imhangbe welcomes every day with open arms as he continues to push the boundaries through his person and craft. Living purposefully day to day, he continues to pour hard work into all his endeavors and we are excited to see what else he has in store! Cheers, Martins!
Talent MARTINS IMHANGBE @Martinss_imhangbe_
Photography ALEXANDER BEER @alexbeer7
Styling HANNAH BECK @hannahbeckstylist
Grooming MIRA PARMAR @miramakeup using Givenchy & GHD Pro
Interview ALEXANDRA BONNET @alexbonnetwrites