Gbenga Akinnagbe explains why his episode of ‘Modern Love’ really spoke to him as a working actor

Christopher Saunders

Gbenga Akinnagbe felt a deep connection to his Modern Love storyline, which follows the relationship between his character Jordan and Zoe, a woman who has delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS).

Akinnagbe, who was one of the stars of Broadway’s How To Kill a Mockingbird, tells ABC Audio that having a late-night sleep pattern is something he’s quite familiar with as an actor.

“Unless I exclusively date actresses, that’s basically what I’m asking people who I date to do,” he says.

“When I was doing Mockingbird, I only was able to see people at night after the show when I got back to Brooklyn,” Akinnagbe shares. “That’s when our dates would start. And to a lot of people… that is strange.. its opposite [of] their sleep patterns and jobs. So I’ve asked people to accommodate this crazy life I lead… so I can have some sort of interaction with with people.”

The actor admits that “not everyone [is] up for it,” noting it’s “triggering” to some.

“There was someone I was seeing and she had come to see the show — seen it like three different times…And then we’d like hang out afterwards,” Akinnagbe says. “But after a while, those hours would start to trigger… old patterns.”

He continues, “And so one time she said to me, ‘Why do I only see you at night?’ ‘Because I’m working!’ [She’s] like, ‘Those are booty call hours.’ I’m like, ‘You know what I’m doing! You’ve seen [the play] three times!”

Even with those overwhelming drawbacks, Akinnagbe says he’d still be down to date a character like Zoe.

“Would I do it? Yeah, because I’ve experienced the other side where I’ve asked people to do it,” he says.

Season two of Modern Love launches on Amazon Prime Friday.


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