Kenyan actor Peter King

When it comes to film in Kenya, no one plays a villain better than Peter King, so they say - not that he denies it.

He was a dirty cop in the Constant Gardener, a scheming spouse in Facebook, a corrupt politician in Ni Sisi and a hitman in Eric Wainaina’s Mo Faya. With such a profile, you’d think King would be worried about being typecast for future projects. Then comes the second season of Sense8 and King is transformed into Silas Kabaka whom he reveals is “a villain type of guy.”

“It's not like I choose to be a bad guy. I don't know whether it's my face...I guess I'm just a baddie,” he explains.

But perhaps his latest movie project, The CEO (yet to be released), breaks the cycle. The CEO, a project by the award-winning Nigerian filmmaker Kunle Afolayan (The Figurine and October 1), is a Pan-African psychological thriller that features Peter King (Kenya), GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo (Benin), Wale Ojo and Lala Akindoju (Nigeria), Nico Panagio (South Africa), Aurelie Eliam (Ivory Coast) and Fatym Layachi (Morocco).

Peter King and his castmates play top executives drawn from five cities in Africa to a one-week retreat in Lagos for the ultimate position, the CEO of a multinational telecommunication firm. Things take a mysterious turn when the executives are killed one after the other. Oddly enough, a game of musical chairs determines who gets eliminated.

Like all Kunle’s previous films, The CEO deviates from Nollywood’s conventional storytelling, choosing to tell African stories in a more artsy and modern way - technical-wise and storywise. It’s what King and other scholars refer to as the "Neo-Nollywood".

During the interview, Peter King is adamant to offer spoilers to who is really killing the executives but reveals something that might not sit well with the Kenyan audience, seeing that they are over-protective of their stars. “In the movie, I’m the first one to die.”

 

As Africa awaits the premiere of The CEO, catch an original Kenyan film Playboy on Wednesday 1 June at 21:00 on Maisha Magic East.