Ato Essandoh, co-star of the "Hitch" Movie!
The movie actor Ato Essandoh is an accomplsihed student holding a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University. His TV/Film credits include appearances on "Law & Order", "Third watch", "Line of fire", "Garden State", "Roger Dodger". Ato's parents are from Ghana, and his name means "Saturday Born" in Fanti( Ghanian Language). Ato Essandoh was born on July 29, 1972, in New York and is a 1990 class graduate of New Rochelle High School in New York.
Ato Essandoh's quote:
''I started off as (and still am) an actor. I love acting, but like most actors, I hate auditioning. So I started writing, figuring that I could just cast myself in whatever I wrote, thus avoiding the whole ugly audition process altogether. Eventually, I came to love writing. The problem is, now I hate typing.''
An Interview with actor Ato Essandoh
Fans of "Garden State" best probably best know actor Ato Essandoh as Sam's brother "Titembay". However you may have seen in other films such as "Roger Dodger", or on some hit TV shows like "Law & Order" or " Chappelle's Show". He will be seen this summer along said Will Smith in the film "Hutch" and later he will share this screen with Uma Thurman in "Prime". Essandoh is a rising star that will be a house hold name in the next few years. We sat down with Ato Essandoh for an exclusive interview about actor, Garden State, and his life.
First off let me say thank you for taking the time to let us talk with you.
How did you land your role in "Garden State"?
My agent got me the audition. I got a callback, where I met Zach. I got the news a few days later.
How was it working with Zach, being that not only was he acting in the scene but also directing it?
I was most impressed with his ability to morph between jobs. He would set up the scene, act it, give notes and then do it again. It seemed so smooth with him. It was like he was three people, the actor, director and writer. Makes me wonder if he was getting three checks.
Did you have much say did you have over your character? Or was it mostly, doing what was written in the script?
Zach gave me room to play, but he definitely had a specific view of the character.
Where are you from?
I'm from New York.
How did you get in to Acting?
I was at Cornell studying Chemical Engineering when I was given the opportunity to perform in a play. It was one of the best times of my life. From that point on, I was hooked. I found my way back to New York City and started taking classes. It just snowballed from there.
Can you tell us about your role in Hitch? How was it working with Will Smith (if you share any screen time with him)?
Hitch is a comedy in which Will plays a professional match maker who sets guys up with the women of their dreams. I play , Tanis, one of his clients who is desperate for a girl he feels is out of his league. Will and Andy Tenant (director) where a blast to work with. A couple of very funny guys.
How was working along side Natalie Portman?
She's a total pro. Very sweet woman. Fabulous actor.
Is Zach as funny on the set as he seems to be? Or is it all an act for the camera's?
He's a very funny guy, although, I feel that I'm funnier. (laughs)
Beside Hitch, what else are you up to?
I just wrapped Prime with Uma Thurman, Brian Greenberg and Meryl Streep.
Beside acting what do you do for fun?
Travel. I just got back from Brazil. If you haven't been, you should go!
What is the play "Black Thang" about it? How can we see the play or what plans are there for it, if any?
It's a play about an interracial couple. He's black, she's white and the hijinx ensues. The play has been published and now I'm looking to get some back and launch it Off-Broadway. Do you know anyone with money?
No with more than a few dollars. You wrote the play "Black Thang", do you hope to write more plays and maybe screenplays?
Hell yes. I'm writing all the time.
How did you get ready for the role in Garden State?
Practiced my Ghanian accent, which was easy since my parents are Ghanian.
What was the best scene to film on Garden State, why?
Besides my scene? Seriously, I love the scene with the knight the morning after the party at the beginning of the movie. That was brilliant. That and the scene where Sam and Large meet the first time.