“The Passage” Actress Caroline Chikezie Says The Show Is Full Of Black Girl Magic
Tonight FOX is set to air their new show “THE PASSAGE.” which focuses on Project NOAH, a secret medical facility where scientists are experimenting with a dangerous virus that could lead to the cure for all disease, but also carries the potential to wipe out the human race. When a young girl, Amy Bellafonte (played by Saniyya Sidney, who was in
Fences’ and ‘Hidden Figures’) is chosen as a test subject, Federal agent Brad Wolgast (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) is tasked with bringing her to Project NOAH, but ultimately becomes her surrogate father who does everything in his power to protect her. The show also stars British actress Caroline Chikezie who also appeared on the cable series “The Shannara Chronicles,” the streaming series “The Governor,” which was filmed in Nigeria and in the award-winning film ‘Babymother.’ Chikezie was also featured in “Eragon,” “Aeon Flux,” “Breaking and Entering” and “The Sweeney.”
We spoke with Caroline about her role as Major Nichole Sykes, the many instances of black girl magic on “The Passage” and filming in Atlanta vs. filming in Nigeria. Check out our interview below.
BOSSIP: Tell us about what drew you to this show and this role?
Caroline Chikezie: It all started when I got the script for the pilot. I loved it and as I read it I could just see myself being Dr. Sykes, so that’s always a good thing. I just auditioned and got to be the last woman standing. My character is a very complicated individual. She’s a King because she commands men, and is fearless. Very fearless. The type of person you’d want to have on your side in a crisis situation, she’s very cool under pressure. She understands that there will be consequences for decisions she makes and is willing and capable to accept whatever fallout comes from her decisions. She’s a bad a**. A strong, black woman unapologetically.
BOSSIP: Black girl magic was such a big thing in 2018. Could we touch a little on that and how the show taps into it with your character and Saniyya Sidney’s character Amy Bellafonte?
CC: First of all, Saniyya is a movie star. I wouldn’t even call her a princess, I’d call her a queen. She’s so mature. Acting is just so effortless to her. It’s just awesome to watch her grow and when you think black girl magic there’s nothing more magical than Saniyya Sidney as the lead role Amy and my role as Major Nichole Sykes. For young girls watching we’re giving the opportunity to show that we are capable of anything. When I was growing up, we could only get the best friend role, or the role where we are killed, or hurt, or a lowly girl. Not that any role is lowly, because it is an honor to be cast when working as an actress, but just like finally we get to be represented as strong woman roles because that’s our rightful pace. We should be celebrating it, so I’m grateful.
BOSSIP: Why should Bossip readers be interested in watching “The Passage”?
CC: It’s got something for everybody! You’ve got the big heart, you’ve got a love triangle. My character is involved in a love triangle — we’ll see how that unfolds. There are a lot of characters I feel like your readers can connect with. Like mine and her journey through the show. How she handles being in an interracial relationship, how she navigates being a boss lady in a white environment. There’s loads of issues I think readers can relate to.
BOSSIP: Is there anything you’ve learned that would be useful in an apocalyptic event?
CC: I had to do some shooting practice, because my character uses guns, so I’ve learned that. Also, my character is a runner so if there’s ever an apocalypse I’ll be able to run!
BOSSIP: What are the pros and cons of shooting in Atlanta vs. filming in Nigeria?
CC: I love shooting in Nigeria, because of the food mostly. I’m British-Nigerian. The closest I’ll get to feeling like I’m home in America is shooting in Atlanta. I love Atlanta, in fact, I plan to move there. I was born and raised in the UK.
Check out a fun video of Caroline and her costars from “The Passage” below:
“The Passage” airs tonight Monday, January 14 on FOX. Will you be watching?