Oya: Rise of the Orishas - My Top 5 Actress Picks to Play the Heroine : GangStarr Girl

Oya: Rise of the Orishas – My Top 5 Actress Picks to Play the Heroine

[ 1 ] March 11, 2013 |
Oya: Rise of the Orishas Movie

Oya: Rise of the Orishas Movie Poster

I’ve been saying for the longest time that there are a lot of amazing yet untapped African folklore tales that could be turned into film but haven’t yet. Then I end up on Divas and Dorks the other day and discover that there’s a movement brewing to make Oya: Rise of the Orishas a reality. Oya:Rise of the Orishas will be an action film straight out of London, written and directed by Nosa Igbinedion. It’s the tale of mythical deities known as Orishas, but the writers are turning the deities into modern day superheroes. In folklore Oya is is known to be an omnipotent warrior who represents femininity and change, and if there are Octavia Butler fans reading this, then you remember Lauren, the heroine from the Parable of the Sower series. Her middle name was Oya, and she too was a warrior who lead people during a time of chaos.

Here’s the synopsis of he movie I snagged from Okay Africa:

For centuries the doorway between the world of the Orishas and our world has remained closed, until now. Our hero, Ade, is one of the few people with a connection to one of the gods, Oya. She has been tasked with the job of protecting the innocent and that means keeping the door to the gods shut. If the doorway to the gods is opened, they will wreak chaos upon us as retribution for our abandonment of them. To keep the door shut, she must find ‘the key’, a young girl with the potential to open the doorway, and keep her safe.
The adventure unfolds with a host of memorable characters and a string of unexpected twists, Ade, goes in search of the key, battling against those who wish to open portal and unleashing a horde of forgotten gods and goddesses into the world, with powers and skills beyond our comprehensive and supernatural gifts which will change the course of history for mankind, forever.

I almost spontaneously combusted reading that. Excited much? YES!  Anyway, the director plans to raise enough money to shoot a short film first as a way to whet people’s appetites so that they can raise enough money to complete the full length project (*kneels down to pray*).

Christen over at Divas and Dorks  must be equally as excited, because she chose actresses Thandie Newton, Sophie Okonedo, Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Naomie Harris as her picks to play the heroine, Oya. Those were some great choices that inspired me to do an answer post. So, here are some actresses I’d like to see up for the part.

Dania Gurira

Danai Gurira aka Michonne From The Walking Dead

Danai Gurira

I love her, interviewed her once and fell even more in love. Wo-mance aside, she’s perfect. We’ve already seen what she can do with a warrior role as Michonne on The Walking Dead, which is why she’s a great choice. She’s also African and she studied and wrote award-winning plays about the trials of African women in war torn countries. Research is done, skills are there. I’m in. She’s my first choice.


Nicole Beharie

Nicole Beharie for Oya

Nicole Beharie

I’ve been watching this Julliard-trained actress since American Violet and she’s fierce! I’d like to see what she can do with an action role.

Camille Winbush

Camille Winbush as Oya

Camille Winbush

She played Bernie Mac’s niece on the Bernic Mac Show but now she’s grown and still acting here and there but she needs a break out role. This could be it. I think she can pull it off.

Katerina Graham

Kat Graham for Oya

Katerina Graham

I interviewed her at least a year before she was casted for the Vampire Diaries, and even on national radar, and could tell that there was something special about her. Based on her performance as Bonnie the Witch on Diaries, I think she could pull this off.

Brandy Norwood

Brandy Norwood for Oya

Brandy Norwood

I don’t care what anyone says about my Bran Bran. I love her and I think she’s a good actress but she needs more diversity. This role would be good for her.

And…that’s all I got. Who would you choose?

Here’s what some of the film’s crew has to say about the production.

Oya crowdfund video from Nosa Nedion on Vimeo.

Visit www.OyaRiseoftheOrishaMovie.com to find out how you can donate.

And follow them on Twitter @Oyamovie.

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Category: Pop Culture, TV/Film

About the Author ()

Starrene Rhett Rocque is a recovering journalist who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun-toting B-movie heroine.

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  1. 5 Actresses Who Could Play Oya | Aker: Futuristically Ancient | March 13, 2013

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