In July of 2016, in the formational days of General Snobbery, cohosts Matt and Sean traveled to a St. Louis theater to see Independence Day: Resurgence. They expected to be wowed by Goldblum. They expected great things from Pullman. But never in a trillion eons could they have anticipated what soul-enriching performance would come from DeObia Oparei, the man who portrayed Dikembe Umbutu.
Instantly, Umbutu became one of Matt and Sean’s favorite film characters of all time. His combination of wisdom and power yielded some of the most memorable scenes from Roland Emmerich’s wonderful film, including a scene in which Umbutu saved many gun-firing Americans by massacring a rogue alien with his dual machetes. He truly stunned Matt and Sean, and the majority of their episode on ID:R was devoted to Umbutu’s magnificence.
Now, after multiple episodes devoted to Umbutu and much tweeting at Mr. Oparei, something truly extraordinary has occurred. For the thirtieth episode of General Snobbery, the one and only DeObia Oparei has visited the podcast.
How can we express our gratitude? How can we communicate our joy? No words may reach the fantastical summits of emotion that developed upon speaking to Mr. Oparei, he who portrayed Umbutu, the Master of Warlord Visions. DeObia expressed such kindness, such warmth, such joy throughout our conversation. Had we had all the time in the world, it is beyond the point of doubt that the conversation could have continued ad infinitum, beyond even where the Harvesters reside.
In our joyous conversation, DeObia grants insight into how he understands Dikembe, how he approached his role, and how inspiring was his experience working with Roland Emmerich. We discuss DeObia’s relationship to yoga and meditation, the meaning of the word “mudra”, and the importance of stillness in developing the “inner life”. He tells us of the play he wrote, Crazyblackmuthafuckin’self, a well-received investigation into identity that ran years back in London. He even clears up false reports regarding his past as a stripper in Australia, explaining how his opening of a dance theater ultimately yielded this widespread delusion.
We are so grateful we got to speak with this great actor who has appeared in so much, from Game of Thrones to Your Highness, Doom to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. As you listen, listener, we are certain you will hear what kindness erupts volcanically from his mighty soul. DeObia is truly a great man, and we are boundlessly thankful for what joy he has brought our lives.
Three cheers for #Umbutu and the many great performances of DeObia Oparei yet to come! Praise be, dear listener. May many Warlord Visions visit you in your deepest dreams.