Just in case you missed my conversation with writer-director Remi Weekes earlier this week, I love His House. At the moment, it is one of my favorite films of 2020. I’m very convinced that Weekes has quite the career ahead of him and I feel the same way about his two stars, Wunmi Mosaku and Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù. There’s a good chance you’ve seen some of their work before – perhaps Mosaku in HBO’s Lovecraft Country and Dìrísù in Gangs of London – but the level of chemistry and talent on display in His House is especially undeniable.
Dìrísù and Mosaku star as Bol and Rial, a couple from Sudan seeking asylum in the UK. After making the harrowing journey and spending time in a UK detention center, they’re given a ramshackle home in a small English town. While there is some initial hope that they can build a new life there, they soon come to realize that their house is haunted. Trouble is, due to the extremely flawed system, moving is not an option for them.
I had the opportunity to chat with Weekes, Mosaku, and Dìrísù back in January when the film premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. During that conversation, it became abundantly clear that Mosaku and Dìrísù thought mighty highly of each other. With His House now available to watch on Netflix, I got the chance to reconnect with Mosaku and Dìrísù and just had to ask more about what made the other such a standout scene partner. Here’s what Dìrísù said:
“We were shooting the journey that they take from the detention center to the house. And we were in a mini bus all day, just driving around and there’s this shot of the two characters holding hands. Wunmi was so generous in sharing something that was personal to her about how she met her husband. Just sharing that story – well, I mean, I’ve loved Wunmi for ages so it would be wrong for me to say that I fell in love with her then – but her being that vulnerable with me really helped me sort of connect with her and then Bol connecting with Rial, so it was just about Wunmi being open and generous and sharing her life and being open and free with me and vulnerable with me that I think set us up on an excellent journey for the rest of the shoot.”
Mosaku jumped in to further emphasize Dìrísù’s point and highlight a specific element of that scene:
“I was gonna say the openness and the generosity of spirit. We really bonded as brother and sister on that job, and [that] has continued. You know, laying on someone’s lap is not an easy thing to do when you don’t know a person. It’s just not. And we were able to find that physical vocabulary between us just because we had opened up to each other and shared.”
Check out our full conversation at the top of this article to hear more about Mosaku and Dìrísù’s experience making His House. The chat also includes a spoiler section where they share their thoughts on some of the most unforgettable moments of the film.
Wunmi Mosaku and Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù:
- Mosaku and Dìrísù highlight the moment when they knew their collaboration on this movie was going to be a special one.
- What does Weekes do behind the monitor that signals to them that he’s loving a take?
- Spoilers begin here! Mosaku reveals the key scene of the movie that was part of their reshoot schedule.
- Dìrísù reveals the meaning of the word Bol yells at Rial that isn’t translated in the film.
- Mosaku talks about having a tinge of comedy shining through such a dark scenario.
- Dìrísù discusses the freneticism while filming the scene when Bol takes Nyagak.