Chinedu, we’d love for you to kick things off for us with a bit of background on yourself (personally and professionally) and how you got to where you are today.
My name is Chinedu Unaka. I’m a Nigerian American that was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I am one of five to two hard working Nigerian parents. Both of my parents are social workers (father recently retired) and that spirit of service was passed down to all their children. After graduating from Narbonne High School, I went on to attend UCSB. It’s on this campus where I began to perform stand up comedy after encouragement from friends and siblings. After finishing school, I went on to teach Special Education in the inner cities of LA, while performing Stand Up Comedy at night and on the weekends. After teaching for a few years, I left to also pursue a career in acting and to continue my climb in the stand up world. It was tough leaving the classroom, because I loved it a lot, but sleeping fours a night wasn’t going to be sustainable for too long.
We’d love to hear about you experience working on Platonic. How did you connect with Moni and why did you decide to work with her on Platonic?
I was referred to Moni by my friend Derek, a great upcoming director in Los Angeles. Derek and I recently worked on a project together and he gave Moni my name. Moni reached to me and sent over the Platonic series to review. After getting a chance to read it I was excited to work on it, because of how relatable and well written the script was.
You’ve had a lot of interesting experiences like teaching with Teach for America and you have a masters in Education. How have those experiences affected/influenced you as an actor?
My time in Education, learning and teaching, has added to who I am as a person, which in return has influenced my acting by default. All I can do as an artist is bring a heightened version of myself to every project and character I take on. Also, teaching Special Education will teach you patience if nothing else, which is great on any set and in LA traffic on the way to set.
What do you hope people take away from Platonic?
I hope people enjoy the ride Wood and Brea take through the series. It’s just one look at male to female friendships and how sometimes it can be tricky when feelings are or become attached, but it’s worth figuring out when both parties involved are supportive of one another.