Girls Trip may seem like the first time you’ve seen actress Deborah Ayorinde, but the 29-year-old has probably crossed your screen before. Born in London and raised in San Jose, the beauty appeared in Luke Cage, Barbershop: The Next Cut and The Game before playing the vixen in the hit Malcolm D. Lee film.
Presumably, her playing Simone —the embodiment of trouble in a stale marriage— has made her officially recognizable, even if you feel some type of way about her being Ryan Pierce’s (Regina Hall) antagonist.
We chatted with Ayorinde and found out five cool things you should know about her.
She only knew one person on the set of Girls Trip.
Ayorinde didn’t know anyone on the cast or set, except Mike Colter as his co-star in Netflix’s Luke Cage. For those who watch the Marvel series, she played Candace, the bartender. “You know when it’s your first day of school? And you see somebody you may know, like you’re the new kid. Because they had already been filming, and everybody was familiar with each other. So I was kind of like the new kid on the block. But to see him, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, yes. Somebody I know.’ He’s so dope. He’s like a big brother.”
Her real-life girls trip was to New Orleans for ESSENCE Fest… sort of.
“My friends and I, when I was living in Atlanta, we took like an impromptu road trip to ESSENCE Fest,” she admitted. “We didn’t have any tickets or anything. It was so bootleg, but it was so much fun. We literally went to every club twerking it —from one to the next.”
She’s would be down to do a Nollywood film.
Although she was raised in the UK and California, the proud Nigerian is close to her roots. When asked if she’d be down to do a Nollywood film, she completely obliged. “I really want to work with Genevieve Nnaji. There’s a few others —Monalisa Chinda, I would love to do films with her too.”
Don’t get it twisted: She actually knows how to twerk.
In the dance-off scene in the movie, Ayorinde tries to give it her all but her twerking was restrained. “I wanted to go off but I couldn’t because my pants were too tight… I couldn’t do it. But I have video and I’ve literally showed it to like four people already who tried my life. I was like, ‘No, you’re not going to do this today, here you go.’ So I’m just letting you know [chuckles].”
Acting is her passion and she’d still do it, even if she didn’t get a big break.
While many in Hollywood are there to be huge stars, Ayorinde is in it for the love of the art. “I’ve been acting for almost ten years, professionally. We work for a while, and then you get those roles where people start to be like, ‘Okay, who’s that?'”
Adding, “I was told early on that if you set your sights on the whole being famous and all that, it’s a pretty dangerous spot to be in. Because you can set yourself up for a lot of disappointment. That shouldn’t really be the goal. It would be a lot better if more artists were in the game because they loved the art, and not because they want other stuff.”