Yetide Badaki is an actress famous for her role as Bilquis in the series American Gods.
Born: Ibadan, Nigeria
Famous for: Actress
Yetide Badaki was born in Ibadan, Nigeria. At the age of 3 she moved to England with her parents. At some point she moved back to Nigeria only to move again at the age of 12 to the United States. Since the age of 6 she has dreamt of being an actress.
Badaki studied at McGill University in Canada and graduated from English Literature with specialisation on theater. In 2006 she was nominated for Joseph Jefferson Award for her principal role with I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document at the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, Illinois.
Yetide appeared in TV series Lost from 2008 as Yarjiss. She has featured in several other TV series such as Criminal Minds, Masters of Sex and Aquarius.
In 2017 she played Bilquis, an ancient deity of love, in the series American Gods.
*Photo credits provided in references section below where possible. View a list of photographers here.
DT: How often do you visit Nigeria, and when was the last time you did?
Badaki: I haven’t had the chance to go back since my sister’s wedding in 2006. Scheduling has been really tough. When I lived with my parents, we would always go back at least once a year.
DT: Have you ever been offered a part in a Nigerian movie?
Badaki: Sadly, no. People ask all the time if I ever have done one but I have never been offered a role.
DT: Are there any Nigerian movie directors whose work you like, and would like to work with someday?
Badaki: Andrew Dosunmu is doing some really interesting work. I’d love to work with him some day.
DT: How old were you when you decided to pursue a career in acting?
Badaki: Funny enough, I’ve wanted to act since I was six-years-old.
DT: You’ve done tons of great theatre work. How are you able to juggle stage, TV and film?
Badaki: I wish I could say I was some great master-planner, but honestly it has all just worked out.
DT: Your being picked to play fan-favourite character Bilquis in the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is generating tons of positive buzz. How did you prepare for the role?
Badaki: I train. I have an MFA in Theater. I do play readings wherever I can and just try and keep my instrument sharp. There is this wonderful acting studio in North Hollywood called The BGB studio. I was in class weekly.
DT: Did you read ‘American Gods’ prior to being cast as Bilquis, or was it your first time experiencing Gaiman’s work?
Badaki: I’m actually a huge sci-fi and fantasy geek, so I had read the book previously. I also am a fan of his musings in general. I sent a quote of his to myself at the end of 2015 to inspire me for the coming year. I guess it did a little more than inspire.
DT: Have you ever met Gaiman?
Badaki: He was at Comic-Con too. He’s a wonderful guy. Intelligent, warm and witty. It really is a pleasure getting to play in a world he has created.
DT: Was this year’s your first Comic-Con?
Badaki: Yes, it was, and I completely geeked out. Such a wonderful experience, filled with passionate people who are so filled with joy and love. I loved it!
DT: As an English Literature graduate, you must’ve read a ton of cool books. Did you also get into comic books and graphic novels?
Badaki: I love to read. Books have always been a great escape for me. I’ve read comics and graphic novels that I’ve enjoyed, but ultimately I have to admit that my favourite thing is a nice, thick book. That way, I don’t have to worry about it ending for a good, long time.