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#1 All Roads Lead to Zélie Adebola

My name is Akuc and I am going to play Zélie Adebola in 'Children of Blood and Bone'.

My friend’s brother first told me about the book in October 2019. He came to see our play at the theatre and said, "You look like this character from this book." I was thinking “Yeah, yeah!” because honestly, when has anyone ever looked like me in a book or even on TV before? He said the novel was called 'Children of Blood and Bone' by Tomi Adeyemi and because I had silver/white-ish braids at the time, a bit like Zélie on the front cover of the book, he thought I looked like her, my hair and even my gestures and energy. Again, I was thinking “Yeah, yeah, yeaaah!” because when has anyone ever looked like me in a novel?

Fast forward to the beginning of 2020, I bought and read the novel. I was hooked. I was like wow! I can really play her. Like actually get this role. I am Zélie. And that’s where this all started.

What's crazy is that so many people have told me that I look like Zélie on the cover. My friends and family have seen the book proudly displayed on my bookshelf and asked "Is that you?". That's always more motivation for me to keep on pressing forward.

When I was 17 years old in school, we did a play in which I played the lead character. For the flyer, they took a photo of me staring intensely down the lens with basically that exact same look as the CBB book cover. I have searched far and wide for that photo. Hopefully, one of these days it'll resurge...

It’s 2023 now and the film is still in development. We’ve survived lockdown and the lows of Covid-19 which naturally pushed everything back a few years. But, I’m still here and I’m still fighting in my corner.

My aim is to walk into the audition room ready and totally prepared. I want Tomi and the team at Paramount Pictures to see me and say “She’s the one”.

I am Zélie! 🙂

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