The remake of Roots airs Monday on the History channel, and actor Malachi Kirby, who plays Kunta Kinte is revealing his audition process for the lead role and how when he was at home in prayer, God spoke to him and said that he had received the part, to declare it in advance before it comes to pass, that He’d be glorified.Check it out….
In an interview with Christianity Today Kirby reflects on how the worse audition turned into the best audition,
Where do I begin? In January 2015, I had my first audition—January or February. I remember hearing about the audition and then thinking, why are they doing this again? Why are they making this project again? I was a bit scared of it, to be honest. Then I got an audition, and I spent most of the time worrying about what would happen if I got the part, rather than actually preparing for it.
I had the first audition, and it was easily one of the worst auditions of my life. Everything went wrong. I got there about half an hour late, sweating, and I’m not usually late for things. I learned my lines, but when I got in the room I didn’t know anything. I’m trying to read off of the script and it’s like I’m illiterate—I can’t speak properly, everything’s just fumbled. I’m supposed to do it in a West African accent and it was anything but that. I think it was Australian at one point, and I can’t even do an Australian accent. It was just ridiculous, and I just basically kept apologizing to the casting director.
And then I left.
Five months later, they got back in touch. My agent calls me, and he says, “Oh, you must have done something good in there, because they want to see you again.” I’m like, “Dude, you don’t even know!” I’m thinking, oh, they must be really desperate.
So I go in again . . . And that actually was one of the most incredible auditions I’ve ever had. It felt like an out-of-body experience. I definitely felt like something else was happening in that room that I wasn’t in control of. I felt everyone else feel it, too. I felt like a vessel.
Then something really strange happened. I was in my room, a few days after the audition, and I was praying. Whilst I was praying—it was actually a prayer of repentance at the time—God spoke to me, in a way that I have never heard his voice before. He told me that I’ve received this part, and he said to declare it in advance before it comes to pass, that he’d be glorified.
I went back-and-forth, thinking it’s just my imagination, I’m not going crazy. I kept praying and it was clear as day. He told me to tell my agent. My agent’s supposed to tell me I’ve got the part, and God said to tell him.
It was the weirdest conversation. But I did it. I told him. He’s not Christian or anything, we hadn’t really had that kind of conversation. And he’s like, “Um, okay? That’s cool.” I just kind of left it there.
We all know the rest is history and God is glorified…. Make sure you all tune in to see Malachi Kirby play Kunta Kinte in the remake of Roots of Monday on the History channel (check your local listings for exact time).