“On a deeper level, it’s almost like a painter isn’t trying to do a photograph of a scene. They’re trying to do their impression, their expression of it,” the actor told Hall. “I was trying to find his heart, like what’s at the core of him. He’s such a remarkable individual, he has such love for his family, such intellect, such charisma. It was really trying to get to the heart of the man that was the challenge.”
When it came to trying to gain some personal insight from the former President himself, however, Fagbenle says he got the cold shoulder. After being put in touch with Obama’s personal assistant, things didn’t go according to plan.
“I said, ‘Look I’m filming in three months, can we chat?,’ Fagbenle told Variety. “And I got a message back saying—lovely message—‘Barack would love to, but he’s booked up.’ He’s booked up for three months? Just say you don’t wanna see me, bro. Just say you don’t want to see me.”