Comedian Funnybone reveals inspiration behind first romantic role in 'Ghana Jollof'

The Basketmouth created comedy show is currently streaming exclusively on Showmax.

Funnybone stars as Jasper in 'Ghana Jollof' [Showmax]

Nigerian comedian Stanley Chibuna aka Funnybone is undisputedly an all-round entertainer but when he is not on set filming, the AMVCA winner says he finds solace in performing stand-up comedy. Which for most, comes as no surprise.

Funnybone first rose to standup from thrilling comedy lovers with his witty jokes before going on to dominate the film industry.

In a recent interview, the comedian who stars in his first romantic role in the newly launched Showmax original 'Ghana Jollof' opens up acting, comedy, working with showrunner Basketmouth and playing a lead role.

Tell us about your character in Ghana Jollof

Jasper is a nerd and ‘supposed first-class student’, verbally, though not on paper. He’s friends with Kweku and Romanus [played by James Gardiner and Akah Nnani] whom he met in university and who helped get him to Accra.

Jasper is caught in an emotional triangle between Abena and Jackie [played by Joselyn Dumas and Brihanna Kinte], who are both employees at Kweku’s company. He’s very laid back, funny and an absolute pain in Kweku’s behind.

Any similarities between yourself and the character you play?

I share Jasper's humour in real life but I’m not a nerd. I’m also intelligent like Jasper but I’m not a first-class student because I cannot kill myself.

How did you land the role?

Right after the AMVCA, Basketmouth told me he had something he would like us to do together and that was it. About eight months later, he gave me the script to read and asked me to come through so we could discuss it. As someone I had worked with for a long time, I think he understood what I could do, and my range. The role challenged me but I liked it because it’s my first time doing drama and not just sitcoms. Sitcoms come naturally to me, unlike drama where I have to be serious and funny at the same time.

What was it like working with Joselyn Dumas for the first time?

It was actually my first time being in a romantic space with a female on set. I’d never done scenes where I had to kiss or hug somebody. But shout out to Joselyn for her skill and professionalism. She gave me the vibe and energy I needed to make the scene work.

She would say to me, ‘Calm down’. If it was someone else, I probably would not have done that scene as well as I did it. She gave me the freedom I needed. But on the whole, Joselyn is really cool, when she walks into the room, it’s all good vibes, she’s smiling, talking to you, and wants you to be on the same wavelength as her. She earned my respect for life.

Where do you feel most at home - doing stand-up comedy or acting?

That’s a tough one. I’m actually a thespian by training. Acting is fun but it’s really stressful. With comedy, I just need to prep myself mentally, get ready for my audience and in less than an hour I’m done with my set. But with acting you can shoot for days on end with early morning call times. The passion is there but I think stand up is my first love. I express myself with no limit. That's where I find peace as a person.

'Ghana Jollof' follows the story of two Nigerians who embark on a trip to Ghana for a wild time.

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