Just Another Day with Dayo Okeniyi

You may have recognized Dayo Okeniyi from a certain movie entitled "The Hunger Games" where he can be seen beating other characters in a race for his life. The movie has made about $573 million dollars in over a month in the theatres. If you haven't seen this film, you are surely missing out on the opportunity to see incredible cinematography...that and of course, having your heart beat widely against your chest with every coming scene. We sat down with Dayo, who stars as "Thresh," to get to know a little more about him.

The best part of my job, is just getting a chance to work with people that you admire so much. It’s a really fortunate job. I love my job. Film is such an old media, that there are people who have been doing this for such a long time and are still doing it. And people that grew up admiring the characters that were played on screen and to actually get a chance to meet them and work with them. Working with people like Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland, people who are so awesome at what they do, it’s incredible.

Getting a chance to do something that really touches people. Sometimes you think of film as such a trivial thing. But there are movies that change people’s lives. People leave movie theaters and have completely changed the way they live. If somebody comes to me and says, ‘your movie made me think of something differently’ or ‘I watch your movie whenever I have a bad day,’ I would love that.

One thing on my bucket list is to win an Academy Award. It’s always work related, because I love acting so much. Work with Will Smith. Work with J.J. Abrams. Work with Steven Spielberg. I could go on and on.

My biggest guilty pleasure is Food Network. I watch everything on Food Network. It’s pretty embarrassing, but I love it (and my roommates hate it)! I watch Chopped. I watch Iron Chef and Man vs. Food. I watch everything. It’s kind of bad, but I am proud of it.

The most played song (at the moment) on my iPhone is probably Drake’s “We’ll Be Fine.” I cannot live without my Iphone.

When I have free time, I just like hanging out with friends. I’m old school. I just hang with the boys. We are either playing videogames or hanging out at the bar. Or, we just watch sports all day. Lately, though, I don’t have a lot of free time, not much time to just chill, but when I do, I just like hanging out with friends.

I love rollercoasters. So, if I could plan the perfect day, I would just wake up really early, drive somewhere where they have a ton of roller coasters, and ride roller coasters until I throw up. There’s this place in Indiana called Cedar Point, they have the best rides in the world! I just like doing group events. Like, I would go put-put golfing, hitting balls at the golf range, shooting… I just like fun-filled events.

One thing people don’t know about me is that sleeping is my favorite pastime. I love to sleep. I’m also half Kenyan, and half Nigerian.

The most fun memory I have is traveling with my family. My parents were so adamant that my siblings and I got the chance to travel a lot. When we were young, even though we never had a lot of money, we would go to Europe all the time, or to Central America. Because I grew up in Nigeria, we’d go to Kenya. We’d travel a lot. We didn’t really have money, but we just got the chance to go to places and see stuff that you learn about in school. Those are the best times of my life. I love my family, so those are memories that we look back on years later

My father is my biggest inspiration. His story is amazing. He didn’t own a pair of shoes until he was sixteen years old, that’s just to let you know. And to be where I am today, it’s everything to him. He completely changed his life. He is the complete definition of the “self-made” individual. All he wanted in life was for his family to live a better life than he did.

My obsession right now is Jeremy Lin. I am obsessed with that guy right now. The Lin-sanity situation. And he’s such a humble guy. It’s a classic story, the guy they just called off the bench and he comes in and completely dominates the game. He is my current obsession. I want to be Jeremy Lin. I wasn’t even a Knicks fan, but now I find myself rooting for the Knicks. It’s kind of crazy.

I love...women. Women are the best thing on the planet. I also love shoes.

My pet peeves... I hate hair in the sink. I can’t handle that. Like, if there is hair… eww. I just hate a clogged sick, it’s so gross.

The words that I live by are “your dreams are a preview of life’s coming attractions.” Albert Einstein said that. I live my life by that. I’m a huge believer in that you really can create what you want to create in your life. You are the architect of your life. You shouldn’t live your life like you are an effect of what is happening to you. Rather, you should be affecting what is happening in your life. And that phrase to me really defines that. If you can think it, and wrap your mind around it, you can achieve it. As soon as I started thinking that way, I feel like my life has extremely different. And I live my life by that every day. Like if you want something, just go get it. Period.

Interviewed by Kayla Aldecoa

Photographed by Vince Trupsin Styled by Kyle Kagamida Groomed by Marissa Machado

“Just Another Day” is presented as a feature of a day in the life of people who we all adore, and is exclusive to Zooey Magazine. These editorials are often shot in the home of the subject (but can be shot at subject's favorite spot), and the subject is pictured wearing his/her own clothing.