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Interview - Chido Nwokocha

On October 14th, the hit BET series Sistas returns for its highly anticipated second season.

The main focus of the series is obviously on the four women and their lives and careers. But in the mix, we also get to see the lives of the men they associate with. One of those men is the talented Chido Nwokocha.

In the series, Chido Nwokocha plays Gary Marshall Borders. He is a successful businessman, married and also having an affair with one of the main characters. We had the chance to sit down with Chido to talk about this character, his journey in Season 1 and what fans can look forward to with the second season of Sistas.

Pop Culture Principle – At the beginning, your character was very likable, but over time, he definitely changed and not for the better. What was it like getting to play this type of character over the first season?

Chido Nwokocha – It was a lot of fun. It’s one of those roles that you enjoy doing because he is a very complex character. You could have easily played this character straight forward, but there are multiple layers to him. At the end of the day, he is cheating on his wife with Andi and he does fall in love. You know, sometimes you can fall in and out of love with someone and Gary hasn’t gone about it the right way as far as removing himself from his previous relationship. So, it was a lot of fun to play with just being likable and not being likable. I made sure to keep everything as truthful as possible and let the audience decide how they personally feel about him.

Pop Culture Principle – Do you see your character Gary Marshall Borders as a bad guy or just as someone who knows what he really wants in life?

Chido Nwokocha – I see him as somebody who knows what he wants and he’s just not going about it the right way. He’s a guy who has accumulated success and worked his way up the ladder. You think about just how hard it is for a young black man to work his way up and become successful. Those same attributes that allow you to be successful are the same attributes that probably don’t work as well or have not been developed as well in a relationship. He knows what he wants and he goes after it a certain way and he forgets the other pieces along the way that would probably make it easier in getting what he wants.

Pop Culture Principle – So at the end of Season 1, your character is trying to convince Andi to move several hours away from the city and away from her friends, but she tells him that she doesn’t want to do it. How surprised do you think he was at her telling him no?

Chido Nwokocha – Yes. He thinks this is what she has always talked about wanting a big house, a nice life and kids. He thought they were both on the same page and with her not being gung ho about it really threw him for a loop. That moment right there, before the FBI shows up, will definitely be touched on in Season 2.

Pop Culture Principle – Not only does Andi tell him no, but Gary is arrested for several crimes. Do you think that character was destined to end up in that kind of trouble from the beginning of the season?

Chido Nwokocha – I don’t want to say that it was destined because that means at some point it was all going to go bad. I think it was a domino effect of all the events that were accumulating throughout the season. Also, Gary not handling his previous business beforehand was an issue. A guy just going after what he wants and not cleaning up his mess from behind, eventually your past will catch up to you.

Pop Culture Principle – Andi is not only in the dark about what Gary has done, but she is now mixed up in it and has had all her assets seized by the government. How bad do you think Gary feels about what he has done to her?

Chido Nwokocha – Gary does feel really bad Andi was locking arms with some guy who has his own thing going on and at the same time, not cleaning up his mess and thinking that their love will help them overcome everything. But, there are things that still need to be cleared up before they can move forward and not thinking that their love and infatuation for each other will carry them through. So, I do think Gary feels bad about it and again, it allows the viewers to kind of make their own decision about the situation.

Pop Culture Principle – Andi definitely was seeing the red flags when it came to Gary all during Season 1. Why do you think she continued to believe in and trust him even though it may have been against her better judgement?

Chido Nwokocha – You would assume someone who is so put together and a lawyer who deals with marital situations would not fall for it. There are red flags that come up and we just let them roll on instead of paying attention to them and then later on you are kicking yourself because you knew it and you let it go. I guess the moral of our storyline is to pay attention to those red flags no matter how small they are.

You know, I think it’s a piece of human nature. We are all able to give advice when we aren’t involved in the situation, but when you are involved in it and your feelings and emotions come into play, you don’t quite have that right perspective and need that outside perspective to help you see what really is going on.

Pop Culture Principle – Season 2 of Sistas returns on October 14th. For Gary and Andi, will the new season pick up right after his arrest or will we jump ahead in time at all?

Chido Nwokocha – We are picking up our story right where we left off. We are jumping right back into it and I think it makes it very exciting for our fans and people to jump right into it. It is funny getting messages from fans who are rewatching Season 1 and catching up because the show is coming back on and they want to remember what happened. As a fan, you want to be caught up because as I said earlier, we pick right up from the end of Season 1 and rewatching the first season, you may pick up on some tidbits you missed before.

Pop Culture Principle – Can you talk a little bit about filming the second season during the pandemic and the precautions that were taken to ensure the safety of everyone?

Chido Nwokocha – First of all, we were very fortunate to be able to go back to work and we didn’t take that lightly. Tyler Perry created this bubble for us to work and everything that was taking place was incredible. We were all put up well in our houses and we felt safe because we were tested multiple times throughout shooting. I felt like every day I was waking up and getting tested with a swab going up my nose and it just became routine. For me, I was waking up, working out, filming, coming home, running lines with the cast and then getting up the next day and doing it all over again.

Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us what it was like working with K.J. Smith?

Chido Nwokocha – I remember when we first met, we connected right away. We would talk through the scenes and just work it. She is amazing and the other girls on the show are amazing. It’s easy to follow the women because they set the tone. They come in, they are prepared and they lead by example and it allows the guys to follow their lead. They are Sistas for a reason and they chose the right four women for the show.

Pop Culture Principle – Is being around Tyler Perry a motivating force for you as an actor?

Chido Nwokocha – Absolutely. We all have an idea of what our work ethic is and what it’s like to work hard and doing multiple things at once. You then see someone who is a billionaire up close and personal and you’re watching them work. He is running a studio, he’s writing, he’s directing and he is running other businesses and it’s just fascinating to watch.

Also, for him to be so grounded and humble is just the icing on the cake. There were many times that he would sit down and talk with us or come by and chit chat with us. It lets you know how to work and accumulate success and also how to remain yourself and that’s why he’s such a likable person because he has remained the same way. He is just incredible.

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A huge thank you to Chido Nwokocha for taking the time to talk with us! The second season of Sistas premieres on Wednesday, October 14th at 9pm with two back to back episodes only on BET.

**Main photo courtesy of Getty Images**

**Sistas photos courtesy of Charles Bergmann/BET/Tyler Vision, LLC**

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