We’re going to be honest. We’re confused as hell by the upcoming movie Terminator Genisys, the fifth film in the dystopian time traveling series which will also reboot the franchise started in 1984. With three decades and multiple story line changes since its inception, it might be best for casual moviegoers to just unplug the router, let the network reboot and hang on for the ride.
What we CAN tell you is that actor Dayo Okeniyi has been tapped to play Danny Dyson, the son of Dr. Miles Dyson (played Joe Morton in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and now by Courtney B Vance). The elder Dyson was the inventor of the neural-net processor which would lead to creating Skynet, the artificial intelligence that goes rogue and tries kill off the human species. In this alternate timeline Danny is a grown man but follows closely in his father’s footsteps.
Dayo is a Nigerian American actor who most know as Thresh from The Hunger Games and Perdeep in Runner, Runner. He took a few moments to share some pretty interesting perspectives on artificial intelligence, time travel and his terminated rap aspirations.
WatchLOUD: How did you become involved inTerminator Genisys?
Dayo: My agent called and the casting agent who placed me in Runner Runner told me they wanted to revisit the Danny Dyson character at an older age. They wanted a Steve Jobs type…visionary type. We did a really long, two or three hour audition where they had me doing Steve Jobs type keynote speeches. Three weeks later I get a call and they asked if I want to go on this journey.
Did you speak with Joe Morton at all or did you go in your own direction?
No, just because of the nature of our story. Because of this time jump the whole world is different. You’ll definitely see things original fans loved, but it’s a completely different story. Our movie wants to be true to the tone of the first movies. There is a delicate balance between the seriousness of the situation but there are moments for situational comedy in there. So I wanted to thread the line delicately.
What are your thoughts on Artificial Intelligence in general?
Hollywood has really put it in a place where it sounds like the worst idea, you know? We’ve all seen Terminator and The Matrix. We know how this ends. We all end up in little bathtubs plugged to a machine. But I subscribe to the Neil deGrasse Tyson [belief] that technology really is our only way to continue to facilitate those ideals that mankind is built upon. Pioneering, exploring, what is out there? What is our place in the universe? These are fundamental questions we are still asking to this day. And it’s almost that we have to create a better, more durable mind to be able to think through these questions for us. I don’t think humanity has reached a ceiling of our discovery but at a point we might. And when we do AI will help us figure some of it out. So I’m on the fence about it. Some days I wake up and think it’s the dumbest idea, and others I think it could be great for humanity if it can be controlled.
Sounds like you’ve been reading The Singularity…
If you could travel back to any time or year which would it be?
Well I’m not going back anywhere passed the ’60s, wasn’t a good time for us. [laughs] I’d probably go back to when I was in high school and tell myself everything is going to be ok, just relax.
On your IG I see a lot of “Running Through the 6” and “with my woes” references. Are you a big Drake fan?
I am. I’m a big Drake fan. Drake has a lot of haters but he makes good music. I love those mixtapes he did even before So Far Gone. All that stuff was really cool. Take Care is a great body of work. It’s a great album.
What bout Future? *insert rimshot*
Future’s like…I’m not listening to him and intellectually thinking. I don’t necessarily relate to him as much but he makes good music.
You have a pic of you and J.Lo on your IG as well. What can you tell us about that?
Yes I’m in the middle of filming a show called “Shades Of Blue” now. It’s a cop/detective show on NBC and I play a rookie detective that’s just stepping into this unit that is lead by Ray Liotta and J Lo is one of my superior officers on the show. It’s a hell of a show. We have mid season pickup so you should see it in January.
With rappers acting and actors wanting to rap, are there any musical aspirations for you?
When I was in high school all I wanted to do was be in G-Unit, that was the goal. It’s something people didn’t really know about, probably because I wasn’t good enough. I never really shared my music. If there is ever a biopic, like a DMX biopic, I’m up for it. I can act like a rapper more than actually be a rapper. I would kill that. That’s my dream, to be DMX in a movie.
Catch Dayo in Terminator Genisys on July 1st!