Ethiopian American Actress Plays a Role in the brand new series “Godfather of Harlem”
Ilfenesh Hadera, an actress of Ethio-European descent is starring in the American television series, Godfather of Harlem, which started airing on Sept 29, 2019. She plays the role of Mayime Johnson, the wife of our main character, Bumpy Johnson, who is played by the fame of “The last king of Scotland” Forest Whitaker.
Godfather of Harlem serves a TV prequel to the 2007 film, American Gangster. The Show is based on the true story of the notorious gangster Bumpy Johnson, as he makes his way in Harlem during the 1960s.
Ilfenesh Hadera was born in New York, US. Her father, Asfaha Hadera, a refugee in the US, founded the African Service Committee (ASC) in 1981, whose aim was to help African refugees. Her mother is a New England native who practices acupuncture treatment.
Her parents supported Ilfenesh in pursuing her dream of being an actress. After graduating from Harlem School of Arts with acting, she joined the family business in running ASC. At the time, she visited five clinics of ASC in Ethiopia. During this time, her parents kept encouraging to pursue work in Hollywood. She told People magazine in 2017 that, ” More and more my parents are so happy that I’m not involved in the nonprofit world because it’s such difficult work…Sometimes we joke about it. For them to be happy that I’m an actor because they think it’s easy is very telling.”
The film 1/20, a punk rock romance, was Ilfenesh’s debut as an actress. After that, she landed roles in Oldboy, Chi-Raq, and in 2017, she co-starred in the movie Baywatch along with Dwayne Jonson, Zak Effron, David Hasselhoff, and Priyanka Chopra.
She had also appeared in the TV series in Da Brick, The Blacklist, Show Me a Hero, Chicago Fire, The Punisher, and She’s Gotta Have It, and now, Godfather of Harlem.