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In ‘For Maria’, Gabriel Afolayan Is ‘Husband Material’ And Hoping To Teach Men To Do Better
For years, Gabriel Afolayan has racked up a loyal fanbase stunned by his ability to deliver amazing performances in films. He does not disappoint them in For Maria.
Studies show that women who suffer from postpartum depression hardly get the help they need because their partners are unaware of the symptoms and how to navigate the condition. Gabriel Afolayan found this in his research for his role in Damilola Orimogunje’s For Maria, and committed to using the medium to teach men how to do better.
His character, Fola, just became a new dad and is overjoyed with the thought of entering this new phase but his wife does not seem to share in his joy. She is stoic and acts strange. This is a woman he loves, who just had a child he adores but her reaction is not what he has been taught to expect. He struggles with maintaining love and kindness despite this shocking reality.
In this interview, he is soft-spoken as he explains his motivation for taking up the role and the significance of the project. “It is to show how men can basically approach the subject from a calmer perspective so you can pay attention to your wife,” he said. “This movie is a good template to say slow down and pay attention even if the women can not totally communicate what they are going through, but by being an observant husband, you would be able to at least provide your basic assistance.”
He adds, “I saw this as an opportunity to sympathize with characters like that in real life. I saw it as a mode to serve my purpose to say, ‘we can feel you. We see what you are going through. Your better half can listen to you but might not totally understand what you are going through.’ If you see the structure of the movie, there is really no villain there. Derin is just a victim of circumstance. As it is, it is just a way of saying, in my way, sorry to that character.”
Afolayan wears a reserved demeanor and as Fola, he wears so much calmness hoping that this would help make sense of the tense situation. For years, he has racked up a loyal fanbase stunned by his ability to deliver amazing performances in films. He does not disappoint them in For Maria.
On whether he’s had personal experiences with postpartum depression, the actor said, “well, I have heard a few stories about postpartum depression and I read up on it. Most times, I think it's more psychological than anything physical that drugs can actually cure. The movie is not selling hope as it is, it is just to bring up these questions about the topic.
“It was a long stretch for me because I had to start calling doctors to ask what they thought about it and some of them advised that the partners just had to be there for them. You can get this energy from Fola. I may not totally understand or comprehend what you are going through but I am just here,” Afolayan added.
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