Photography: Max Montgomery. Styling: Sky JT Naval. Grooming: Taylour Chanel

My Media Diet: Industry’s Alex Alomar Akpobome

Ahead of the show’s explosive second season release, we caught up with the actor about playing Danny Van Deventer, and, er, sauna blankets.

Alex Alomar Akpobome can’t quite believe anyone is interested in what he has to say. It’s surreal and pretty weird to have so much positive feedback from something [you’ve worked on],” he explains, Zooming in from his native Los Angeles. I’ve not been fussed about being successful up until this point.”

The actor is, of course, talking about Industry: the intense Euphoria-meets-Succession drama about ambitious twenty-somethings trying to make it big at fictional London investment bank Pierpont. Akpobome joined the show in its critically acclaimed second season. He plays high-flyer Danny Van Deventer, who comes beaming in from the company’s New York office to join Harper Stern (Myha’la Herrold) and co in their pursuit of getting to the top, by any means necessary.

I always thought Danny was kind of the hero, the nicest guy in the whole thing,” Akpobome says. But friends have said he’s devious and cunning, maybe even the villain.” Before landing the role, he’d only heard of the show and felt no emotional connection to the finance industry. I’m not a money seeking person,” he says, but I think my favourite thing about acting is someone telling you that you fit into something you’d never imagine yourself doing.”

Though Akpobome had no idea what it was like to be a stockbroker, he could relate to having a job he cared about, that he was desperate to succeed in. I think that’s what people like about the show – it’s universal,” he says. Industry could work in any industry, like movies or restaurants. You just want to be accepted in any field.”

Born in LA, Akpobome went to boarding school in Oregon and in order to help pay his way, his single mum decided to take a job there: I was always in trouble,” he says. There was a principal who was always on my ass – she was about to kick me out, but she saw me do a play and said, You’re really good at that’. That moment always sticks in my mind because she had nothing to gain [by saying that]. It meant a lot to me.”

Before landing the Industry gig, Akpobome starred in a few short films followed by Twenties, Lena Waithe’s semi-autobiographical coming of age comedy. In the lead-up to that, he auditioned for five years without landing much. Industry has been an unpredictable [journey], but very satisfying,” he adds.

During the dry spell, Akpobome made ends meet as a busboy, cleaning tables at restaurants. I’m still very good at bussing tables, by the way!” he says. I have the impulse to go back to doing that sometimes, because I’ve done more of that than actual acting.”

We have a feeling that won’t be necessary. Keep scrolling to find out what Akpobome gets up to beyond flicking through scripts and pseudo-stockbroking…

The last article I found myself thinking about was…

I don’t really engage with the press, but I recently broke that rule and read some reviews for Industry. I think people might like it!

The last new artist I discovered on Spotify was…

I don’t tend to find that many new artists, but the last thing I listened to was the Drive soundtrack.

My favourite song often off that soundtrack is…

A Real Hero by Electric Youth.

The last podcast I listened to was…

I recently got into podcasts because I bought a sauna blanket, and in order to be inside this thing, I can’t watch anything. So I’ve been listening to SmartLess with Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. It’s super funny. It’s just some actors making fun of each other for an hour.

The last picture I liked on Instagram was…

Of the girl I have a crush on.

The last audiobook I stayed awake listening to was…

David Foster Wallace: In His Own Words. It’s a series of interviews and short stories.

The last word I learned was…

Lugubrious. It means sad, looking and sounding sad or dismal.

The last TikTok that made me laugh out loud was…

The girl that I have a crush on, I saw her do a TikTok and it made me laugh – in an affectionate way, not a mocking one.

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