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Idol Chatter

Some of you may recall meeting Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as the fierce, wild-eyed henchmen devoted to the resurrected Imhotep in “The Mummy Returns.” And though he played a convincing devotee of the evil ancient Egyptian High Priest, it’s his most recent role as “Lost”‘s Mr. Eko, the African druglord turned “priest,” that has audiences devoted to him.

In fact, after being so taken with Mr. Eko’s recitation of the 23rd Psalm on one of this season’s espisodes, Hawaiian Senator Fred Hemmings asked him to repeat the perfomance as the daily prayer before the state Senate. So, it’s rather interesting that this actor who can imbody a Christian pastor so believeably is actually a Buddhist. Akinnuoye-Agbaje recently told the TVGuide Channel that it’s challenging playing a priest since he has to espouse doctrines and teachings that are not always in agreement with his own.

“I was intrigued to play that spiritual element. It was something that really interested me because I’m a Buddhist by nature. And I thought it interesting for me to play a priest, being a Buddhist. You know, because it would challenge my own faith, and hopefully deepen it, and at the same time give me a greater understanding of other people’s [spirituality],” he explained in more detail to the Philadelphia Daily News.

At the same time Akinnuoye-Agbaje should find comfort being on a show which seems to incorporate many Buddhist concepts, unlike his stint in “Oz” as the ultraviolent inmate Adebisi or his role as Majestic in the 50 Cent story “Get Rich or Die Tryin,'” for which “he [chanted] more than usual while playing the brutal character,” according to IMDB.com.

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