An Interview With ‘The Outlaws’ Actor Gamba Cole

by Rachel Bellwoar

With The Outlaws returning this week on Prime Video, community service is the least of Ben’s problems. Catch up on Season One now and be sure to check out this interview with Gamba Cole, who plays Ben and generously agreed to answer some questions over email.

Rachel Bellwoar: Season Two picks up where Season One left off, with the money Ben stole from the drug dealers coming back in a big way. What was it like stepping into Ben’s shoes again?

Gamba Cole: For me, I never really stepped out of Ben’s shoes. We were shooting both Season Two and One at the same time and not in order, so it was more about keeping up with the parts of the story that hadn’t been filmed yet.

RB: Rani (Rhianne Barreto) and Ben have a bit of a Breaking Bad dynamic this season, with Rani showing some new colors while Ben’s stance is pretty consistent with how he’s always felt. Dealing drugs goes against everything he believes, but his family’s lives are on the line. Was it difficult to play those scenes, where Ben has to make decisions that go against his instincts?

GC: I wouldn’t say it was difficult to play because, if anything, I think the internal struggle he shows between the right thing to do and what he actually has to do, adds to the stakes of the story and ultimately shows how he feels stuck. Being the only ‘Outlaw’ who did not commit a crime initially, I think the audience knows he is fully against being involved but his hands are tied.

RB: How was it working with Rhianne this season?

GC: I love working with Rhianne, she’s super talented. We had worked together previously on another Prime Video series called Hanna, so we already had an idea of how each other worked. That’s where our friendship started. She’s such a great person off-screen too.

RB: John Butler directed the first two episodes while Alicia MacDonald directed the last four. Does it help, having the same director cover multiple episodes, and how did their directing styles differ?

GC: John and Alicia had quite similar but also different directing styles. They both like to build the scenes with their actors, allowing us the space to bring our ideas to the table and show them. They both trusted us which is such a great feeling. It does sometimes help having a director direct a certain amount of episodes because it enables you to have someone to give you more context and also you are able to build a better working relationship over a lengthier period of time.

RB: Ben takes his responsibilities as a brother very seriously. What’s the best part about getting to explore that sibling relationship?

GC: The best part about exploring that relationship, I’d say, is understanding how important my actions as an older brother impact Esme (Aiyana Goodfellow). He wants to make sure she has more opportunities than he ever did to enable her to go off and make something of herself.

RB: As a viewer, it’s hard enough watching the characters be under so much stress. What is it like to have to work yourself up into that kind of tension and is it easy to shake off afterwards?

GC: It’s not easy to shake off I’d say. Shooting two seasons back-to-back during a pandemic, mixed in with not being able to see your family and just the state of the world at the time made it that much harder. But the positive side was that I was able to channel all of that into my character and encapsulate all the frustrations he was going through.

RB: Despite being under a lot of pressure, we do see Ben start to look to the future this season. Ben’s dream is to open his own food track. What role or genre would you love to have a crack at someday?

GC: I would love to have a go at a romantic comedy. I haven’t really seen a character from my demographic in a film or show like that. It would be refreshing to see. But ultimately, I just want to continue to tell great stories no matter what genre they are.

 

Season two of The Outlaws starts streaming August 5th on Prime Video.

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