Babs Olusanmokun Channels His Inner Gentleman in ‘The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare will make you want to enter your “gentleman era.”

Based on a true story, this action war film features a unit of mavericks and rogues that operate the first special forces mission to fight the Nazis during World War II. Babs Olusanmokun portrays Agent Heron, a highly skilled gentleman and undercover spy of Operation Postman. While undercover, he operates a casino bar and illegal export business on Fernando Po Island. He has many tricks if anyone tries to harm or corner him and can acquire the most dangerous weapons instantly, all thanks to his connections.

In a riveting one-on-one conversation, the Nigerian-American actor told EBONY, “It was sexy” to play this role. “I worked on a British accent for it and tried to take my sound back to the 1940s. I simply tried to take my natural speaking voice to that period and modify it to give it a sense of time and place.” 

Olusanmokun expressed his love for the era, and by watching this spy comedy film, we can appreciate the clothing, the way people carried themselves and the things people aspired to do in our world during that time. He also mentioned that his character is the ultimate gentleman being pulled into the unit of the ungentlemanly. References to Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart, Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier helped him establish his character. “I wanted to bring out a very confident, well-traveled, weary but ready type of character for this film,” the 39-year-old actor shared. “That was the inspiration I was working with underneath and that’s what I tried to layer with.”

'The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare' Star Babs Olusanmokun_Lionsgate JPG
The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare‘s Babs Olusanmokun. Image: Lionsgate.

It’s notable that Olusanmokun plays one of the few Black characters in this squad of rogues. “In World War I, there were Black men from the West Indies and from all over Africa that fought for England,” he pointed out. But, “these are things that you’re not taught as a child in school, even if you have a good education. So when we see Black people on screen, we’ve been conditioned to think that people that looked like us weren’t even there.”

Office Heron is a representation of our people existing in those times and spaces, according to The Book of Clarence star. “It shows the possibilities and the reality of people moving from one place to the other, to the other to the other, regardless of their skin color,” Olusanmokun said. “I think this film is fantastic with its representation of people.” 

Olusanmokun appreciates that this unknown piece of history can be shared with all who watch. “It focuses on and gives you an education on a time period filled with the action, style, grace and gravity of World War II,” he surmised. “You’re getting an education with heightened and fun filmmaking.” 

Ready to be the ultimate gentleman? Olusanmokun has a tip on how to be one in 2024. “Respect your women, respect their women, respect all women,” he declared. “Power is not abusive.” 

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is in theaters on April 19, 2024. 

Updated: April 17, 2024 — 3:02 pm