Ariyon Bakare in a 'Life' scene.

Ariyon Bakare in a ‘Life’ scene.

*British actor Ariyon Bakare (“The Dark Knight,” “Rogue One”), who stars in “Life,” told me in a phone interview that he had no hesitation playing a biologist. “When I read the script for ‘Life,’ I thought it was one of the best scripts I’d read at the time,” he revealed.

Ariyon,  you have an important, pivotal role. How was it playing a god?

Yes, my character is kind of like a god. I basically gave life to Calvin, an alien life form, when I brought it back to life.

Ariyon Bakare at the Columbia Pictures "LIFE" Photo Call, London, UK.

Ariyon Bakare at the Columbia Pictures “LIFE” Photo Call, London, UK.

Did you learn anything coming off this project?

The challenges of me being a paraplegic was pretty difficult. That was hard. I did a lot of research doing that. I spent two weeks in a wheelchair, going around in the streets and acting like I was paralyzed. It made me see the world in a different way and realize what it would be like if you go into space in zero gravity and have all that freedom.

So with major testosterone present on set, was there any butting of heads in the confining space station?

No, filming with Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds worked out really well. We were really supportive working in confined spaces, so we helped each other. And Ryan is the funniest person on this planet and the nicest man to work with.

Also, my whole approach was trying to find this fun sort of character. Throughout my life I felt like I had to prove myself to everyone around me, being black and of Nigerian descent.

Speaking of which, do you see things getting better for blacks?

I think things are really exciting and we’re living in an era where people are protesting to make changes that are needed. We need this.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa, the film also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dihovichnaya, and Hiroyuki Sanada.       Twitter: @thefilmstrip