DeObia Oparei ​is an English actor.

As of 2014, he is 6'6'' tall and weighs about 275 pounds.[1]

Previous career

Oparei described his early life in an interview with

"I was an angry kid. I grew up in a Nigerian immigrant family – a very fractured family. I was fostered for a while by an English family, then I went back to my parents. They were at war; my father was violent, they split up and I went to live with my mum in a women’s refuge: I became an angry child. I was full of anger and very disconnected from the world around me. I went to lots of different schools, and then my brothers and I ended up in a children’s home for a while. Once my mum had managed to scrape some money together, we went to live with her, so from the age of about 11 we had some normalcy. It was the first time we went to a school for a full year. At that school there was an amazing woman called Sally Brett. She saw how angry I was, she harnessed that anger, and told me, “You’ve got to go to this place called the Greenwich Young People’s Theatre”. She took me there to see a play and it changed my life."[2]

Oparei began his nearly three decade career, on the stage, working for some of the UK's most renowned theatre companies. Theatre De Complicite, The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Royal National Theatre, amongst them. Oparei began his film career with a small supporting role in Alien 3 (1992). And after successful seasons at the Sydney Theatre Company, most notably in the lead role of American playwright, John Guare's Six Degrees Of Separation, he scored his next supporting film role, as Le Chocolat, in Baz Luhrmann's film, Moulin Rouge. Oparei is also a playwright, his play Crazyblackmuthafuckin'self. A dramedy about race, sexuality, and identity opened to rave reviews at London's, The Royal Court Theatre. London's The Daily Telegraph gave the play a very positive review, and praised both Oparei's writing and his acting versatility.[3]

After Moulin Rouge!, Oparei entered into a steady film career, with roles in ​Doom​Mr. Nice​, Your Highness​, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. His most recent notable role was in the 2012 film Dredd, in which he played TJ the Paramedic.

Game of Thrones

In Game of Thrones he is playing the part of Areo Hotah in the fifth season.

Areo was apparently Caucasian in the novels - though of his physical appearance it is only briefly mentioned that he has white hair. Moreover, Areo is from the Free City of Norvos, and people from the Free Cities can plausibly be non-white due to their more mixed populations. Of this Oparaei said:

"In the books, Areo is white and so there are those fans who think he should be white. I think it’s a good conversation to have on why is this character being played by a black actor when it was always written for a white character. We’re having this thing now with Idris Elba possibly playing Bond and people saying Bond should be white. We’re shifting. There is a paradigm shift going on. We are beginning to go, ‘Let me cast you because you personify [the role]. You don’t have to be black, you don’t have to be white. Let me cast you because there is something about the way that you portray that [character] that really sings for me’."[4]



Season Five credits
The Wars To Come The House of Black and White High Sparrow Sons of the Harpy Kill the Boy
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken The Gift Hardhome The Dance of Dragons Mother’s Mercy
Season Six credits
The Red Woman Home Oathbreaker Book of the Stranger The Door
Blood of My Blood The Broken Man No One Battle of the Bastards The Winds of Winter

External links


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