Each actor has their own journey. For Amaka Okafor, her leading role in Netflix series Bodies — created by Paul Tomalin from the Si Spencer/Dean Ormston graphic novel — suggests that sometimes slow and steady does win the race. Set in four different timelines, with four different London detectives all investigating an identical murder, Bodies sees Okafor play the lead detective in the 2023 timeline.

“I auditioned my absolute butt off for it,” says the actress, who suggests Netflix “really wanted a name” for the role. Enter lead director Marco Kreuzpaintner, renowned for Sky Max’s The Lazarus Project.. “Marco was in my corner. He would get me from the waiting room and just be like, ‘I’m on your side. Everything you’ve done in your auditions up till now, just do that.’ Bodies is the best job I’ve ever done.”

Born in Birmingham to a Nigerian reggae artist father and Indian journalist mother, Okafar had a peripatetic childhood (“I developed ways of making friends quickly”), and studied theatre devising at Liverpool John Moores University, before working in community theatre, agent-less, for several years. Since then, it has been a case of “gradually working my way up”. As she explains, “I feel like in the past, I’ve been quite difficult to cast, to put in a box, because I’m not urban in a way people think of, so I never get cast in those sorts of things.”

On the flip side, “you don’t get typecast”, which is now paying divi­dends. In addition to Bodies and 2022 TV series The Responder, Okafor is in UK cinemas in Greatest Days, adapted from the Take That stage musical; is upcoming in UK indie comedy drama Sweet Sue by Leo Leigh; and is at London’s Royal Court Theatre in Tom Fowler’s Hope Has A Happy Meal, which runs to July. All this, plus raising her nine-year-old daughter.

Okafor cites Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop as her original creative spur; she has also taken inspiration from Kate Winslet (“It’s the people who I believe, whatever they’re doing, that’s my taste”) and as a child seeing singer Neneh Cherry, pregnant, on Top Of The Pops. “She put something in my head that you just work and you can do it, and nothing can stop you.”

Contact Alice Coles, The Artists Partnership