Nonso Anozie in a scene from the TV series Zoo.
Nonso Anozie in a scene from the TV series Zoo. Channel 10

Nonso Anozie's totally wild times on the set of Zoo

NONSO Anozie cuts an imposing figure at 198cm tall.

But his gladiator-like frame doesn't guarantee his character any safety in the new TV thriller Zoo.

The London native plays Kenyan safari guide Abraham in the new US import, based on James Patterson's bestselling novel.

Abraham is the best mate of American zoologist Jackson Oz (James Wolk), whose late father's theory of an abrupt change in animal behaviour starts to come true.

A wave of violent animal attacks against humans appears to be the beginning of a power shift in the global food chain in the show's terrifying premise.

From left, Nora Arnezeder, James Wolk, Billy Burke, Kristen Connolly and Nonso Anozie star in the TV series Zoo.
From left, Nora Arnezeder, James Wolk, Billy Burke, Kristen Connolly and Nonso Anozie star in the TV series Zoo. Timothy Kuratek

"The story centres around Jackson. His father died spouting theories about the end of the world and the coming animal apocalypse and no one believed him," Anozie told APN.

"But it seems, as the show goes on, that his father may have been on to something, even though he went to his grave with everyone thinking he's mad."

A stage actor by trade, Anozie is known for his screen roles in Game of Thrones, Ender's Game, The Grey and Cinderella.

While his character is confined to the African continent in the book, Abraham enjoys an expanded role in the TV series, travelling the globe with Oz as they investigate reports of bizarre animal behaviour.

"Abraham's almost like a brother/father figure to Jackson," he said.

"At the beginning of the show we're tour guides and zoologists. We have a keen interest in animals but we're spending our days doing the tour guide business. We're kind of just lulling at this stage in life, not having any direction... just having fun.

"All of a sudden we're thrown into this world where this secret subsection of the government wants to put us together with three other people to investigate. We know something is up but the government doesn't want to admit to it."

Filming Zoo in New Orleans has given the 36-year-old the chance to get up close and personal with everything from lions to lizards.

Nonso Anozie in a scene from the TV series Zoo.
Nonso Anozie in a scene from the TV series Zoo. Channel 10

"The first day that we started I was introduced to two adult male lions, which was something else," he said.

"Today, I was just filming with a boa constrictor and a baby leopard... snakes aren't my favourite (laughs), so today was nerve-racking.

"I thought since we've got the technology we'd be doing a lot more CGI but the producers of the show wanted it to be as real as possible, so we've used a lot of real animals. We've had lions, tigers, wolves, bears, and we come up close and personal with a lot of them."

The series also stars Billy Burke, Kristen Connolly and Nora Arnezeder.

Zoo debuts tonight at 8.30pm on Channel 10.


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