Portland singer Michael Odokara-Okigbo has landed his first movie role, in a film starring another Portland singer.
What are the odds?
Odokara-Okigbo was recently cast as a member of an a cappella singing group for the upcoming musical sequel “Pitch Perfect 2” starring Anna Kendrick.
“I didn’t get to meet her. Our schedules were different. I was only there a few days,” said Odokara-Okigbo, 24, and a 2008 graduate of Waynflete School in Portland. “It was fun to relive my a cappella days.”
Odokara-Okigbo, now based in Los Angeles and performing under the name Michael O, first gained national fame as a member of the Dartmouth Aires a cappella group competing on the NBC show “The Sing-Off” in the fall of 2011.
His Dartmouth College group finished second on the show, but Odokara-Okigbo’s strong lead vocals and showmanship impressed judges. The experience convinced him to pursue singing as a career after graduating from Dartmouth. He moved to Los Angeles and released his first EP, “In the Beginning” last fall.
Neither Odokara-Okigbo nor casting direct Hank Langlois would say exactly what Odokara-Okigbo’s role is, only that it’s small. Langlois, who also worked on the first “Pitch Perfect,” said Odokara-Okigbo will be credited and that his scene features an a cappella group singing.
“He is a very talented singer,” said Langlois. “There are many surprises in this film, that’s all I can say.”
Kendrick, 28, is a 2003 Deering High School graduate who has built a solid Hollywood film career, in both dramatic and musical roles. She was nominated for a supporting actress Oscar for her role in “Up In The Air” (2009) with George Clooney and starred in the first “Pitch Perfect” (2012).
“Pitch Perfect” was a musical comedy about an all-girls college a cappella group.
The film also spawned a hit song on the radio for Kendrick, “Cups (When I’m Gone).” And the song took on a whole new life among young people everywhere trying to copy the percussion routine, done with a cup, that Kendrick did in the film.
“Pitch Perfect 2” is due out next May, and besides Kendrick it stars Elizabeth Banks, Hailee Steinfeld and Rebel Wilson.