(CBS Local)– Ato Essandoh is only of the only actors in show business with a chemical engineering degree from Cornell University.
After appearing in shows such as “Elementary” and “Blue Bloods,” Essandoh is back on CBS as Major Trey Ferry in the network’s new drama “The Code.” The show tells the story of U.S. Marines in uniform and in the courtroom. The Cornell grad is excited to be home on CBS.
“I used to do a lot with this show called ‘Elementary’ and Craig Sweeny was one of the writers on the show,” said Essandoh in an interview with CBS Local. “Unbeknownst to me, he had gone on to create ‘The Code.’ When I got the audition it was a really great script, but I was worried about doing a procedural and a case of the week. I did a conference call with him and explained what the scope of the show was and he sold me within the first five minutes.”
In addition to his role on “The Code,” Essandoh has worked on several films such as “Django Unchained” and “Blood Diamond.” The co-star of the new CBS drama will never forget his experience on Django because he got to work with Quentin Tarantino and did his own stunts.
“It was weirdly fun. One of the things I remember is when I went on my audition and finally met Quentin Tarantino, he was making jokes all the time on set,” said Essandoh. I’m up in a tree, there’s dog and I’m about to die and he’s making a joke every time. He also wants me to not be focused on one aspect. He wants to see the full human being and this guy shoots every single angle. My character is a slave that gets caught and eaten by the dogs. It’s a really horrible scene, but I love dogs, so I did the stunt. These dogs were 150 lbs. When you feel that dog bite, it’s insane.”
Another memorable moment from Essandoh’s career was working alongside Will Smith in “Hitch.” Essandoh learned very quickly just how big of a star Smith is.
“We have this scene in a cab where it’s just me and Will,” said Essandoh. “He is what everyone wants Will Smith to be. He is legitimately an awesome person. I got to interact with him a little bit and this guy is incredible. I’m sitting in the cab with him as we’re going down Broadway and the car stops. It just so happens that there’s a 50-foot picture of Will Smith on a building. He didn’t see and I said ‘hey Will look.’ And he goes ‘yeah.’
Catch Ato on “The Code” Monday nights at 9pm EST/PST on CBS.