A striking Nigerian actor, Oladayo A. Okeniyi (pronounced O-la-die-o Okay-ni-yi) appeared in several elementary school theatrical productions before his family moved to the United States in 2003. At the insistence of his father, a customs officer, and his mother, a literature teacher, Okeniyi earned his bachelor's degree in visual communications design in 2009. Following his dreams, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting, cutting his professional teeth in the short films "Eyes to See" (2010) and "Lions Among Men" (2011). Okeniyi achieved a major breakthrough when he landed the role of the deadly but honorable Thresh in "The Hunger Games" (2012). As one of the 24 young men and women forced to fight to the death on a gruesome reality show, Okeniyi made a strong impression as the mysterious Thresh, who saves then spares the life of fellow competitor Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) after hearing how she honored his murdered fellow countrywoman, 12-year-old Rue (Amandla Stenberg). The acclaimed futuristic film, based on the immensely popular trilogy by Suzanne Collins, was poised to become a global blockbuster.