'Bob Hearts Abishola' Star Folake Olowofoyeku Reveals She Grew up as the Youngest of 20 Children

Bob Hearts Abishola star Folake Olowofoyeku comes from a huge family, revealing on The Rachael Ray Show that she is the youngest of 20 children. The Nigerian actress, who earned her breakthrough role thanks to the new Chuck Lorre comedy, gave Ray a look at growing up in that unique situation. Olowofoyeku stars as Abishola in the CBS sitcom, opposite Billy Gardell.

On Rachael Ray, Olowofoyeku showed off a picture of her family gathering for her mother's 10-year memorial. She said she makes it back to Nigeria at least once or twice a year. It helps her "keep grounded and recharge" between her jobs in Hollywood.

Olowofoyeku said she plans to go back home for Christmas.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Olowofoyeku moved to New York City at 18. She attended City College of New York, where she learned to act and worked "off-off-off-off-Broadway" to develop her skills. Her character was not created specifically for her in mind, but Lorre and co-creator Al Higgins worked with Nigerian-British comedian Gina Yashere to build an authentic character and Olowofoyeku quickly connected with her.

"I walked in[to] this already created, already planned-out world," the actress explained to THR. "Now my job is to take this script and deliver a performance that's accurate to the character and her region, which is specifically Yoruba, which is also my tribe. I grew up in Nigeria, and I'm also Yoruba."

She continued, "So it's almost like I all I need to do is to draw from my memory, the memory of my mother, the memories of my aunties, the memories of all the women in my life growing up, and that's what feeds the character. Abishola is based on on my mom and all the Yoruba women in my life."

During production, Olowofoyeku said she believes it is important for her to make suggestions and tweaks to the script to make the lines sound more authentic.

Olowofoyeku later told THR she never thought she would work in sitcoms. In fact, she thought her "lane" would be science fiction, because she loves the genre.

Before booking Bob Hearts Abishola, Olowofoyeku also starred in episodes Transparent, Westworld, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Modern Family.

In Bob Hearts Abishola, Bob (Gardell) falls in love with Abishola after meeting at a hospital.

"We get to explore the immigrant experience," Olowofoyeku told Ray about the show. "Specifically, in this show, we explore the Nigerian immigrant experience, but I think it translates to all immigrant experience. It's universal. So you're gonna see us on primetime television, speaking Yoruba and eating Nigerian food. You get to see that we have more in common than we do not."

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Bob Heats Abishola airs Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

Photo credit: CBS