Sense8 Aml Ameen Recast

Sense8 Shake-Up: Aml Ameen's Capheus Recast Ahead of Season 2

The first twist of Sense8‘s second season is happening off screen.

When the Netflix thriller returns for its second season, Jean-Claude Van Damme enthusiast Capheus — portrayed in Season 1 by British actor Aml Ameen — will now be played by newcomer Toby Onwumere, our sister site Deadline reports.

Per the report, Ameen’s exit is the result of issues between the actor and Sense8 co-creator Lana Wachowski during the initial table read in Berlin and the actual filming in India. Several episodes have already been filmed; it’s not yet known whether any of Capheus’ Season 2 scenes will be re-shot.

Ameen’s (former) co-star Jamie Clayton did a Twitter Q&A on Wednesday night, offering her unfiltered thoughts on his departure:

Capheus, one of eight strangers inexplicably connected after witnessing a shared vision, was introduced in Season 1 as a Nairobi-based man desperate to fund his mother’s AIDS medication.

Your thoughts on Sense8‘s unexpected shake-up? Drop ’em in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Tim says:

    That’s crazy! No one would thing they could be replaced half way though filming. I wonder what he said to piss her off?

    • Annie says:

      Look at Jamie’s other tweets – it seems pretty clear he had a problem with transgendered people.

      • Steve Rogers says:

        jamie said in a recent tweet that thats a rumour, actually. idk what it was, but apparently, not that.

        i think maybe, given that he quit, lana pissed him off, not vice versa? no idea how tho

  2. DarkDefender says:

    As long as he builds chemistry with the rest of the cluster, I’ll give him a chance. This is one of the best shows on TV. I Can’t wait for it to return.

  3. RT says:

    Jamie Clayton going of on twitter. How she’s happy about the recast. Methinks Ameen doesn’t espouse progressive attitudes. Disappointing.

    • Bryan says:

      maybe his stand re: transpeople? just a feeling

      • ? says:

        He was on the wrong show if he had a problem with trans people. If indeed he did I don’t think it would have taken until the second season for it to become an issue he’d be dismissed over, so we shouldn’t automatically assume that’s what happened. Disappointing in any case, I greatly enjoyed his performance in the first season.

      • lechatnoir says:

        But we don’t know that this is the case . He took the role knowing full well the mood of the show is a quater gay, a quarter straight , a quarter bisexual and a quarter transgender. I doubt he isn’t woke regarding transgender issues .

        • Mike says:

          Getting a big role on a Netflix show is a big deal for an actor. It could be that he took the role although he had problems with trans people just because a role in a Netflix show was a good career move for him. He didn’t have any better offers so he took the role although he didn’t agree with the show’s message.
          From Jamie’s comments I could see that Ameen could have already made some previous comments that didn’t sit right with the cast/crew and now he made a final big comment that caused them to snap and fire him.

      • jaybird says:

        I’d bet money Ameen was fired because he wouldn’t do gay stuff on the show. It makes perfect sense8

    • Billie says:

      The fact that he had a disagreement with Lana Wachowski, and that it was Jamie Clayton of all the cast members who took to twitter does seem to point to this.
      But I think it’s also fair to point out that Lana Wachowski has made remarks in the past that were received as racist towards black people, and has created insensitive plot lines for black characters.
      Which is just my way of saying that it is possible this dispute went more than one way, and there is probably a reason they aren’t releasing more details.

      • Susan says:

        They must have fired him because an actor who has a contract can’t just quit suddenly if he doesn’t agree with a storyline etc. They had already shot a few episodes with him and fired him in the middle of production. Now they have to reshoot and it costs a big amount of money.
        Something major must have happened to cause that dispute. They fired him although it would cost him a huge amount of money. He must have pissed them off majorly and said something unforgivable. You don’t fire an actor just because he complains about his storyline.

      • kidstellar says:

        Really? I cant find anything about Lana being racists anywhere.

        • Billie says:

          The incident I’m thinking of involved her making a speech where she implied that African Americans were an impediment to trans rights because they support bathroom bills. Then she made a comparison to the 2 sets of bathrooms they had during “separate but equal”.
          These comments weren’t well received.

      • Alvaro says:

        What if they just didn’t get along? I mean, if you have a fight with a transgender person that doesn’t necessary mean that it was regarding that especific issue. And the same goes the other way, the fact that he is black doesn’t mean it was a race issue, it could have been for a million other reasons.

        Anyway, I didn’t dislike him but I think i would have missed any of the others more than him, so i’m ok with this.

  4. Tos says:

    I don’t like it, I hated it when it’s done in soap operas. It would be better to just kill him off

    • Sammy J says:

      I would usually agree but bear in mind they’re already filming the season. So it would essentially mean stopping production and potentially writing the whole season depending on how central the character is! The old show business motto: the show must go on…

    • Dick Whitman says:

      Sense7 doesn’t have the sane ring to it.

    • Chicago Dan says:

      Roseanne did it with Becky several times – back and forth. It’s s recast – it happens. Sometimes it works out better.

  5. Wordsmith says:

    Sounds like there’s a messy story there. Intriguing and unfortunate, but not really any of our business, I suppose.
    I’m just happy that we’re getting a second season at all. This show is obviously such a complicated and fragile balancing act to produce.

  6. A3rynSun76 says:


    • A3rynSun76 says:

      Over reacted earlier. If the actors aren’t clicking then a show like this wouldn’t work anyway. I hope the new Capheus embodies the same character well.

  7. zackkattackk843 says:

    Definitely a shocker, but I’m willing to accept the new actor. The show must go on!

  8. Alichat says:

    Yikes……that doesn’t sound good. What exactly did he do to get booted and his character recast?!

  9. Adam says:

    One of Jamie Clayton’s tweets about it was implied that there was hateful or intolerant behavior going down (when someone said it was horrible she said “It’s really not. Hate is horrible. Intolerance is horrible. #Sense8 IS LOVE.”). If there was that kind of behavior going down and it made the cast members uncomfortable, then perhaps good riddance.

  10. Tumblefish says:

    No one knows exactly what he did or what happened so I can’t 100% blame anyone but either way this change won’t be good because people will always compare the new guys Capheus to Amls Capheus. Should’ve just come up with a way of writing his character off and replacing him.

    • I think the problem is that most of the season is already written before they start shooting, because of shooting in so many different countries and the logistics of it. Thus, it’s more difficult to write him out unexpectedly. I don’t know what went on behind the scenes, but I think Ami should have just stuck with the character for the season and informed the creators that he was leaving once the season is over rather than just leave so unexpectedly. He’s an actor after all. Even if he’s unhappy with the direction of his character, it’s his job to perform and he’s probably far from being the only actor in the world who might disagree with some creative decisions concerning his character. But then again, who really knows what went on behind the scenes. Maybe the working relationship really was not sustainable.

      • ? says:

        Maybe he was fired because other people in the production didn’t want to continue working with him after whatever happened, even though he was willing to continue. It happens that way, too. I think you’re right about the logistics being a part of why they recast rather write around him.

  11. Aw, I liked his character and he seemed really charismatic. This is disappointing. But I guess if it got so bad that he left just after they started shooting, it might have been for the best. Will be weird to see a new actor in this part though.

  12. lololee24 says:

    I don’t know what the deal was during the table read but surely they could have found a way to resolve the issue. I do however hope that the rumors of this Lana chick being a racist isn’t true because I find it hard to believe that a woman who woke up believing he’s a woman would cast aspirations toward a persona based on the color of their skin, that makes very little sense.
    The show was pretty good but some of the story line could do with some tightening up, and they could use a new director and editor period. Just keeping it real. The shows good not great and it needs more focus, because it’s all over the place.

    • lechatnoir says:

      No I don’t find it hard to believe , I am willing to be the pecking orders and the graded racial discrimination are the same whether people are gay , straight or transgender. I am not implying that the Wachowski sisters are racists ,but they benefit from our collective idea that black people are homophobes . The Wachowskis will be fine . I don’t know about Ameen. He ain’t sitting on millions.

      I really liked Jamie Clayton until I saw those tweets . mouthing off like that is disgusting.

      I am fixin’ to re-watch the show .I always discover something that I missed the first time.

    • Annie says:

      Eh, I don’t agree with your assessment of the show’s quality and focus, but bygones on that. However, the comments I’ve read on industry sites seem to indicate the problem is more on the actor’s side of things, with many suggesting he’s got issues with transgendered people. There certainly is a great deal of racism in the industry – nobody can seriously argue with that – but that may not be the root of the problem in this case.

      • Ann says:

        Based on what? IF he had issues at the table read, then it’s obvious, something in the script bothered him. NOW, if you want to pretend as if it’s due to trans issues, how do you explain him auditioning for and accepting a role on a show run by a transwoman? And since Lana has made racist comments in the past, as well as how the characters of color were underwritten in favor of the white characters’ narrative, I seriously doubt racism isn’t an issue here. You all insist on claiming he’s transphobic, but you’re not even allowing for the fact that racism on Lana’s part could be an issue, too.

        • Raych says:

          Like they would on up to that(by they mean anybody in denial)

        • S says:

          Re watch the season bc it does not solely focuse on the white characters. If ur seeing that that is on you. Lito has a huge storyline, Nomis gf is in basically every scene of her storyline. Honestly I think the storylines are EXTREMELY WELL balanced for having 8 main characters. I find right as u think one of the 8 storylines hasn’t been seen for awhile suddenly their in the forefront and u get a good amount of storyline progression. Honestly if u sat and timed it I bet each storyline would be within 10mins of the other 7 over the entire season.
          And not that this should matter (but since color clearly seems to matter to YOU so much, way more than actual content even in a story) but I am a black Man

  13. kate says:

    Eek that is worrying. My concern is a recast could distract. It’s possible that Capheus story was a little more background this season since his story had an ending since there was some other things that seemed more important (basically Will and Sun).

  14. The Kaibosh says:

    Damn! But he’s Van Damme!

  15. Zainab says:

    At first I was upset about the recast but I’ll keep an open mind about the new actor hopefully he blends into the character Capheus easily that I won’t notice much and here’s to hoping he has chemistry with Riley because I don’t think I’ll be able to fully accept him as Capheus if there’s no chemistry between the characters. #Criley

  16. I was upset but Right if you cannot Make Mrs W happy bye-bye. PLEASE KEEP NAVEEN ANDREWS, HE’S FINE.LOL

  17. I was upset but, If you upset the Boss Mrs.W goodbye. Ask Mrs. keep Naveen Andrew, He’s fine.and Close to my age LoL. I’m still a little older Haha, All joking aside Prayers your way.I just love the show,the idea in genral.PEACE, LOVE AND GREAT SUCESS YOUR WAY.

  18. pablo says:

    for all the 8 main characters, he was the weakest one. so i wont miss him at all. and it is almost a year, so i dont really remember him so well. i do love the other 7, plus the secondary roles from Lito.

    • Sarah says:

      Hmm. It’s interesting that you say that. I think Riley’s storyline was actually the weakest, because it took me the longest to figure out her purpose amongst the cluster. I actually used to look forward to Capheus’ scenes the most, along with Lito’s.

  19. Sidney says:

    You know the saying “assume, makes an ass out of u and me”? Assumptions are being thrown around about Aml and Lana and probably none of it tells the real story. But Jamie tweeting and insinuating hate and intolerance on Aml’s part and even laughing at people unfollowing Aml due to the very insinuations she created is beyond unprofessional, petty, and borders on defamation of character. Even the level of detail shared with news agencies by show runners about the recasting just reeks of pettiness. Why not just say the actor and producers parted ways over creative differences? Why detail some disagreement at a table read? Gosh, so petty.

    • Well said, When I first found out. I posted that I was up set BUT it is NO ONE’S Business. This will not make Me stop watching. It just might harm the series. People rush to hear and follow what hearse. Praying for both Lana &Aml. Love,Peace and Great Sucess. Love from Westwego, Louisiana

  20. finally someone with common sense in the transgendered bs hysteria, and yup, he got the shaft. Classic hollywood.

  21. Prisca says:

    She clearly said it wasn’t because he had a problem with trans people and if it was that he wouldn’t have joined the show in the first place. Nomi being trans is a big part of the show and she’s obviously a main character! I doubt Jamie would lie about that rumor! And I doubt she’s extremely thrilled specifically cuz Aml is gone. She must be happy with the show because it’s still going and they have a great actor to play Capheus. Not everything is super dramatic people! Anyway, I do wonder why he wanted to leave. Maybe it really was simply “creative differences”. I hate vague explanations so much! I wish they could give us a detailed answer, but I guess that’s the business.

  22. Marcello says:

    Capheus “Van Damn” was among my fave characters. I always found myself routing for him. I wanted to see more of Ameen’s excellent acting in season two,.. (I even believed he was Kenyan; until I found out his actual origins). And now this??? I think I’d rather have seen his character killed than changed. It would have been a sad, yet, honorable way out for all involved; including the show’s fanbase. The new actor’s facial physiognomy doesn’t even possess the winning smile of Ameen/Capheus/Van effing Damn! :-(
    How did differences at a reading table allow for this to happen? There’s always a middle ground possible, I don’t buy the ‘irremediable issues” line. Not after such an excellent first season. This royally sucks and I, for one, am not fine with it. Peace.

  23. Annabella says:

    Now that the show aired I can totally tell why he wouldn’t want to be involved (cough orgy cough)

  24. Dan says:

    I loved ami. Really Sorry to see him go but new actor did just great. We have no idea what happened. The show was obviously exploring themes of compassion and unity of all of us thru this wicked cool hive/cluster idea hunted like xmen by sapiens. Just a guess and i can empathize if true. I wondered if Ami just struggled with the very graphic pansexual sex scenes as beginning with season 2 (even new years special episode 1) and onward the scenes had capheus having to kiss male actors and perform relatively graphic realistic simulated homosexual acts. As a heterosexual, i can understand if he was trying to wiggle his way out of actually kissing/simulating gay sex and Lana was not having it. I also would understand her very valid point that its a critical part of the vision and she is not going to crop or work around him just because he is heterosexual and had trouble with the scenes. Total conjecture but i can imagine a debate like that can devolve quickly. Ami has such a likable look and way about him. I hope it was nothing hateful but maybe just that he wasn’t up for hot and heavy bi/homo/or pansexual scenes and so unfortunately was probably in the wrong project. I can empathize with creators and actor if thats what happened.
    Maybe my testerone levels are too low at 42 but i actually wish whether hetero or homo or orgy or any sex scenes they were a little less graphic in all these great series. So many shows are all unecessarily graphic. In Sense8 -They are sexy scenes with great music (and people find them suoer hot) and i know they are important to the brilliant spiritual and sexual/gender themes but i am not one to get turned on by really graphic sex in movies or tv. I prefer hide and seek and subtlety and definitely don’t need to see straight or homosexual butt pumping, or hear slurping on a hetero or homosexual BJ like in game of thrones one episode. Haven’t found nudity or sex in film or tv a turn on since i was a teenager. And If i am already turned on i’d just watch porn or preferably be with the one i love. Instead those hyoer graphic simukated sex scenes makes for 5 mins of awkward tv especially when watching a given show with a group that has either older (like my 70 yr old parents) or younger generations (like my 21 year old niece or both. No big deal and it does my and our subconscious some good as it becomes normalized to see gay or even pansexual displays of affection as we explore these ideas of one soul with many faces/genders/etc but I have a big extended family and we watch movies and shows together sometimes. There are so many good ones inc penny dreadful, game of thrones, westworld, sense8, etc just seem to have these moments of near porn that could dial it back a tad, be just as effective and maybe more by losing the butt pumping slurping graphic nature of the scenes. Plus they wouldn’t lose any watchers but may gain much larger audiences to the amazing compassion and humanity found in the stories and filming. But i wont question the Wakowski or other creators genius and will keep watching. Truly love the show. Explores so much of what i wanted to explore as a writer but never had a chance when i was surprised by a pregnancy 10 years ago. Season 2 of sense8 has me dying for 3. Loved penny dreadful also and while i loath horror and have no interest in usual vampire/monster stuff, Penny Dreadful was maybe the most brilliant series i have ever watched. More humanity in a show loosly based around our most iconic monsters than any i have ever seen. To add another-OA is my other fave. Brit Marling is a just a beautiful amazing genius. So brilliant and talented. Crush. Anyway.
    Spoiler–Bye bye Ami, Sense8 rolls on. Lets pray for season 3. Such a cliff hanger twist at end of season 2.