’Nonye Ben-Nwankwo, and Ademola Olonilua
Up and coming actress, Ann Adeniyi, tells Saturday Beats the reason she joined the movie industry
Was there any reason why you decided to become an actor?
I’ve been acting since my primary school days. I was my teachers’ favourite whenever we had a stage presentation. I later developed myself with the talent while growing up until I decided that I wanted to make a career out of it. To me, it’s fun. I enjoy acting and I act all kinds of roles.
How far did you go in school and what did you study?
I’m in my final year at Kogi State University studying Library and Information Science. I attended some film schools after I graduated from secondary school. Having known that my priority is in movie making, I enrolled in a movie academy while still processing admission into the university. I ended up attending three different film academies and apprenticeship with some work experience with a media house before I finally gained admission. All the while, I combine work and school but I try to manage both properly.
Most people get into movies because of fame and limelight, was that the case with you?
Actually, acting is something I do for fun. I didn’t really have so much of that in mind when I was making my decision of getting into the movie industry. I was so sure that I would get famous someday, but that wasn’t really my muse. What inspired me was knowing that was going to act what I write, I’m going to be appreciated for doing what I love to do and I will have a platform to touch lives, reach out to people, and move people’s emotions, which has been my fantasy.
Didn’t your parents frown at it when you decided to become an actress?
I’m the type who learns a lot from people and life occurrences but I make decisions independently. For this kind of profession about which almost everyone carries a stereotypical sense that it’s rough, that every actress is a flirt, cheat, wayward, indecent and bla and bla, parents who care about their daughter must at first be worried about her decision. My parents love and care so much about my sensitive decisions. When I started my acting career, it wasn’t a friendly development with them. It was so uneasy to convince them but I followed my dreams. And today, they’re coming around.
Did you delve into production because acting wasn’t paying much again?
Not really. But of course, one will, by default, expect that whatever you invest in should pay you back. I enjoy making things happen. I’m someone that has taste for good things. I started writing novels at a tender age; when I joined the industry, I became a script writer. For the passion I have for doing things my own way and with the experiences I gathered from the movie academies and on different movie sets, I became a producer. Movie production could be hectic, but extremely fun especially when you get the right crew to work with.
What’s your new movie all about?
My new movie ‘TWIST’ is a glamorous and suspense orientated movie. It’s about a girl, ‘Tessy’ who invites her friends over to her home for her birthday party. In the course of the celebration, someone is murdered secretly in the house, then investigation begins on why and who murdered the person among everyone present in the house for the party. It takes viewers through a lot of suspense and twists towards different directions and at the end of the day; the unsuspected person is discovered as the murderer.
Who did you feature in it?
I used the people I knew would give me what I wanted. The likes of Khing Bassey of “Tinsel” , Jumai Musa, Smart Conrad, Thompson Makolo Jnr, Deejay Sa’id, Rose Noi, Dave Amade, Abubakar Idoko among others.
Lagos is still the centre of entertainment, why did you choose to stay in Abuja?
I resided and started in Lagos initially, my studies made me leave for Kogi State. I later started doing things in Abuja. But I’m still much involved in Lagos jobs and I keep in touch.
Don’t you think it’s affecting your rise?
I don’t think it is. It’s not that I stay put in Abuja. I travel to the East a lot to do jobs and there, we have many jobs going on every time. I respond to invitations and I travel anywhere for jobs as long as it’s convenient and doesn’t affect any of my important study schedules.
Can you tell us a bit about your boyfriend?
Well, my boyfriend is a gentleman. He’s a very brilliant doctor and a very intelligent listener. He cares about my happiness always and understands me so well.
Doesn’t he mind that you are an actress?
He doesn’t mind at all as long as it doesn’t affect what we share. He’s very supportive and most times, he helps to arrange my schedules, he encourages me and keeps in touch every time. He’s a very emotional person but he trusts and understands me so well.
How do you cope with male admirers?
Sometimes, it can be very annoying when even those who I have serious deals with still turn out to find me attractive and start striving to go personal with me. It has been a frequent occurrence but I’m used to it. Every young girl must have admirers. They come in diverse personalities but it all depends on the girl. My self-discipline keeps me going.
Which movie brought you to limelight?
I have featured in some movies that people really appreciated. But the one I mostly got recognised with was ‘Royal Slave’. So far, I have featured in not less than 23 movies and I am still counting.
What has been the experience since you became an actress?
The experience has been quite soothing. The industry is stepping up and fast growing and it is an indication of a great development and I’m glad to be part of the team. Being an actress gives me the access to penetrate some powerful or uneasy or uncommon places without stress. I think being an actress commands attention.
What do you expect in the nearest future?
I expect a bigger me, with great and notable achievements, I expect a bigger and better Nollywood where actor’s monopoly will no longer be practised
How was growing up?
My growing up was fun. I played a lot of pranks. I was a very interesting child and also stubborn. I came from a very lovely Christian family. I’m the last daughter and grew up having my dad as my closest friend. My mum is extremely kind too. You can never come to our house without eating. She would sacrifice her comfort for your happiness. I have fantastic siblings too. My parents showed us lots of love as kids.
What are your challenges?
Well, I sure have had challenges in the past and still having but I’m not afraid of them because they come up to make me stronger and wiser. I believe in myself. I have watched and learnt so many things. These have made me see every challenge as a stepping stone. The industry is full of challenges but there’s a way of overcoming them through divine wisdom.
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