NOLLYWOOD actress, Enado Odigie, loves to dress to accentuate her curves. Since storming the film world by chance, the sexy princess has continued to feature in many blockbuster movies and TV series, including the popular Africa Magic Original movie, ‘Spice’ in 2014. In this interview with OLAITAN GANIU, she opens up on her disgust for actors with mouth odour, her relationship with fellow actor Blossom with whom she played lead roles in the recently released movie, Joba, and why she is single. Excerpts
TELL us about your Nollywood story.
I have been acting since I was a child but I started Nollywood between 2012 and 2014. I tested it a bit but I wasn’t sure of engaging in it fully.2014/2015 was when I effectively decided I wanted to face this as a career. It’s been a long journey and there have been a lot of lessons to learn. I have learnt from different producers, directors and co- actors. I would say that I’m happy and there is a lot work coming out soon.
How did you get into Nollywood?
I was a corporate person. For a while, I worked with corporate organization like Globacom, then I went on to planning events, but I have a passion for acting. And I said, ‘you know what, give it a try. You only move on, you never know where it would take you.’ And since then, I have never looked back. So, I have been talking to a couple of friends, saying that ‘I think I want to take this acting a little serious’. A friend of mine told me about an audition and I was accidentally auditioned for the lead role, because somebody mistakenly gave the script to a wrong person. So, I auditioned for it and they told me the role had been taken but they gave me a supporting role and after I did it, I got a call that I had been picked for the role on Mnet’s Tinsel. And later Femi Jacobs told me about an audition with Africa Magic Original Films which I attended and got the lead role in a movie titled, Spice in 2014.
Any regret so far?
The thing is, we always want to be bigger but if, every day you sit back and look at where you are, there is so much to be thankful for. There is no bad experience in life. There are only lessons to be learnt. Like I said, there are a lot of things I learnt and I’m very happy. Looking into the future with the plans, I know it will surely get better but right now it’s great.
Becoming an actress, what is the greatest sacrifice you’ve made?
Acting is one career you sacrifice for every day. Sometimes, you don’t have weekends, no holidays. For instance, most people do 9am to 5pm job, you close, and you have your weekends. But for acting, you work every day including weekends and public holidays. You are on set for 9am to 3am and then the production can be very tedious and stressful. Sometimes, you have injuries, accident and all of that, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. The only downside is that you don’t participate in some of the thing you want to be part like attending every family event. But, it is a price to pay for greatness.
Which of your movies have been put to cinema?
They have been many but for any actor in Nollywood, having a movie that goes to the cinema and seeing an audience paying to see your movie is some kind of highpoint for the actors. I got a couple of movies – Esohe, From Lagos With, Love and a Crowd, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Baby Palaver, Breaking Rules, Cooked Up Love among others.
How has the support being from your loved ones?
It has been a tremendous journey. I have a supportive family. Of course, naturally, they have their reservation but knowing well that – we’ve raised you, we’ve done everything by investing in you and all that through support and encouragement. Sometimes when you make a mistake, your family will always pick you. I have the most tremendous support from my family and friends who push me to go forward.
What is your passion?
I’m passionate about acting, cooking, fashion, traveling and I laugh a lot. Laughing is very important to me.
What is your fear in life?
Getting to the end of life realizing that I didn’t involve in things I was meant to achieve that I could’ve achieved. So, it is not a fear; it’s a driving force to ensure that I do not get to the finish line and say ‘I could have done better.’ Keep growing, keep improving yourself and ensure that you become a bigger and better person.
There are many stories of sexual harassment in the film industry. Any experience of such?
I can tell you categorically, I have never been sexually harassed. Nobody has ever said to me come and do this in order to get this, no. If you are a pretty woman, people would always make passes at you and it is very interesting. People want to get to know you but outside of that, sexual advances as an exchange for role, absolutely no.
How would you describe your character in the movie, Joba?
Joba is a movie that touches a lot of social issues like rape, depression and how it affects the victim. It is a story that tested the faith of a couple. I played Ore in the movie. Playing the character, I will say is one character that overwhelmed me because Ore is always sad. And if you are not sad as a person, playing sadness can be very tiring and the movie was physically and emotionally draining because it required a lot of scenes. It is a role that pushed me to see what my limits are.
There are a lot kisses, cuddling scenes in the movie, how do your love ones respond to this?
Naturally, the first response is discomfort for your family members and loved ones. However, they also realise for instance, you have a gynaecologist whose responsibility is to search the body part of a person who they are not related to – it is a part of the job. Knowing that the individual acting a role is technical not real but a mere play and we try as much as try to create a balance.
Has it cost you relationship?
No, because the closest people to me are the people who understand me. My families have known me since I was a child and I’m not going to lose a family member because of acting.
Outside the movie world, what is your relationship with your fellow actor Blossom?
Blossom is one of my oldest friends since 2007. We grew up together in Benin. We attended the same church and we knew each other from the university.
How do you describe the chemistry between you?
We are good friends and he is a great actor, so it is easy to blend with him because he is a friend.
Are you married?
No, I am single.
What do you look out for in your dream man?
My dream man is a man who has good character, understanding, empathy and a reasonable. As a lady, I want somebody who is patient, kind, generous, respectful and God fearing and with many other good qualities.
If you have to act with someone with a mouth odour and it requires kissing…
He has to go and brush. No, no, no – that is a personal assault on me as a person.
Will that make you reject a script?
As at the point you are getting the script, you might not notice. But when I discover on set, the next thing is to report the case to the director to help me out.
When you are not acting, what else do you do?
I spend a lot of time reading, planning and doing other personal things. I go to movie, beach, catch fun, travel and spend time with my family.
Who is your crush in the industry?
I don’t have a man -crush in the Nigerian movie industry.
What of Blossom?
Blossom is my friend. He is one of my besties in the industry.
How about outside the industry?
Couple of years ago, I used to have crush on Sean Connery and I do like Chris Hemsworth.
Do like fair or dark men?
I like a fine man whether he is fair or dark, who cares what the colour is?
Short or tall?
Preferably, taller than I am.
Older than you?
I am a very happy and playful person, I make people laugh. And because everybody has boundaries, I’m a respectful person.
Are you prepared for controversy?
I’m living my life.
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