Wednesday, February 1, 2012


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 Uru Eke
Upcoming actress Uru Eke doesn’t understand why Nollywood actresses are threatened by a new face and fresh talent. She equally believes that everyone has a special place in the industry and there is no need for baring fangs.
In a recent chat with Daily Sun, she shed more light on how challenging her career has been. Excerpts:

How would you describe your career at the moment?
I am just taking off. It has been good and steady. I am happy for the progress I have made since I started.

What attracted you to Nollywood?
I have done a few short films in the UK and I used to belong to an acting club. Besides that, I have always loved acting and being in-front of the camera. It’s just second nature for me to take up a completely different character.

What kind of roles do you get in movies?
I started off playing a widow, then a rival, boyfriend snatcher, money grabber and lately, I played the role of a bitch.

What do you do immediately you get a script?
First thing I do is read the script, maybe read it a couple more times to familiarize myself with the character that I’ll be playing. Run through my lines and try working myself into the role.

Have you had cause to reject any script?
No, not yet. I am still pushing things and moving up.

You have been in Nollywood for four years now, what is your staying power?
I wouldn’t call it staying power as such. I believe if you have a strong desire to do something, you stick to it till you succeed.That is what I am doing.

How challenging has it been for you?
The major challenge has been shuttling between London and Nigeria. A friend of mine told me that when I starred in his film a while back that I should have stuck around because producers/marketers were looking for me like crazy, but I had gone back to london. The thing is I have a 9-5 job back in the UK and when I’m on holiday, I come to Nigeria to do a movie or two then head back. So, I’ve never been around when there’s a buzz about me. By the time I return, it’s all boiled over. But its okay, what will be will be, right?

How did you break into the movie industry, was it an easy take?
Breaking into the industry wasn’t difficult, I knew someone who knew someone. Nepotism is the order of the day.
What is your view on the movie industry in Nigeria?
I love the way things are going at the moment. Individuals are taking the bull by the horns, doing their own thing and coming out with some pretty good stuff. Actors and actresses are no longer waiting for the marketers, everyone’s putting their creative minds to good work. Its brilliant.

How ready are you for the scandals and many controversies that come with your job?
No one can ever be ready for scandal and controversy, but you just have to deal with it the best way possible. I don’t do drama and I avoid anything and anyone that could potentially create drama around me.

What do you do back in the UK?
My main job is as an IT consultant back in the UK, but when I’m on holiday, I take the time to build my acting career in Nigeria.

Which is your most challenging movie role till date?
So far, I wouldn’t say I’ve done anything that has particularly challenged me, still waiting for that script.
As an actress, who do you look up to in the industry?
I love Bimbo Akintola, she can’t do wrong by me.
Don’t you think its too stressful pursuing a career in Nigeria from UK?
It’s been very challenging but who knows, things might change, so watch this space.

Can you compare both worlds for us, what makes each unique?
The UK film industry is a completely different kettle of fish. There’s something called equity minimum which is like a minimum wage for actors which you are entitled to on a film set, I am not sure they do this in Nigeria.
Secondly, some of the auditions I’ve been to, you are required to come prepared with a monologue but in Nigeria, if you have the bargaining power you state your fee if you don’t, you take what you are offered or lump it. As for auditions, you turn up and play a role described to you.

How did your family react to your desire to be an actress?
My mum has always been a bit 50-50 with me and this acting business but my sisters are my greatest supporters.

Where did you grow up and what is your most cherished childhood memory?
I was born in England, we then moved to New Jersey USA, then back to England, then Nigeria then back to England. So, we were a bit all over the place but I cherish al those lovely memories.

Growing up, what is the greatest lesson life has taught you?
Humility. My mother is the most humble woman you’ll ever meet plus the most pleasant, I took that from her. I have also learnt to be positive and shoot for the stars.

There seems to be a kind of cold war going on in Nollywood between actresses and actors who don’t speak to each other, do you think this trend portends well for the industry?
There’s always bound to be rivalry among colleagues of any industry. Even in my IT job, I have colleagues who would stab you in the back just to get ahead. In situations like that, what can you do? I mean my natural instinct would be to have a few words with the individual or steer clear.
• Uru Eke
Photo: Sun News Publishing

How do you relate with other actors and actresses?
So far my interaction with other actresses has been very minimal, there are a couple of them that I relate to who are really nice and some that I can’t be bothered with. I don’t understand the need to be hostile or show fangs when they see a new talent. There’s room for everybody. The guys have been warm and welcoming so no complains there.

Where do you wish to see yourself in the next couple of years?
I would like to be recognised as an established actress with great depth. Have a positive influence on the young and old, sending a message that you can dream big dreams and achieve them no matter how late it comes in life. I believe delay is not denial and God makes a way there seems none known to man.

Have you ever felt your personality gravitating to a role you once played?
Not at all, I mean I’ve mentioned the roles I’ve played so far as a widow, bitch, money grabber, diva etc and I’m none of those in real life.

Who has made the most remarkable impact in your life as a person?
My dear mother, she’s my super woman.

Were you exposed to African movies in UK while growing up?
When I was younger, like from the age of 15 downwards, no. I think I discovered Nollywood around year 2000 and latched unto it.

You are a beautiful young lady, how do you handle male admirers?
They are part of the day’s job. I handle them with tact and firmness.

Who is the lucky guy in your life?
A lovely man who I’ve been dangling my bare finger before so he can put a cool ring on it.

Can you quit acting for love?
I don’t know yet and wouldn’t want to start thinking about that. I am more focused about building my career.

What advice would you give Nigerian producers and directors?
Let’s get more creative with our story telling and movie making. We need a change of events to take things to a totally new level.

Any last words for your fans?
Hold on to your dreams and pray to the almighty above. Everything is possible with Him.

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