WHY I TURNED DOWN AN INCESTUOUS ROLE IN A MOVIE –NOLLYWOOD ACTOR KALU IKEAGWU - NAIJA POLY TV

Hot

Post Top Ad

Saturday, March 21, 2020

WHY I TURNED DOWN AN INCESTUOUS ROLE IN A MOVIE –NOLLYWOOD ACTOR KALU IKEAGWU

With over 200 movies to his credit, versatile actor Kalu Ikeagwu is one of the few actors in Nigeria yet to be associated with any form of scandal. The gentleman, who has dazzled fans and movie buffs for three decades with his craft, speaks with SAM ANOKAM on his latest project, the industry, and fatherhood.

 


WHAT project are you working on at the moment?

First, I will be on set and I have two other projects coming after this one (as at the time of interview). Unfortunately, you know how it is in this industry, we don’t know what the names of the movies are because it could change at any point in time.

Are you considering producing movies?

Yes, I have thought about that. I’m currently understudying under someone regarding producing but like I have always said, I have seen the stress producers go through producing movies and the stress is mostly because they barely are able to make their capital because of the scourge of piracy.

The way I see it, the art industry is like a lorry trailer, the business end is the one that pulls the trailer and the art is the trailer itself. So, if you don’t have an engine pulling you at the business end, it won’t really go far. I want to tie that end to know how I can make my capital to invest more.

I also involved in a project to help protect intellectual property, that is what I’m working on but producing is what I am very interested in   but I don’t want to be overly stressed out and not make anything because it really is very hard work. It is tragic when you go through all that stress and have nothing to show for it or put in the next project.

What about a more technical one like directing?

I’m not sure I have the confidence to direct at the moment. That is still in the works. Someone by name Carl, has told me he would give me some directing lessons but that goes along with producing as well. When I see how far I have gone under him, then, I would know whether I have the confidence to direct or not?  Anything I do, I don’t like coming last.

I have to excel at whatever I do. Anytime I come out to do something then I know that I have a chance to excel. I am not someone who fakes it till he makes it if I may say that. I like to know that I’m on top of my game and I have what it takes. That is why I said, confidence wise, I don’t have it when it comes to directing and producing for now.

How many years have you been in the industry?

I have been acting for about 32 years now but if you are talking about Nollywood itself, I came in 2004, that should be 16 years now. I began acting stage in 1988. I then I went into television 1990/91 (NTA) that is when I started acting on screen.

I was doing my post graduate at some point and because of the unstable regime at the time, I went to England and that caused a break. I mostly did stage drama there. I did two terms of Edinburgh festivals and some short films and stuff before I came back in 2004.

How difficult is it for blacks to break into the British movie industry?

Yes, it is hard in a sense and at the same time the main reason I came back was to give back. I’m a citizen of both countries but this is where I’m from. I have been praying to God to help me fulfil my dream of acting and He told me to come back here which is far more honourable than to be over there because this is my home country and it was still berthing at that time.



I had it in my head to be one of the pioneers or foundational members to spring up so anyone who came up would have us to inspire them. It is far more of an honour to be here than over there. Maybe if I had persevered, I might have made it there but this is a better place for me to be.

And ever since you returned has it been rosy?

It is not really. There have been ups and downs. It was very tough when I came into the industry because I have never been the kind of person if I may use the word, kiss ass or be so desperate as to do anything.

I always have this thing in mind in the bible where it says God gives you one talent and at the end of the day, He would ask you what you did with the talent he gave you. I have always known that my acting is a ministry in the sense that even while entertaining, I had to do something that would teach or inform other people.

It was like a mantle or a responsibility so I never really lost sight of that and of course, it had its sacrifices and tolls because for a very long time, I didn’t get any job. At that time, I was the only one here, all my siblings and mother were all in England and they were begging me to come back to England because there is nothing here.

I was like I came here for something and I had to see it out. The good part of it was even when they were few and far in-between I had time to look into my roles and I didn’t discriminate. When I first came in, all the roles that were given are that of lover boy and I said look give me a bad guy role or different roles because I didn’t really get work that much.

I put in a lot of research in it and I was able to be without boasting, versatile – playing whichever role that came my way and that kind of honed my skills in a way. Yes, it has been rosy in that it has given me a good name and a sort of good reputation but it didn’t come without its costs but in the long run, it works very well for me.

 What kind of role can you not play in a movie?

I can play any role as long as it makes senses and as long as it has a message. That is my only criteria. I once rejected a role where I was playing an incestuous role where a father slept with his daughter and I had to turn it down because at some point I felt it was trying to push    a message without really into why it happened or what the consequences of it were.

I like stories that deal with the root of the matter, the psychology of the matter because my role as an actor, I have to like to look at things psychologically why someone would do what he did, the reasons why she does things and what the consequences are and whether he learns from it or the audience learns from it.

A lot of that was absent from it. It was like he was just pushing an agenda, oh, this is what men do and stuff like that. The point I’m making is I can play most roles but it has to be most researched into as a lot of what has to be done because at the end of the day, acting is a very spiritual thing.

Read Also: Nollywood honours senator despite assault controversy
 

Anything art be it acting, music, dance, fine arts are extremely spiritual because you are influencing people with what you do and so anything I have to do, I have to do it very well with the view to impacting people and saying hey, this is what the world you are living in is like, be careful how you live your life.

If whatever role that I have to play doesn’t cover all that and come to a conclusive end, there is no point for me doing it.

 Ever since you started acting in Nollywood, what is the industry doing wrong that should be corrected to get to the next level?

The industry has done very well but the one thing that is wrong and that wrong is like a wrong that has stained the whole canvass excepting 10 per cent, is distribution. The business end of this industry is what is wrong with this industry. The government is blind to see what it can benefit from this industry.

What am saying is that there is an open back door that is wide open that nobody is stinking to block and that is the door through which the pirates come in and take off all the revenue that’s coming to us because like I said earlier, the movie industry is supposed to be a trailer truck taking products from one end to the other parts of the country.

The lorry that pulls the trailer is broken down and that is the business end, the distribution has broken down. The trailer itself that contains the goods (art) is stranded to one place and people are jumping in and stealing everything that is being put inside that place because the truck is broken down.

So that truck (the business end) needs to be fixed so that it can take it to where it wants to go. When you have the business running, then the arts industry can survive and everyone can be paid. But at the moment, everyone is impoverished – the producers, the actors, the crew, everyone that works is impoverished because, that back door has not been blocked.

Pirates are coming in and taking what accrues to us. The industry is worth about $2b a year but most of it about 99 per cent of it goes to the pirates. That is the one thing that is wrong with the industry.

Let’s talk a bit about your personal life, what does fatherhood mean to you?

Fatherhood is a wonderful thing. It teaches you a lot of things. The number one thing it teaches you is sacrifice. Love is not that romantic stuff that they portray in movies. I have learnt that love is a practical word, a verb putting yourself on the line. I just left my home.

I finished buying foodstuff and I was waiting for my favourite meal to be cooked hoping that I will eat before I come out but they were still cooking it and I knew I had to leave and go to work. As soon as I leave here, I am going on set and I will not see them again until a week is over probably two weeks and I did not enjoy that food I was waiting for but that is my role as a father and husband.

When they say you are the head of the family, in reality you are the servant. You are there to serve them and make them happy and your joy is seeing them happy. The only compensation you have is maybe you get the largest piece of meat when you get back home or the head of the table but that is it. You are the servant.

You look at it and you say that is my real future I am building. I don’t have anyone else or should I go to a side chick and invest what I should invest in my family? Everything is for them. My wife and children are my future. You know I have an awesome wife who trains them well and when I get back home, I see them behaving well and that shows that she has held the home well. That is fatherhood.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad

Your Ad Spot