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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Nollywood Star Ini Edo Talks On Her New Movie

Nollywood actress, Ini Edo, tells us about her new movie, the African Film Festival vote rigging scandal and sundry issues
My new movie
My new movie is titled, I will Take my Chances. The movie is about the African culture. It is about love and the beauty of dance. I shot it in Lagos, Calabar and Uyo. I didn’t write it, I only produced it. The film will be shown in all the cinemas in the country this weekend. It will take a while before it will be released to the market on DVD. The major challenge we had during the production of the film was moving from one city to another. It is a huge budget movie. In my opinion, the most difficult aspect of the movie was the part that concerned dance. I used to think I was a very good dancer until we started rehearsing. Then I realised that dancing can take another dimension altogether. I lost self confidence at a point. I didn’t think I could do it. It was really challenging. We had to rehearse from 11 am to 4 pm every day, except Sundays. Putting the fund together for the movie was challenging, too. I told you it is a huge budget movie. It is not true that my state government gave me N40m for the movie. The movie is my project and Emem Isong’s project as well.
Why I delved into movie production
It started with Memories of My Heart. I saw the script and I liked it. I decided to continue with it. You can get bored if you stick to one thing. I decided to do something different and I enjoyed it. So I decided to continue with it. I will continue producing movies, though it is not going to be regular. It is not as if it is going to be a one-off thing. I have done a third movie. We just finished shooting.
 No regrets being an actress
I don’t regret being an actress. In fact, I feel I am actually blessed being in this profession. I love acting, despite the negative aspect that comes with it. I don’t think I would have loved to do another thing. But, sometimes, I am bothered by the things that are written about me, especially if they are not true. I have taken some legal steps before. That is the only way we can fight back. In all, I intend to be an actress for a long time. Even if I am not acting, I will be in the movie business.
 Marriage and acting
I have been able to hold on to my marriage. It depends on how you set your priorities and not get carried away by the whole thing. You should know when to be somewhere and when not to be in another place.  I just create a balance between my career and my life. My husband is based in the United States of America, but we see each other all the time. He just left Nigeria in January. I will be in the US soon. It is either he is here or I am there. I don’t think I will quit acting. I might divert to other areas that have to do with the movies. Talking about the scandals, my husband knows me more than any other person. Sometimes, when they say things about me, we are together at that moment. He will look at me and ask if I am the same person that people talk about. He knows what I can do.
How my career started
I was still in school when I attended an audition.  I was doing a diploma programme in theatre arts before I went to get a degree in English. The audition was interesting. So, when I finished my two-year diploma programme, I went back to acting. I didn’t think I was ever going to get this big. But then, I am always optimistic and I think positively. Although I didn’t expect it, I knew I was going to be successful.
Parental support
My parents weren’t that supportive. It wasn’t what they wanted me to do. They wanted me to be a lawyer, which was what I wanted to be initially. My parents weren’t comfortable with it because I had to do a lot of travelling and it was affecting my education. But they accepted it later.
Rivalry among actresses
I always try to be on my own these days. I simply concentrate on my work. That is basically what I do.
AFRIFF scandal   
I was in America at the time the African International Film Festival called for votes in the Best Female Actress category. I did not influence or rig the votes.  I didn’t even know what was going on then. A few days before the whole drama started, a friend phoned me from Nigeria and asked me if I wasn’t aware of what was going on and that my colleagues, who were also contesting in that category, were canvassing votes. So I had to go to the social media and I started canvassing votes and I moved on. The next thing I heard was that I rigged the votes. On my Facebook page, I have well over 30,000 friends and I canvassed votes.  I felt bad when people started saying that I influenced the votes. It was an unpleasant accusation and I felt really bad.
My relationship with Rita Dominic
You said you heard that a colleague of mine started the rumour that I rigged votes. Well, I am not going to talk about it. I have nothing to say to that.  And it did not affect my relationship with Rita Dominic. Why should it?
My vision
I want to leave a mark behind.  I want to be able to make films that people will be proud of. I want to make movies that can compete anywhere in the world.  I want to move my foundation a step forward. I want to have children. I need a platform where I can do what I have always wanted to do. I have always been into charity work.
Endorsement deals
You don’t go out to look for endorsement. There is something people don’t understand about me. I am not a forceful person. I am not desperate. I am highly blessed and I get blessings from everywhere. Anything that is mine comes to me. I don’t believe in hustling or struggling for anything. If it is yours, it will come to you.
Coping with male fans 
I’m comfortable with them. I exchange pleasantries with them. You know it is not very easy for them to reach out to us.
The real Ini Edo
Most people don’t know I am down to earth. I am just a regular girl. Most people find it difficult to differentiate me from the person they see on the screen. I am a regular person. There is a big difference between the person in the movies and the real me. I am just like the girl living next door.

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