Why I premiered ‘Being Mrs Elliot’ at Aso Rock — Omoni Oboli

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Aso Rock — Omoni OboliAward-winning Nollywood actress has been in the eye of the storm since her debut production effort with her movie, ‘Being Mrs Elliot’. With some still questioning her experience as a director and producer, the actress chose to do something no one has ever done before – premiering her film at Aso Rock. Only for the eyes of the President, his vice, senators and other top officials.
Since she achieved the feat, tongues have been wagging as to the motive of the idea. Here Omoni bares it all in an with Juliet Ebirim

Q: You recently premiered  your movie ‘Being Mrs Elliot’ at Aso Rock, what was it like?

A: It was very interesting. I honestly didn’t believe it was going to happen. The Film Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria actually wrote to the presidency. We just thought, well, they are too busy, they won’t answer us. But to our greatest surprise, they agreed. Even till after the event, I was still telling my assistant that if I woke up and realise that it’s all a dream, I would be very unhappy. I kept thinking it wasn’t happening, that it wasn’t real. I think it’s a very big achievement for Nollywood as a whole, because when things like this happen, it makes other believe that they can even do more. For us, it’s a big thing. The president said Nollywood has put Nigeria on the map and has affected the economy of the nation in so many ways, which is why he’s doing all he can to ensure that the industry gets all the it needs.

Q: So you think this has given the industry a big boost?

A: It is a big achievement for the industry. Every other person is going to be thinking “What else can I do that will top the presidential screening?”. It means that the industry will get better, because everyone will be thinking about doing something bigger and better, and that’s the way we grow. It’s healthy competition, it becomes unhealthy when you’re trying to pull me down, because you want to be on top.

Q: How did you feel screening your movie exclusively to the president?

A: It wasn’t just the president; the Vice-President, PDP , the senators, ministers, elder statesmen and some . It was a huge event. I was sitting at the hightable with all these people. Not even in my wildest dream did I think I’d ever get to that point where I would sit on the same high table with the president and his ministers and it’s about me. I played two roles in the movie and the president was like “how did you do it?”. He commended the movie which had a bit of culture and in it. I shot in Ekiti, Asaba and Lagos. He said the quality of the movie was very good.

Q: What was the inspiration behind the story?

A: I just wanted to do something that people can sit back, relax and have fun. It’s drama/romantic comedy. Nigerians work hard, that’s the truth and they’re stressed out day in, day out, I just need them to relax and laugh away their troubles. At the same time, it’s a story that you have to concentrate to understand it. But it’s a feel-good movie.

Q: You are one actress that has been able to stay scandal free, how have you been able to achieve that?

A: The truth is I am who I am. I’m not trying to stay scandal free. I’m just me. Nobody is perfect. It would be unfair for me to portray a squeaky clean image. I’m just like the regular person out there. Everyone has their good and bad side. I’m just being who I am.

Q: What is unique about you?

A: It’s favour and the truth is favour is not . God just decides to smile on a person. I’ve had my bad times of course. Last year, there were times when I was crying everyday for months. Did anybody hear about it?. These things just happen, it’s just God’s favour and grace. I’m not going to let anything pull me down or steal my shine. I don’t read blogs, so all those things they say don’t matter to me. The people who matter to me are those who really know me. My true fans know who I am and my true intentions.

Q: For how long have you been acting?

A: It’s always a difficult question for me to answer because there was a break in between. It’s dishonest to count the years I was on break. I acted for a while I was in the university for about a year plus. But I left it for over a decade and then I came back.

Q: Was it easy for you when you came back?

A: It was tough. Nobody remembered me. I was the new girl as far as everyone was concerned. I came at a point in the industry when nobody wanted a new girl. There were a number of established female actors, who were just in every movie and nobody wanted a new person. It was tough to break in. It was really difficult and the fact that I was also married was like a stumbling block. I’m not going to change my marital status, because I want to be in a movie. Over the years, persistence and consistency paid off. Another thing that made it difficult for me was that I also towed a path, that most people don’t. I wanted to do only good movies.