Q: Weren’t you interested in the money?
A: Money wasn’t really the motivation. It wasn’t as if I didn’t need money, I did. In fact, many times I was broke and I needed money badly. I was brought up in a way that you don’t do a bad thing because you need money. If the script wasn’t good enough, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. My fans are going to watch it and they’re going to be disappointed. I don’t want to do things that would insult people’s intelligence and even mine. It really made things difficult for me.
Q: Screening your movie in Aso Rock, was it about money?
A: It wasn’t about money. When they told us that they would give us audience to do the screening,they asked me what I wanted and I said I wanted nothing. All I said is that they should see the movie and give their blessings, that, that alone is for the industry. The president even said it at the event that he doesn’t have any money to give. So if anybody is saying something else, it’s their problem. It’s the same small purse I went with that I came back with. After the event, I and my colleagues came back to Lagos the next day. I didn’t stay back in Abuja. No money was given.
Q: Your husband is a dominant figure, he’s everywhere with you. What role has he played in advancing your career?
A: A lot of people don’t know that Nnamdi is my manager which is why he’s there.
Q: How does he manage that with his job?
A: He works for himself, his time is his own. So it’s easier for him to take out time to be with me if I need him. He’s not there with me every time. He’s a modern day person, he’s not a traditional man who believes a woman has to do this and that. As an actress, you can’t be married to a traditional man. You are just going to have issues. You will have to leave the career or the man.
Q: What do you mean by being traditional?
A: There are some who believe that a woman’s place is in the home, a woman shouldn’t do this and that. This is one of the reasons why a lot of actresses have issues in their marriages. Another thing that happens is that the man starts competing with you. Nnamdi is not interested in the limelight at all. For him, it’s like; It’s your thing, I’m going to be the wind beneath your wings, just keep flying. He’s the push that I have. If he wasn’t with me, I don’t think I would have gotten this far. He’s the one that says, don’t worry, it’s okay.
Q: Was it a deliberate decision making him your manager?
A: Yes. Initially, I had a management company that was managing me, but it wasn’t working for me because we had different values. I decided to use someone whose values are almost the same as mine. It worked and the money remains in the family.
Q: Are you owing anyone or banks over this project?
A: No, I’m not. I’m not owing anybody. I’ve shot two other movies after ‘Being Mrs Elliot’, though not that big and they’re still in post production. When I called my crew members to come and work, one thing they said was, ‘she doesn’t owe’ and so they came quickly. I don’t believe that someone should work and not get paid.
*Culled from Vanguard