Sweet-faced and Nollywood darling actress Chioma Chukwuka opens up on her career, her movies and the reality of Nollywood.
When did you know that you wanted to act?
Very early, I knew this was my calling. I wanted to act, dance and sing. I had my family support as well. The breakthrough was difficult, but I was eventually given a chance. Still I gave up after 2 years, but was called back later.
You have this clean image.
Everybody likes it. It has its advantages.
You sometimes play a prostitute.
I like to be versatile. Every once in a while, I like to try out something different.
Like in “Foul Play”?
Yes, but in the script my character wasn't exactly that kind of person. The producer insisted on that side of my character to take central stage. It wasn't meant to be that way right from the start.
In “Knowing You”, you forgive the unforgivable and you are also forgiven the unforgivable. Is that really possible in real life?
I really don't know. Although I played the part, I can tell you that I personally can't forgive that kind of situation. But again, it's part of the versatility of my work.
How do you get scripts?
I have a personal agent who gets me work.
What would you never play?
As an actress, I am up to any part that comes my way. What I wouldn't play are traits associated with a character like smoking for instance.
Which part(s) haven't you played yet?
A mad woman or a house girl.
How many movies have you played in this far?
About 60 or 70 movies in approximately 7 years.
In “Moment of Truth” your character was abused both physically and verbally. Did that make you understand better the issue of domestic violence?
Yes, off course. But the reality is that up to 60% of the women in a steady relationship are being abused to some extent by the man in their lives. It's pretty much part of reality.
You seemed to have a lot of fun in “The Bridesmaid”.
I was very comfortable with Stella and Kate, we are really friends. Stella is a tremendous actress. Richard Mofe-Damijo brought the best out of me and all the funny scenes are genuine.
Tell us about “Games Men Play”?
I had so many experiences on the location, it was an all-stars cast. Working was fun and we all had a great time.
Tell us about “Royal Doom”.
I just wanted to try out something new, I got a lot of calls from fans afterwards who were surprised at the outcome. I really had to go out of my way on that one.
What is it like to make an epic movie?
You spend more time outdoors under the sun, for one. Also the acting is raw, real. The make-up takes more or less 15 minutes per person.
You are married now. How has that influenced your career?
Due to my new status, I am not able to take on as many jobs as I used to. And also, I have to be careful about certain things.
How do you cope with fame?
I wake up in the morning just like everybody else and I still am my normal self. I am down-to-earth.
Is your husband famous as well?
Who do you admire?
Ramsey Noah, Desmond Elliot, Joke Silva, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Stella Damasus-Aboderin.
Who is your dream partner onscreen?
I won't mention that.
What is your best work?
I am very proud of all my movies. Especially the first one, “The Apples”.
Who wouldn't you like to act with?
I can't mention that.
Who's your dream director/producer?
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen. He directed my first movie and he really brings out the best out of me.
What's your best memory on location?
There are too many to mention.
What's your advice to upcoming actors?
Come as you are, be yourself, don't try to be someone you're not.