Nse Ikpe-Etim is not a new arrival on the silver screen. But for a hiatus that took her to other fields, she has always been in the world of make-believe. In this chat with KAZEEM POPOOLA, she speaks on life, love, career and other issues. Excerpts: What gave birth to your phenomena rise in the movie industry? I will take that as a compliment. But I’ll ascribe it to working with the right people, having the right attitude and being professional about work. I know that talent cannot take you anywhere except having the right attitude and the grace of God which should always come with everything. Are you through with the Royal Art Academy? No, I have only done five movies out of 18 with the Royal Art Academy. Were they done simultaneously? No, they were done at different times. If a production speaks well, it speaks well. So you can’t say because Royal Academy has chosen to be bringing out movie in a certain class or calibre and another hasn’t I haven’t done other movies. I have worked in everywhere I should have worked. What is your definition of a good actress? A good actress is someone who can interpret a role without seemingly looking as if she is acting. So what happens is that she becomes a character. If I can tell that you are acting, then you haven’t done anything for real. How can you connect your childhood ambition to what you are doing now? Having the kind of childhood I had basically would be one of the adverse effects today because growing up as a child was all about reading a lot. I started reading at a very early age and I started playing a lot of educational games. I wasn’t the regular kind of kid. Life experiences could help one connect well with movie characters as an actor. At what point did you see acting as your calling? That was when I did the movie Reloaded and I said to myself, if everyone is working, perhaps I should give this a shot. What are the right things that helped you get instant recognition within a short time? Reloaded was shot about four years ago and you call that short? But there are some actresses, who are still struggling for the limelight after 15 years or more I am growing at the rate I should grow because I think the industry has a lot more tentacles than it used to have. If you strive to do well, people will notice you. Most of the characters you play in movies are always about broken heart, playing games and more. what normally informs your choice of scripts? If the dialogue is good, then there is a big possibility of my doing the script, I am a dialogue freak and I also insist that even it is 10 words and I can use my eyes to convey it, I do a script like that. How do you see love? Love is a beautiful thing, I believe in love. When was the first time you were in love? I am still in love. You actually started four years ago, where were you before then? I was in different industries. Can you talk more about that? I have been into the banking and fashion. I have done a bit of TV and radio, and the first time I came to this industry was a long time ago but left. Why? Because I was a young girl looking for satisfaction. As a young girl, you look for what will satisfy you. Are you happy where you are now? Yea, I am happy at where I am now. How many flicks have you done to date? I did Reloaded, Guilty Pleasures, Erika, that has to do with a child with witchcraft that used to happen in our states, Memories of my Heart, Kiss and Tell, I played a small role in Black Gold and Inale, and a host of others. Having been in a lot of industries, what have been your challenges before settling for the movie world? It was just like a man who went out looking for a woman to marry, he now found one and married her. (Laughs). That’s what happened to me. There is nothing I saw that I will still not see in the movie industry. I think the only thing which is peculiar with all the industries is just different in names. What is your beauty routine? None in particular. What informs what you wear? choose to dress according to how I feel What about perfume? I tend to go for older ones instead of the new ones; I use more of old ones. Are you trying to tell me that I smell nice abi? (General laughter). How was your first time on set like? Every day I go on set is like a first time for me. How was your first pay like? Better than what first timer would have collected. What do look out for in a man? I like a man who has a sense of humour, has the ability to tell the truth even when it looks as if you are going to get angry. You said earlier that you are still in love; at what age did you fall in love? You want to know how old I am. Both.... I will not tell you. Haven’t you heard that it is not right to ask a woman her age? I fell in love at the right age, when I met him; I fell in love (laughs). What is your view about smooching, cuddling, kissing in movies? Is it happening in real life? Movies depict real life that is what movies do abi? If you kiss in real life and they show it in a film, it is depicting what happened not necessarily meaning I am kissing a man, it means that a character has kissed the other character. If you are to date anybody in the industry, who would that be? Normally some of us don’t like to move around in the same circle. How would you explain that? I don’t know. I have not seen anybody; they are too fine for me. How do you unwind? I play scrabble, read, write and cook. Let’s pick one of your memorable moments... That was when I resigned as a banker and I packed my things, moved to South Africa not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. As a degree holder in Theatre Arts, what were you doing in the banking industry? I wanted to prove that anybody could be a bank worker Why did you quit banking considering the fat salary? Bankers earn what I’m earning in seven days in 30 days. To be sincere I quit banking job because I wasn’t satisfied.
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