When I was a little boy, of about 10 and 12, I wrote a lot of songs. Every night, I was being taught one song in my dream, and lucky enough, I remembered all the songs in the morning. And I had an exercise book I was writing all the songs in and I tried getting a beating for them. I was doing all that up to the point that I had to create local instruments to entertain in the evenings. So when everybody is back from the farm in the evening, under the moonlight, I used to entertain them. I sing a lot. Acting has been in me for a long time. I admired people in films and I continued to ask myself, when am I going to act and people will watch me and appreciate what am doing?”, recalled Asley Nwosu in a recent chat with https://www.nigeriafilms.com.

Propelled by this unquenchable desire to satisfy his childhood dream, Asley decided to archive his certificate in Insurance to begin a sojourn in the uncharted paths of acting.

“I started acting quiet a long time ago. I started from NTA (Nigeria Television Authority), where I did some programmes; that was between 1988 and 1990 It was during my time that we started tele-movies. So I had few of them like The Lost Tribe, The Man Must Not Die, et cetera. After that, I had my first home movie role in Glamour Girls, part I in 1992. Though I was approached to play a role in Living in Bondage, but the pay wasn’t good enough so I turned it down,” the Abia State-born actor told https://www.nigeriafilms.com.

Ironically, the glitz from Glamour Girls couldn’t hold him in the industry as he soon disappeared from the scene for close to four years. Before the expiration of the self-imposed exile, Nwosu came back when he realised that his dream must not die; only to meet an ambiguous ‘lost tribe’ that seems not to know its own even when his talent was obvious.

How did he overcome the challenge?

“The challenge I passed through before I could make it into Nollywood again was very enormous. It’s not now that people can just look at any actor and give him a script. That time, I had to really work for it. If I must be very frank, prior to my playing that role in Day of Reckoning– the movie that gave me my breakthrough– I will go for auditioning and I find out that I’m not taken and I started wondering if those taken were better than me. They have their politics. The politics in the movie industry then was so much. We tend to have our cliques. Until you walk yourself into that clique, it becomes difficult for you to get a role. It’s not that you are not playing your part very well. Because I remember vividly that the contest in that Day of Reckoning was a total experience for me because before I played that role, they had given the script to somebody at Enugu who is also a member of their clique. By the time they wanted to do the audition, however, that person was not really free, so they gave the script to another person who is also a member of their clique, but that very day, I came for my normal audition and eventually I was asked to perform with Emeka Ani.

Surprisingly, a co-director in that particular audition ground was the one I have been attending his audition for more than 10 times. He never looked at me as somebody who can act. So that was the first time he concentrated on me and consulted the other director and said look, ‘This man is teaching us a new thing, I didn’t know he can act like this’. So there was a real contest (and) they now found out that it wasn’t really proper for them to hand the role over to the other person they had chosen earlier. So the next thing was to give him time to go and rehearse while I was not given time to rehearse. But we still had to come and contest again for about five rounds each for that role and at the end of the day, they gave me the role,” Nwosu recalled.

But what was the unique thing he did that made them give him the role?

“That character I picked was not just the type of character that you play following the script absolutely. It’s a character that you really need to use your own ability to interpret. In fact, when I read that script I now remembered one wicked old man in my village. Because I was very close to the man, his lifestyle now gave me ideas about the interpretation of the role and by the time I started displaying, they couldn’t have double-mind about me. So they gave the role to me,” he said.

Nwosu has ever since played a lot of prominent roles in Nollywood. So could this be because he has been finally accepted by the clique that rule the industry. Nwosu: “No, I wouldn’t say so, because I have been on my own. I didn’t want to go and beg anybody; in fact, it took them time before they started putting my picture on posters. I believe in my own ability. And like I always say, forget about anybody and keep doing your thing, at a point they will be forced to appreciate you. And when that point reached, they started calling me without any auditioning. I was really consistent with my acting and when viewers started asking for movies I played in, they knew that I had arrived”.
His arrival could mean a lot of money in his pocket. “I won’t say it has been so lucrative to me financially, but I think experience-wise, it has exposed me and if I tried to equate the two, I think I will say the industry has placed me in a better position than what would have been. Now, I know much about the industry and that is why I now ventured into production, and I have finished a film titled Shield of Faith and I am planning for the premier of the movie,” he told https://www.nigeriafilms.com.

Apart from movie production, does Nwosu have other investments?

“Yes, the other thing I have my hands in is a TV reality show which I am going to run for artistes. It’s going to take effect from May June and its going to be nation wide,” he said.

For somebody who suffered neglect from producers, his TV reality show appears to be a way of encouraging would-be actors. Nwosu agrees. His words: “That’s one of the reasons I want to do this reality show, because people still call me from Kano, Abuja, etc, to ask me about acting. So that’s why I want it organised and then groom those ones that becomes successful. Also, I hate to see artistes get intimidated. I remember how I helped one actress who couldn’t take a single line from her script to gain confidence in herself. I took her away to a quite place where I coached her. Today, she is one of the top actresses. Even some of the actresses we have today were models in my modeling agency. In fact, I have helped people build up themselves”.

So, what happened to his music talent?, https://www.nigeriafilms.com asked.

“I still have it, even my late elder sister released about two albums before she died. My immediate younger sister is also launching her gospel album soon. So I think music runs in the family, but I started it. I will still do it, but for now I am concentrating on my production,” he said.

Speaking of his family, the immitable actor disclosed that he has three daughters. “One of them is in England. My first daughter is a lawyer. The other two, one is reading Accountancy and the other Mass Communication. The one reading Mass Communication has already done a two-year diploma in Law and both of them are going to finish this year,” he said with relish.

So, how does he blend his family role and work together?

“I will say the way I was brought up. I was really involved with my mum and I was taught how to care for so many domestic things. Definitely, I don’t play with my family. They are very close to me.

Speaking on the future of Nollywood, the top-cast actor said: “It will definitely come to a point where we will have a combine production and when this happen, things will change. If we pull resources together, the right equipment will be used. For example, light is a big problem here. We don’t have enough lighting in our films and it affects the picture quality. I have even discussed with somebody to get us sound treatment equipment so that sound in our movies can be like the one we hear when we watch foreign movies. Producers should learn how to do the right thing and stop all this rush-rush things.”