Why did you decide to open a restaurant?
Right from time, I have been a business minded person, aside from being an actress I have been very interested in doing my own business.
I love cooking; cooking is one of my hobbies so I had to extend my love for cooking to opening a restaurant.
My fame as a Nollywood star may also have helped boost my clientele but I am not always in the restaurant and as such, I put good managers in place.
Is it that the money is not coming in from movies?
It is not about the money, whether it was coming in or not. I have passion for acting, which is my job and the money I get is okay, though it could get better. I always love to expand my horizon in whatever I do in life, hence my decision to start this business.
Do you cook?
Yes. I love cooking but I only cook for my husband. I don’t cook for the restaurant, I have good hands that handle the cooking, and this is because I am mostly out of Lagos, shooting at different locations. So, some people have to be here to do the cooking, but I cook in my house.
Acting is my first love. It has been in me since I was five years old. My mum named me fancy Nancy (my name is also Nancy) because I loved acting a lot. I will wear my mummy’s shoes and try to imitate the way she walks when she wears them and I would do it in front of the mirror.
As for Nollywood, in 2004, I went for auditioning as every other aspiring actress will do and four months later after the audition, I was called up for the job. I did that and another one until I was given a lead role in the movie Bless the child.
Parents’ acceptance of acting career
My father was not in support of the idea at all, but my mother was very encouraging as mothers always do when it comes to their children.
When I wanted to go and do my first movie, my father vehemently refused to let me, especially with the negative stories making the rounds about actresses. So I begged my mum to talk to him and she did; now he is my biggest fan.
The big break
Bless the child gave me the big break and brought me into limelight. My fan base started building from there; people started recognizing me as an actress. It was the movie that made me stand my grounds in the industry and I proved a point with that movie.
As an actress you always have to prove a point and at that stage in my career, I had to prove that I could play the lead and do so well.
I am also a final year student of Human Kinetics and Health Education at the University of Lagos and it’s been challenging combining acting and schooling. I have to shuttle between locations outside Lagos and school.
I am a go getter and if I want something, I go for it. I always believe that there is nothing that is impossible, so I try to find a balance between the two.
If I have spare time in my room while on location, I read my books. At night after shooting, I read my books; I do my assignments and do all a normal student should do.
Why don’t you pay your way?
Why should I pay my way through school? I don’t believe in that. I am supposed to be a role model to people and if I pay my way through and people find out, what example have I shown?
I work hard to get good grades.
All the roles I have done in my four years as an actress have been challenging but I can’t really say that there has been any I can call most challenging.
Playing someone else is a challenge on its own because I am not playing myself but someone else and I have not played myself in any of my movies.
I have done 35 movies that have been released while over 15 are yet to be released into the market.
Some of the movies I have done include; Sweet Love, Standing Alone. Bless the child, Soul Engagement, Paradise, Tears in Heaven, Mirror of Beauty, Prince of my heart etc
Are you not being stereotyped with love roles?
I don’t think I am being stereotyped; I have done some wild roles in recent movies I have shot.
While growing up in the industry, they felt I had this soft nature and as such, will be able to carry the love and emotional roles. But I have been able to make them understand that I could do other roles, hence the change in my recent roles and when the movies come out, people will be surprised.
Yes, I am emotional and very romantic but that does not mean I couldn’t do other roles.
Marrying someone outside the industry
If I had met my kind of man within the industry, I would have married him. I have nothing against that but I found love outside the industry and it was not love at first sight.
It is not as if the guys in the industry did not come but liking someone goes beyond marrying the person.
Marriage is deeper than just liking somebody.
How does he handle your kissing on set?
Whenever I act a movie and he wants to watch it, I make sure I am there with him when he is watching so I can hold the remote control and fast forward the kissing part in the movie.
I don’t want him to see it, it is normal for him to get jealous, he’s a man.
He may watch it somewhere else but when he wants to watch it at home, I have to be there with him and handle the remote control. He knows that I always do that so he is always ready for it.
But I discuss the roles I am given with him before accepting it and all he says is that I should be professional as there should be no half measures.
Short term marriages for actresses
I have been married for two years and I won’t say it is actresses that have failed marriages, there are failed marriages everywhere.
It is God that builds marriages, marriage is not a bed of roses, things happen and people break up. Nobody gets married to break up, things happen along the line and the reasons are best known to both of parties.
As for me, I am happy with my marriage and I pray that God keeps us together and strong, because it is all about God.
It happened in my church, Christ Embassy. After service, I was coming out and before I knew it, someone just picked me off my feet and turned me around 360 degrees. When I asked him to drop me, he wanted to kiss me but I stopped him. People were watching to see how I would react – whether I would get angry or not. I didn’t get angry the only thing I did was stop him from kissing me.
Have you rejected scripts?
Yes, I have had to reject some scripts and roles. I make sure I do good stories. What determines good story for me is the kind of character, the dialogue, the story line and the sequence, this matter a lot to me.
How much were you paid for your first movie?
I am not going to mention figures but at the beginning it was not much. The money I got paid when I did my first movie was much lower than the transport money I spent getting to the location.
Now, it is okay but could get better.
I don’t like it when people compare us to Hollywood, the difference is clear. When Hollywood was at Nollywood’s stage, we had not even started, it’s a gradual process and we will get there someday.
The only thing I think we should start doing is doing movies on 35mm so we can sell our movies to the international market.
The Chika people don’t know
I am just like the girl next door. I am a very homely person, but also blunt. I drop it when it is hot, I say my mind and I don’t try to please anybody. I believe that you should only do unto others what you will like them to do unto you.
How come you are scandal free?
I don’t know why I am scandal free now; I am not doing anything special. But do not be surprised if you hear a scandal soon, it might be true or it might be a lie. I am not saying I will be scandal free for life.
What won’t you ever wear?
I am comfortable in my skin, I love my body and everything about myself so I wear whatever suits me.
I wear bum shorts both at home and in my movies.
There is nothing I can’t wear. So I say never say never.
Sexiest part of your body
I know I am booby luscious (she laughs). But then, I love myself and as such everything is sexy about me, every part of my body is sexy. I love the African beauty that shows how full our women are.
Though some people always talk about my eyes a lot, I am all over sexy.
Would it be acting for life?
If I have a choice, I will say yes to that but then, I won’t always be a full time actress, I will do something by the side. In life, God has given us so many talents and I am a multi talented person and will like to explore all my talents.
If you were not an actress, what would you have been?
I love doing so many things with my hands. I love creating things, I love putting ideas on paper. So if I was not an actress, I would have gone into arts and crafts. I would have been an artist or into crafts.
Why study Human Kinetics and Health Education instead of Theatre Arts?
I love acting and will still study something that is related to acting after I finish this course. I love my course, it is all about sports and dance and that is entertainment. It has to do with the human body, etc…
I have learnt to play so many sports as a result of the course I am doing and I love it.
What has fame cost/gained you?
I have lost my privacy for being a known face but I have gained a lot of things. I have gained love from people, people just pray for me. I have gained material things from people too.
In your handbag
My lip gloss is something that will never miss from my bag and I will not leave home without it. My lip gloss is very important to me because I always apply it during the day.
You will also see my ipod in my bag because I love music a lot.
It has to be wristwatches. If I don’t wear anything when I am leaving my house, I must put on a wrist watch because I love checking the time and you could say my wristwatch is one jewelry I can’t do without.
Most expensive item/clothing
I won’t tell you the prize because you will say I am extravagant but I have lots of expensive things because I love buying good things like any other girl.
The most expensive items I have are my Rolex wristwatch and my Louis Vuitton bag, the bag is the latest exclusive bag from the designer. I bought those things in Paris when I traveled there because I wanted to spoil myself a little.
Best place for holiday
I have been to a couple of places like Italy, Paris but the place I want to visit and holiday in is the Caribbean. I have not been there and I have heard so much about it, I have seen pictures and I want to say I have been there.
I am from Anambra state, precisely Ekwuluobia, Umuchiana village, in Aguata local government area. I’m from a family of six children, the fourth child and the third girl.
I attended Ronik International School, then went to Saint Francis for my secondary education.
I love all my fans and I urge them to believe in themselves and God, not man because man will always fail you. I urge them to work hard.
I say thank you to them for supporting me.