Very few people are aware of the fact that Matilda Obaseki’s foray into the world of movies started way before she became known on television. The starlet, whose performance in popular sitcom Tinsel captivates the minds of viewer revealed how she stumbled into acting, among other issues, to Senior Reporter, Ovwe Medeme.
Share with us your experience on the Tinsel set
It is like being in a film school. The only difference is that Tinsel is more technical. It is almost like a hands-on way of getting trained because we learn new things every day. As an actress, it makes me so much better because I have learnt things that I probably would never have learnt in school. We are constantly experimenting and practicing for real.
Have you always dreamt of being an actress or it was something you came into by chance?
From a very young age, I always saw myself as being on television but I thought I would be a broadcaster. When I was in my early teens, I saw the movie, Pretty Woman, and the zeal to go into acting was fired in me. It wasn’t as if I was seriously working towards it but by the time I turned 21, it came back to me.
How would you say your career has progressed since you started out?
It has been really up and forward. It has been amazing. I’m having a joyful ride. I’m actually at a good point in my life right now. It has been very good. I heard of an audition and I went for it. About six months later, they called me back to say I have been given a role. I guess that was when I started acting for real. I have been doing some other forms of acting but they were not major. Tinsel is my first major job.
Looking at the ride so far, are you satisfied with your career choice?
I love it. I am very satisfied. I’m moving on. I’m progressing. I’m not stagnant. I’m just moving forward.
How would you describe your role on Tinsel?
I play a character that is multi-faceted but I cannot talk explicitly about my character. You probably have to watch the soap to see the kind of person I am on Tinsel. It is a good one. It is a very challenging role and I love challenges.
What would you regard the biggest challenge on set?
My biggest challenge will probably be the fact that I have to work with a class of people that I regard as the best of the best in the industry. Every day, I have to take my game to work because I don’t want to act alongside an Iretiola Doyle and come unprepared. I constantly have to learn new things. I constantly have to up my game.
Do you have any issues relating with the professionals on set?
I don’t have any such issues. I always say that the people I work with on Tinsel are very accommodating. Being on the set with them is like being with family away from family. I see myself as working with family because that is what they are to me now. I have absolutely no challenges working with them.
Do you have any plans to fulfill your dream of becoming a broadcaster?
I have absolutely no plans to be a broadcaster. Like I said, I knew I wanted to be on TV while growing up. Today, I can boldly say I am on TV even though it is as an actress. I am satisfied with it.
Presently, what is happening to your relationship-wise?
There is nothing really to talk about relationship because I am busy a lot and I am probably not just ready to change that.
What kind of person are you looking at settling down with?
That is a million-dollar question. I say that because I am not sure how to answer. Some people will say they want a God-fearing person and paint the perfect picture of the kind of man they want. I know that he would have all these things and many more. I am actually not looking for a man but if a man finds me, I am not expecting him to be perfect by the world’s standards. I am just expecting him to be perfect for me.
Are you looking at exploring other forms of the art?
I hope that in the future I get the training to be a director. I just think that I will make a good director. When I read a script, I tend to develop a graphic image on my head of how I will probably plot it. I see movie directing as an interesting form of the arts.
What plans do you have as regards going back to school?
I am planning to go back to school sometime this year or next year. I am not so sure about what I will be studying because a lot of choices are going through my mind right now. Already, I have a passion for acting so I am really thinking of going to film school. Again, I have this big dream about going into politics when I am a bit older.
Has being on TV changed anything about you?
I wouldn’t say so. I think I am still the same person that I have always been. I am just older and wiser now. That is all.
How do your fans react when you run into them in the streets?
Maybe because of the character I play, I get a lot of people calling me a bad person on the streets. I also get a lot of positive reaction on the streets. When people yell my name, I look back at where I am coming from and I can’t believe it is me being celebrated. It humbles me.
Would you say that the role you play on Tinsel is a reflection of your true self?
Are you saying that if I act as a nun, that means I am a nun in real life? I think that if I was playing an extension of my true self, it would not be such a challenge. It would just be me living out my everyday life. The fact that I find it challenging means that it is not my true character. When I first got the role, I didn’t have an idea how to play it. I had to watch a lot of movies; I had to read a lot of books just to get into character.
If you are to play your true self, what role would you play on Tinsel?
Maybe I would be playing an Amaka but a bit more vicious?
What is that thing you will not do on screen?
I won’t go nude on screen. I am a shy person so I will not take it all off.
What fond memories do you recall about growing up?
I had a lot of fun growing up. We didn’t have too much but we had fun. Sometimes I wish I could go back to my childhood days because I want to relive the experience. I almost feel like I didn’t know what I had back then.
What do you miss most about your childhood?
What I miss the most about my childhood would probably be fighting with my brothers. We were quite a number and I really missed hanging out, quarrelling and playing with my siblings.
What is your favourite colour?
I have a lot of favourite colours. I like royal blue. Also the colours yellow, green, pink and red also appeal to me because for some reason, they remind me of my childhood.