Toyin Haastrup is one of the upcoming actresses in the Yoruba movie industry. In this Interview with Tunde Ayanda, the Mass Communication graduate reveals how she became an actress and what she meant to achieve with acting. Let’s start with a brief Introduction. I am Toyin Haastrup, an actress and a graduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, I studied Mass Communication and I’m from Osun State. You studied Mass Communication, why did you choose acting over other professions related to what you studied? Well , I did not intentionally want to study Mass Communication; my initial plan was to go for Theatre Arts, but I couldn’t get an admission into the institution of my choice and that was why I settled for Mass Communication in another institution. Choosing acting over broadcasting or journalism was a normal thing I knew I would do over and over again, because as a child, I had always wanted to act and the chance came some years ago when an aunty introduced me to it and since then I’ve never looked back. I chose acting because of my conviction that it is where my career lies, I know acting is my life. The first movie I did was a dance drama by Dejo Tunfulu entitled: Booda Ode and the accolade I got after it impressed me and brought some other jobs like Oju-Aje, Owo-Ajo, Dadubule, Oladunjoye, Enu O se, Oju Oro and a lot of others. The last one is a bomb blast movie that has just been released entitled: Osumare. Who are those you look up to in the industry? I will say people like Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Bukky Wright, Bimbo Akintola and a few others. Why did you join the Yoruba movie sector and not the English sector? I prefer the English movies, but when I started I think they had some crises where some of them were banned and before the ban could be lifted, I’ve featured in some Yoruba flicks, but i’m working on that and If I get the opportunity, I can act in Igbo movies. In terms of naira and kobo, will you say acting has been good to you? Yes, it’s worth the experience, though I may not be earning like the other big stars, but acting is putting food on my table. In my case, I wouldn’t want to measure what acting has done to me by financial standard but from the fulfilment I get from what I love doing. How do you cope with the conception that actresses are wayward, does this in any way affect your personality? Actresses are not wayward, you have even called it a misconception. Its only about their popularity and when people see them with men they will not wait to verify, if they are their friends or family members before they jump into conclusion. Actresses have men who are their fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, and it’s not every man that comes your way you date. Are there some roles you cannot play in a movie? Like what and what roles? Kissing, petting and smooching? I’m a professional in my field and I can translate any role given to me, the reason we don’t always go deep is based on our culture, but on the set I can act any role and it’s only nude scenes that I’m objected to. Why? It’s against my belief and I don’t just understand why I should do It. As an actress, what is your dream? My dream is very big, I dream to become an international figure someday and I also hope to change some things in the industry. What are those things you hope to change? I can’t disclose them, it’s like a top secret to me and until I get the chance to do it, just watch me. As a young lady, how do you ward off advances from men and the ‘script for hand, back for ground producers’? There is nothing like that anymore in the industry, you get roles by merit and not by sleeping with anybody. As for warding off advances, I relate well with everybody and take my stand on what I want and not what you want me to do. Can you marry an actor? Why not? I can, in the sense that if I know he truly loves me and if he is responsible, but I don’t have all that in mind for now, I just want to focus on my career. Can you marry a poor man? Poor? Well, everything is in God’s hands. How best can you describe yourself? I am not a bad girl, although that is the normal impression people have of me until they get closer to me. About the tattoo, it doesn’t make you bad and I have my reasons of having it. What are you working on at the moment? I’m working with Bayo Tijani in Oyo state at the moment and I am also working towards my own movie which will come out next year, by God’s grace.
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