Ten years in the movie industry is no joke. It is by the Grace of God. Those were the words of versatile actress, Doris Simeon Ademinokan. The actress who is happily married to her Director/Producer husband Daniel Ademinokan, has featured in several movies both in the English and Yoruba genre of Nollywood and is still counting. Still basking in the euphoria of Ghetto Dreams, a movie where she played the role of the late rapper's girl friend while Trybeson Dudukoko played Dagrin. She recently added a year and had a bash where friends and colleagues came to celebrate with her. She then told MURPHY FADAIRO, what has kept her going in the competitive industry, secret of her marriage and what is under wraps for her fans. Excerpts.
You must be really elated tonight. How do you feel being celebrated by Nigeria's indigenous cable TV, HITV?
I am very happy and I truly appreciate the honour bestowed on me especially being my month, because I am also celebrating my birthday together with it. It's really a privilege. I am short of words per say but I just pray to God to let the TV station keep growing from strength to strength.
Since you are also celebrating your birthday today, what would you say you have achieved so far in life up till this moment and what are your aspirations?
At this stage in my life, I think I will say the sky is just the beginning for me. I know I have done something for the society, something for myself and I have achieved a lot in my life. I thank God for where I am and of course, you know, no matter where we are at the moment, we will still want to aim higher.
It was reported that you and your husband who is also a Nollywood practitioner premiered a movie recently and it was not graced by your colleagues in the industry. Is there any particular reason this happened?
I wouldn't know the movie you are talking about but in my case, I did premier a movie and I must say that the arrangement was actually impromptu. So, probably that is the reason why actors didn't come for the premier but we were still able to see some of our colleagues who came for the event.
How long do you think you will be able to stay on and make an impact in the industry? Do you see yourself going into oblivion like some others have or you intend staying strong and quite ready for the challenges?
I thank God for his Grace and for how far I have gone. And by the Grace of God, if He still tarries, I will be here forever because I have a passion for it.
How did acting start for you?
To be sincere I never believed I was going to be an actress but one thing that has always ringed in my head was that I was going to be an entertainer. I just thought am going to be there that people will know the name but not the face but I thank God I am a household name already. So, it's God who made it possible. I give thanks to Him. I think it is just the talent that came. I didn't know when.
Which movie brought you fame and recognition?
The movie was Olooju Ede which I did with Pasuma and was shot in 1999-2000 but the movie came out in 2003.
You are a versatile actress acting in both the English and Yoruba genre; how have you been able to master the two and doing well for yourself?
I think before we were poles apart but now we are really working together as one big family. I started with Papa Ajasco and Company before the movie with Pasuma, and I am someone who believes so much in anything I do and go for it even if there is no money in it. If you stick to it God has a way of making you smile at the end of the tunnel. That has helped me and I respect people.
Some people believe it is your looks that get you scripts and that you are not a good actor. What do you have to say to this?
I don't know but all I can say is that I am trying my best. If you are not good, a producer will not come after you. I believe it is because you are good that is why people are buying and demanding for you. It has to be one way or the other and not by sleeping or paying your way in. It is by merit and what you have to offer. That is why I get scripts and not my looks.
Alot of actors are now going into movie production and directing. In your own case, I know you produce. Do you write your stories or pay to get it done for you?
I don't write but if I have stories I call writers to listen to it and do the script, that way I produce it. I buy stories too because we all as individuals have one story or the other to tell about ourselves, family or friends. So, I am not through with the ones I have, I buy from others. But going into directing, I don't think I want to be part of it. I want to stick to acting and producing which I think is part of what I went to read in a Film School.
How often do you get movie scripts?
I will say I get scripts almost every day but it is not necessary for me to do or accept everything. It is not a white collar job where I have to do it no matter what; it is a choice thing if you want to do the story you join the cast and if otherwise, you wait for another one to come. I try to give myself some break.
How have you been able to keep your marriage safe over the years and how did you meet your husband?
It is by the Grace of God and prayers. I always make sure to put God first, my family and my home; before my job or career my family and home comes first. And I met my husband on a movie set and that movie was actually his. We got to like each other, started dating and here we are happily married.
Do you think the reason your marriage is scandal free is because you guys are in the same industry or profession?
I think I will say it is part of it because we both understand the nifty gritty of the industry. So we are always there for each other. He is always there to support me one way or the other. Some people are not always happy to see that their partners are more successful than they which is part of the reason I think most marriages don't last.
How was the experience on the set of Ghetto Dreams which is a true life biography where you played the wife of the late rapper, Dagrin?
It was a little bit difficult because I had to make the original research especially about the girl friend. Was it true because nobody ever wrote about his love life being a romantic person while he was alive? So, when they gave me that particular script, I had to ask friends and also try to look for that particular girl which he had before his untimely death. Put in myself into that character to act it out and somebody close to her told me a few things about her and we did it.
What is that wrong impression that people say actresses are while on a closer look they are not. A lot of mothers won't let their sons marry an actress for a wife?
I think I will want a lot of parents to sit and think what if this girl is my daughter? They should embrace and accept us because we as actresses are also human beings. We have feelings, have blood and flesh running through our veins. We will grow up to be mothers too and give birth to our own children. Actresses are not bad people. We are just doing what we love to do best and have passion for.
You are a pretty and sexy lady. How much does it cost to maintain your good looks. Do you have any beauty secret?
I really do not have any beauty routine. I just make sure I use creams that are good and maintain my skin all the way. I also drink a lot of water.
Before you got married have you ever dated someone in the industry which sparked off controversy or any negative story you read about yourself that is not true?
None, that I can think of.
There is this seniority talks in the Yoruba genre of Nollywood; do you want to tell us your relationship with other fellow actresses?
I am a kind of person who does even talk let alone go and look for trouble. I really do not know what they do but as a person, it has never happened to me. I give honor to whom honor is due. You don't have to fight or ask for respect. You earn it. It is not how far, it is how well.
So what advice do you have for aspiring actresses who see you as their role models?
If you want to be an actress and want to be successful, you have to be humble. Humility takes you far. You don't have to even speak for yourself; people will fight for you as long as you are humble. Try to learn and don't be too pompous, as if you know everything. Even if you know everything, still do as if your are leaning and then the sky will be the beginning for you. Push on till you are there when God says it is your time it is your time nobody can change it.
So what should your fans expect from you in the coming months?
They should expect the home video release of the movie Asiri which I premiered two months ago. And also, I am working on a TV series called The Force; it's about the police force in Nigeria. Am sure people must have seen 24, CFI New York, Bad Boys, I am taking after that. They should expect it big and spectacular.
Last message to your fans?
I want to say a big thank you to my fans for being there from the very beginning. This is ten years running. It has been the Grace of God and without their support I wouldn't have made it this far.