It will amount to stating the obvious if one describes Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, as one of the best things that has happened to Nollywood.
A Glo ambassador and current Face of O, Kate’s odyssey in the make belief world started on the set of When the Sun Set, where she acted the role of Omono and has never looked back ever since.
Little wonder, her absence from the screen for a couple of months, an absence she attributed to her commitment to “some other things,” has set tongues wagging that she may have called it a day with acting.
“I, turn my back on what made me? Acting is not only about acting; it also involves being MC, dancer, singing and all that. I have been involved in some other things since they no longer have the money to pay for movie roles.
“I am presently working on producing two films. One is Tarzan versus the V-Monologues, directed by Wole Ogunsekun. It’s a first of its kind. It deals with issues that affect women from all walks of life: circumcisions, rape, drug abuse and war, among several others. The second one is called Little Drop.
It is produced by Olu Jacob Productions, owned by Olu Jacob and his wife, Joke Silva,” she told Klieglights in response to the question on her absence from the screen in recent times.
Kate, who described as wonderful, her experience as a thespian, took time to explain why she was missing on the cast and crew of the V-Monologues last year.
“Oh, it is wonderful! Actually, it was Aunty Joke that called me to participate in the first one. I agreed to do it. The play is being aired around the world and has really been good. This is how I started the journey. Since then, I have been called to participate in it every year, apart from last year that I didn’t do it because I wasn’t available to participate then,” she said.
She insisted that her absence from the set of some of the recently released movies is a more of a function of her very busy schedule and not that producers and directors no longer believe that her face still sells movies saying, “even if I get a script now, I am not available till the end of November, and producers will not want to wait. So, they have to find a replacement.”
She however said that some of the scripts that come her way of recent are at best, half-baked scripts, which she would not want to be associated with. “Though, the scripts come but they are not good enough. Some of them are not challenging for me. After being in the industry for close to 18 years and having played a lot of roles, I prefer something more challenging. Something that can push me and make me nervous at least, a bit,” she said.
And what really does Kate look out for in a script before accepting to interpret it?
“First and foremost, the storyline must be good. So, I watch out for the story line; then the character, the director and the cast; even if the script is not that fantastic, you should have a good director and a good cast and crew,” she said.
And the actor(s) she cannot put with are those that do not have respect for time saying, “If it’s somebody that doesn’t come to set on time, I would rather not work with such a person because I don’t want to have headaches. That is the truth.”
She dismissed the rumour that she has started rejecting small budget roles since she hit it big as Glo ambassador. According to her, “it is not about the money. Money is important, but some of the storylines are not good enough for me. I am yet to see someone that would come to me with a good storyline and say, Kate, I don’t have money.
“Those who know me know that if the story is good, and we have a good working relationship, I will do it.”
And for the first time in her acting career, Henshaw-Nuttal, has shown that she is a crossover actress with her dazzling performance on the set of Saheed Balogun’s ‘Eti keta’ (Third Party) a Saheed she acted the role of Saheed Balogun’s fiancée. She was the only English language actress in the film that featured about 100 artistes.
Commenting on the welfare of actors in Nollywood, she said that they are not being paid their worth.
“Everybody knows that, we all know it. Even if a particular actor or actress is paid N1million, what is the value of that these days?
“In the days of Ejike Asiegbu as the president of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), he tried to specify the minimum amount actors and actresses should be paid for a role, even for a waka pass role.
“Let the least be N10, 000, unfortunately, some people would pass through the back door to ask for ridiculous amount.That is very unfortunate,” she said.
Kate has no kind word for the quality of some films that has been coming out of Nollywood of recent; “some of the story lines no longer make sense.
“I have said it several times in my interviews that Nollywood is going backwards and that is exactly what is happening now. I find most of the storylines uninteresting, no matter how simple. I have heard a lot of people complaining that the storylines are turning into something else. If you survey public opinion about the industry and the quality of movies, you will understand what I mean,” she said.
Who does she think should be blamed for the low quality of the movies?
“The blame is on the producers and directors. They are the ones that provide the crew, the lighting, the cameramen, everything. The actors and actresses just come, act and go.
“You have to be behind the camera, study the whole process, know how to direct, know how to produce before venturing into it. Not because this person is producing, me too, I must do my own too. Anything worth doing is worth doing well,” she said.
She said she has been able to manage an almost scandal-free
career because she is hardly seen in public functions.
“I think that is a very good clue. I just want my life to be about my work, nothing more. I am working with a brand. I have to represent myself and the brand very well.”
She also told Kleiglight the secret of the success of her marriage despite the high rate at which celebrity marriages crash every day.
“Celebrities’ marriages are not the only ones crashing. Marriages are crashing everywhere, but maybe because we are in the limelight, the stories of celebrities are constantly in the news and the media is ready to advertise everything about us. My husband is very much in support of my job.
We have been married for the past 11 years, and he knows how hard and demanding my job is. He also knows that I am not always at home, and whenever I am with my family, I spend quality time with them. If the job comes, and he says ‘go’, I will go. If he says ‘don’t go’ I will sit down. It is more than submissiveness because my husband can say “sit down at home, don’t go anywhere” there is nothing I can do about that because he is the head of the family,” she said.