Chika Ike is one of Nollywood’s A-list actresses. She is beautiful, sexy and intelligent. In this interview with OSEYIZA OOGBODO, the diva speaks on her entrance into the movie industry, the journey so far and other matters. Excerpts:
What is your take on the general belief that actresses and actors are wayward people?
Is it because we kiss in movies and portray such characters? I beg to disagree. We are just doing our job and doing it very well. And when they say we are loose, it’s crazy. When it comes to real life, we are like other people in what we go through and experience.
Between acting and a regular job that allows you return home every night and live a more settled life, which do you think is better?
I love my job with a passion. Parts of the perks of the job are travelling, meeting people, discovering new places, learning new things from new people you meet and so on. Those are the things that come with the job. That is why the life of an actress is always on the road, doing one or two things.
Is the money you are earning commensurate with the stress you go through travelling everywhere?
I do this to put food on my table and to earn a living. The two must go together. I have passion for what I do, but money is also one of the motivational factors.
We hear different tales of how actresses got their first role: sleeping with someone for it, begging for it and so on. How did you get yours?
My first ever role was just one scene in a movie. It was Sweet Love. I just went for the audition and nothing else. I didn’t do anything untoward, believe me, and I got it after four months.
Who is your best friend in the industry? Or is it a clique that you roll with?
No, I don’t really have a clique. But I respect everybody I work with.
Several people, including some of your colleagues, feel that Nollywood movies are bad and awful. Do you share that view?
No. I totally disagree with that. That’s my industry, and if you say my industry produces bad movies, I will take offence, seriously. I mean, we work really hard, very hard. And basically, when you say bad movies, what do you mean by bad movies? I don’t really understand.
Movies that don’t make sense. Movies that start well and end on a flat note, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Such movies …
(Cuts in) Can I ask you a question? You watch Nollywood movies, right?
And you have watched my movies? They make sense, right?
Do you even think that rituals should be in movies?
Most of the stories are people’s stories, though some are fiction. If someone gives you a true life story and tells you to write it, you cannot fine-tune the story. If it was fictional work, it could be an imagination. But whatever movie we do in Nollywood, I believe it is a work of art, and a work of art should be appreciated. Every movie must not be good, but at least most of them are good. And for the industry still to be relevant today, it means that we do good movies and our movies are selling and people appreciate our efforts.
In your opinion what is the best movie so far to have come out of Nollywood?
Nollywood has done so many beautiful movies. It is difficult to choose one. In recent times especially, we have done some wonderful works which I am actually proud of. I am talking of beautiful, beautiful, great movies.
The name, Nollywood, to some people is inappropriate for our movie industry. What do you say?
Who said so?
So many of your colleagues have said so. They say ‘what does Nollywood really mean?’ and that it wasn’t even coined by Nigerian movie stakeholders, but an American journalist.
I have nothing to say about that. I have known the movie industry as Nollywood since I came into it and I have come to accept it that way.