Linda Ejiofor plays Bimpe on the popular sitcom, Tinsel. Taking on a lead role in a yet-to-be-titled flick co-produced by Rita Dominic, the budding actress talks to OVWE MEDEME on how she traded a career in advertising for a shot at the make-believe world and a host of other issues.

How did you get the role for this flick?

Everything works for a reason. God has plans. I was working on set one day, and I got the call to come for an audition. Before that, I have been looking for an opportunity to work outside the set of Tinsel. When Mildred, the Director, told me she wanted to see me, I ran down. It was a huge competition and I am glad I made it. I am happy to be picked because I think I deserve it.

I worked so hard for it. Is it possible to relate feature films with sitcoms which you are known for? They are different. The way they shoot here is different from the way we shoot on the set of Tinsel. I learn every day but working with Mildred has been wonderful. I love working with her.

She is the best Director I have ever worked with. She tells you what she wants from you and she doesn’t stress you. I have learned a lot rehearsing and learning my lines with her. This is my first feature film so I can gladly say she is my mummy in the industry.

Being your first feature film, did you have goosebumps when you first came on set?

Yes, I had. I was shaking, I was nervous and Mildred walked up to me and told me to relax. Immediately she told me that, I calmed down. She said I was good. Those words meant a lot to me and helped me adapt to the new atmosphere.

How challenging would you say interpreting the role you have been given has been?

I wouldn’t say it has been challenging for me because the role I am playing is actually that of a sweet, edgy, cheeky and mischievous girl. I can proudly say that I play the role well and I hope that I give it my all and it comes out that way.

Does fitting into the role come easily because it is a reflection of your true self?

Actually, I don’t find it easy because I am now conscious of what I am supposed to say or what I am supposed to do. No character is easy. We have to learn expression, when to stop, when to smile and those sorts of things.

Could you recount how you got on the set of Tinsel?

When I finished school, acting wasn’t my calling. I wanted to work for an advertising company. Then I decided to go into modeling part-time pending when I would be called up for National Service. I was into modeling when a friend called me up to say that there was an audition going on for Tinsel. Initially, I didn’t want to go because that is not what I want. I eventually went and I got the part and the rest, as they say, is history.

So what is happening to the advertising and modeling dream?

I still model on a part-time basis but advertising is out of the question. I don’t want to work for an advertising company anymore. I think acting is my calling right now. I studied sociology at the University of Port Harcourt. I have been based in Lagos all my life.

Are you comfortable with the career, irrespective of the controversies that go with it?

Yes, I am. I love acting. I love what I do. Everything depends on the artiste. If you want the controversy to be surrounded with your name, it is left to you. It is all in your hands. Between TV and the big screen, which are you more endeared to? They are both acting. I like both of them so it is hard for me to be more inclined to one than the other. They are not the same thing though. Tinsel is a multi-cam production so one tends to be more conscious when on set. For the film here we have just one camera but then the consciousness level is almost equal.

How far do you hope to take your acting career?

I hope to take it as far as I can go but first of all, I am working on going to film school. Every actor works towards that. I hope to stand my ground and further my career by getting training in Directing and acting. I would really like to work behind the camera because I think I have the creative eye.

How would you say working with the Director of your first flick has been?

She can be sweet, she can be strict and she can also be scary. But one thing I love about her is the fact that she jokes, she laughs but when it comes to working, she is serious. She doesn’t play with work so do not mess her job up for her.

Before now, did you get an offer to be part of a feature film?

Yes, I got other job offers and apparently, they tried to stereotype my character so I turned them down. Every actor yearns for challenging roles. Nobody wants to be stereotyped just because they played one particular role very well. That is one of the reasons why I really love this movie. I am not Bimpe.

What is that thing that will make you turn down an offer to star in a movie?

I would turn it down if it is not interesting.

So if you are given a very interesting movie but at some point, you have to take off your clothes, would you accept it?

That would be stereotyping me because at some point, Bimpe had to take off her clothes on Tinsel and that was what every Director wanted of me. I wouldn’t want to do that again.

Why did you do that in the first place?

Maybe because I was starting on Tinsel then and the shots didn’t really reveal much. Also, that was what they used in auditioning me. I did it like four times on Tinsel then so I wouldn’t want to repeat it on another set.

Will marriage put an end to your acting career?

Certainly, marriage will not stop me from continuing acting.  We have talked about it, I have told him so there is no turning back. If he says no, we will go our separate ways.

What if he says no after he has put the ring on your finger?

I told him before, so he must agree.

Is he a celebrity also?

Not yet, but soon people will begin to hear about him.