The stunning actress, Enado Odigie, who started acting like a little child – from school to church – but professionally in 2014 within a short space of time gained prominence in Nollywood with scores of fascinating movies to her credit. Before delving into Nollywood, she had a spell in the corporate world but her flair for the make-believe industry knocked her off her comfort zone. Enado opens up to Chinedu Ibeabuchi about her journey to stardom and challenges
How did acting start for you and how far have you gone?
I have been acting since I was a child but in Nollywood, I would say between 2012 and 2014. I tested in 2012 and I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue. But in 2014, I finally made up my mind to continue. It has been an interesting journey with a lot of lessons learned from different directors, producers, and even co-actors. I have grown tremendously. I am happy with my growth and where I am. I have a lot of work that my fans should watch out for.
Before delving into Nollywood, what were you doing?
I was a corporate person. I worked in organizations like Globacom and then also went into the event planning but I have a passion for acting and I decided to give acting a try.
How did you get your first role?
I spoke to a couple of friends that I wanted to act and take acting serious. Then a friend told me there was an audition coming up and gave me the address. I went for the audition and was accidentally auditioned for the lead role. Someone gave his script to a wrong person and later I was told that one was taken, so I audition for supporting role but a few days later I was called and told I have been chosen for the lead role. That’s how my first movie came about.
Any regret dumping your corporate work for Nollywood so far?
Absolutely no regret. Every day, we want to be bigger but when you sit down and look where you are, there is so much to be thankful for. There is no bad experience in life, there is only a lot of lessons to be learned. I have learned a lot and I am very happy and looking to the future.
What would you say is the greatest sacrifice you have made to become an actress?
This is one career you sacrifice every day. A lot of times, you don’t have time to yourself, no weekend, no public holiday and most times you work very late-onset, etc. Sometimes, on set production that are very tedious, you have injuries, accident, etc. Another bad side is that you don’t get to participate in the thing you would have loved to be involved in like friends and family weddings, events, family programs, reunions, etc. But I will not change it for anything.
What would you describe as your memorable moment so far?
There have been many. For any actress, having a movie that goes to the cinema, that is seen by an audience paying to go see your movie is a high point for every actor, and I have had a couple of movies going to the cinemas.
Do you get support from your loved ones, mostly your parents?
It has been a tremendous journey, I have a very supportive family. Of course, naturally, they have a reservation but knowing fully well they have raised you and done everything to invest in me, I receive the necessary support. And sometimes, when I make a mistake my family is there to encourage me. I would just say I have great support from my family and friends.
What is your fear in life?
Getting to the end of life and realizing I didn’t touch the things I was meant to have achieved. So, I would say my fear is a driving force to ensure I get to the finish line. I hope to keep growing and improving myself and ensure I become a bigger and better person.
There has been a lot of stories about sexual harassment in the film industry, what is your experience?
I can tell you categorically that I have never been sexually harassed. Nobody has ever said to me, ‘come and do these in other to get this.’ Of course, people would always make passes at you as a woman. That’s interesting as I feel people want to know you by doing that. But, sexual advances as an exchange for a role, absolutely no.
How do your loved ones feel seeing you kiss in movies?
Naturally, the first response is discomfort from your family and your loved ones. However, when they also realize that, for instance, you have a gynecologist whose responsibility is to search the body part of a person not related to him, then they understand better. It is part of the job knowing well that it’s acting. However, we try as much as possible to create a balance based on the society that we live in.
Has this cost your relationship?
No, I am not going to lose my family because I am acting (laugh)
Describe your dream man
A man who has an admirable character, who is understanding, who is reasonable, patient and, as a lady, a man who shows respect and is generous. A man who is God-fearing. If he doesn’t have a fear of God, he will not have respect for you.
When you are not on set, how do you spend your time?
I spend a lot of time reading, planning and attending to personal things and also spend time with my family.
Who is your crush in the film industry?
A couple of years ago, I used to like Sean Connery and Chris Hemsworth.
Tell me about your role in the movie ‘Joba’.
I am Enado Odigie, I played Ore Oladiyan in the movie. Ore is married to Lami Oladiyan. As a young couple, naturally, they are expected to start having children but as time goes on, they are disappointed time and time again and at some point, Ore snaps. Joba is a story about faith. At this point, the faith of the couple is tested, but because we are human, Ore falls into depression. Her trust in God fails but she has a husband like Lami whose faith is unshaken, whose faith is tested on every side. And because Ore is downtrodden, that becomes his biggest trial. Joba is a movie that also touches on a lot of social issues like rape and depression because all these affect society today. I find out that while I am watching the movie, even though I am the one that plays the character, I sympathize with Ore a lot. That is also how people who are depressed and dealing with such issues usually behave.
It was difficult but that is my job as an actress. The character involves one who is sad at all time and if you’re not a sadist, sadness can be very tiring. It was emotionally, mentally and physically draining because it requires a lot of scenes back to back. But it also pushes me to know what my limits are. Warming myself to the character started from the moment I read the script and when I go on set, I had a director, Biodun Stephen, who will almost take you by the hand and journey with you to render a real-life resemblance of the script.