Close to two decades, top actor, Ken Odurukwe has been serenading on television screens with blockbuster movies. However, he took a break and now he tells SAM ANOKAM that he is back, better and ready to hit the ground running. In this chat, he talks about his foray into the make-believe world and how he became a victim of a movie he acted.
WHAT informed your going into acting?
Acting is in me. I am a born actor. I had the interested even when I was a kid. In my family, we are known for entertainment. I come from a royal family. And we entertain people especially in comedy. When I was working with Net which changed to Nitel, many a time, my colleagues will tell me to go into acting as I entertain them a lot. I looked at it and when we had problem in our work place that we were forcefully retired when I wasn’t ripe for the age of retirement, I went to Zeb Ejiro’s office when he was at 29 Oyekan to go fully into acting.
A friend, Mojo, once said to me, ‘my friend, you are learned, you speak good English and you are good looking, why don’t you venture into this?’ I kind of said ok. Chico Ejiro took me to Ilogbo, somewhere close to Badagry and shot some movies which involved the likes of Pete Edochie, Liz Benson, Fred Amata, Gentle Jack, Basorge Tariah Junior and so many of them. I have also acted with veterans like Nkem Owoh, Olu Jacobs among many others. The profession is very good though what is happening now, I don’t understand.
What is happening now?
I pray that God will bring the industry back to the way it used to be like before. What I am seeing now is not encouraging. Maybe because of the economy, people would be like, ‘I have to eat before watching movies’ and all that. The industry will not die. Anything entertainment does not die.
How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the industry close to two decades. I can remember, Big Hit, The Journalist, Derico etc. Many of my fans have been asking me why I have been scarce but I keep telling them that I still act only that I don’t dabble into any movie script that comes my way. I am selective. I am up there and I want to go higher, so I chose my scripts.
You once featured in an erotic movie
One thing about movie is that you are trying to create awareness of what is happening in the society. We are exposing some ills in the society that people should be careful of what they do to make money or famous because like the September 11 bombing in America some years ago. I think it was Spike Lee who wrote a script about the bombing long before it happened. And it was acted as a movie. When he asked how he was inspired to write such a script after the incident, he said it just came into him and he wrote it. Exactly what he wrote happened.
Some of them are fiction but if you don’t mind, it gets real. I acted a movie sometime ago, ‘One Chance.’ There was also this movie I acted with Kate Henshaw, ‘Stolen Bible.’ At grave consequence I acted ‘Hits’ with Sam Dede.
We create awareness, telling people what is about to happen or what is happening. When One Chance was going on, people never knew some of them are ritualists but we made them to know that this is what is happening and some of them took to our advice and some did not fall victim of those circumstances because they have already watched it and know their tricks.
Ironically after acting one chance, I fell victim. It happened when I was coming from a vigil. I never knew it was one chance, I was beaten blue black. They took my phone, money. They took me to the bank and withdrew my money.
I feel we need support in the industry because it is an individual thing. One person may take the risk of bringing in N10m to shoot a movie which the government does not try to help. We need to bring alive the industry.
What should your fans expect from you?
My plan is a bomb. My fans should look out for me. I am back. I took a break and now I am back. I promise them I don’t melodramatize. I am packed naturally the way it comes. I promise them by His grace they will not regret watching my films.