N1 bn Can’t Make Me Act Nude –Funke Johnson
By Adeola Balogun
For Funke Johnson, an actress, dressing moderately without exposing what is supposed to be private does not diminish the worth of an artiste.
Even with the craze to get rich quick, she says no amount of money can make her act nude.
“Don't forget that I am a Yoruba girl in the first place, being an actress has not beclouded my sense of dignity which in Yoruba is a fundamental tenet of home training. Why should I act nude when I know that there were great actresses who made it to the top without downgrading themselves by going nude?
“My own cannot be different, and for those who choose to act nude, I wish them well. But one billion naira will not make me debase my womanhood by acting nude. Just count me out,” she told Appetiser on Wednesday.
She said she found it difficult to accept that acting can make a woman go 'wild' to the extent of dressing in skimpy dresses, when they could well perform excellently even while covering their nakedness.
“Come to think of it, what do I achieve when I go crazy by acting nude or dressing in semi-nude dresses? If those who do that don't have parents to ask them, or homes to return to, I am sorry. My parents are watching me and what I am doing, and I don't want to be ostracized from my community.”
Funke, who is at present a 300 level Art and Culture student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, has appeared in a couple of Yoruba movies. She said acting, to her, had been a passion which even her parents whom she described as loving, failed to stop when she initially chose to pursue a course in computer studies.
To give vent to her first love, she abandoned Computer and embraced Art and Culture, which she said gives her tremendous fulfillment and joy.
But as an actress, what happens if she is compelled to act romantic roles which entail unconventional dress modes; will her disposition not conflict with that?
“As an actress, it is not unusual to be asked to act any role. But the truth is that I will not be blinded not to draw a line. For instance, I love kissing a lot, but I don't see myself kissing somebody passionately who is not my lover. Anything like that on set is just make-believe, it is not real. But you see, that is the mistake some people make when they see what we do on set and then begin to talk, it is not true,” she said.
When Appetiser gave instances of actors and actresses who had developed romantic relationships after meeting on set and asked Funke to own up to the claim that many artistes are loose, she rose stoutly to their defence.
She said, “That is what I am saying; it is a lie that the practitioners are loose. It is normal for two people to meet on location and strike a relationship, it happens everywhere, or don't we have journalists who got on well after being brought together by their profession? In this trade, there are many men and women of honour, that a few are behaving funny is a natural thing in any human organisation.”
Funke, who hails from Osogbo in Osun State, has vowed to live on acting after finishing school. Actually, she does that already with occasional shuttles to locations. According to her, the era when people said acting was not capable of bringing food on the table has gone for ever.
“Whoever tells you that it is not possible to live on acting may not be correct, because from the little I have done, even as a student, I know I can live on it. What you require is to know your onions and with a stroke of luck, the sky is the limit.,” Funke explained.
What about insinuations that it is only the girls who sleep with producers that get roles in movies?
Soft-spoken Funke dismissed the claim as strange.
“That to me is rather strange. I have never done it, I can't do it. In fact, let me tell you, if I am not invited to location, I hardly go; even if it is at the house next door. You know too that the way one comports herself is another thing. If one decides to cheapen herself, the producer would not mind to have you in his bed and would at the end of the day dump you. I am sorry, all those things don't add up,” she said.
Funke, who said she was single, confessed that she had discouraged a lot of suitors because of her sweetheart who resides in London. But why would she do so when she probably does not know what the guy is doing behind her back over there?
The beautiful actress sighed and told Appetiser that she trusted her man to a very large extent, even though she wrote off Nigerian men as untrustworthy.
“We ladies are so faithful, but you men are something else, out of ten, you hardly get two who can be relied on. Men are more guilty in this aspect, but what can we do than to pray?”