There's too much envy in Nollywood
It was the movie, Thick Madam, that first launched Ini Edo into the motion picture industry in 2003. Since then, Edo has featured in many movies, although she sees her role in Worlds Apart as the most challenging.
Pretty, young and highly talented, the 23-year old Theatre Arts undergraduate of the University of Uyo nurtured her acting career as a dramatist in her church.
Today, Edo is one of the most sought after actresses in
Edo who spoke about her passion for acting and her dream of becoming the best actress in the world also hinted that her dream man must be comfortable:
My name is Ini Edo from Akwa Ibom State. My mother is a teacher while my father is an elder in the church. My parents have four children, three girls and a boy. I am the second child.
I attended New Era International Nursery School. I am currently studying Theatre Arts at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Growing up was fun although I had a strict upbringing. Ours is a very young and close-knit family.
As a child, I always knew I had this talent in me. This was why I always grabbed the opportunity to act in church drama and my nursery school. While in School, someone invited me for an audition. I went there, performed well and later got the role.
But my parents did not really like it. They insisted I completed my education before going into acting, but I had to beg and convince them before they allowed me to feature in my first movie called Thick Madam in 2003.
Combining acting and my studies has not been easy, but I set my priorities right. When I am less busy in school, I go to location.
Taking up roles
This depends on a lot of things – the story, remuneration and the people I am going to work with. I do not act for the fun of it, but because I love it and I enjoy it. So the storyline must be very strong. It must not be just any kind of story. Sometimes you see a story you can never imagine someone could sit down and write. I am talking about creativity. I do not like everyday stories with flat characters.
I get inspired when I watch young girls like me making it in the industry. If I have a good story to work on, it gives me a lot of inspiration. God and my love for acting also inspire me.
First time out
I felt good. I was not nervous because I started with stage performance. I did a lot of stage work. It was not really a new thing to me. At first, I felt a little bit intimidated by the presence of known stars but as time went on, I got used to it. Later, when I got close to most of them, I just found out that they are colleagues. I learnt to see them like that too.
A lot of people contributed to my growth in the industry. Ikenna Igwe encouraged me to take up a career in acting. There was a movie they produced sometime ago, my course mates invited him over, and he gave me a role.
Most challenging role
The most challenging role for me so far was played in a movie entitled Worlds Apart. That was the first time I was given such a lead role. I really had to come out of my own character to learn a new language entirely, putting up an attitude that was out of my own lifestyle.
I have not been harassed by anybody, though people talk about harassment. I have never experienced it. Maybe because I never came into the industry through the back door. I have overheard people talking about sexual harassment but truly speaking, I have never experienced it. Besides, I believe that anything that you don't get through the right source can never last you. I worked hard to get to where I am today. I worked round the clock and what I have today is on merit. I cannot sleep with a producer for a role. It is not possible.
If you decide to take it, then you must act it. There are certain scenes that you may not like but because it is your job, you have to do it. But honestly, no personal feelings is attached to the job, put pure professionalism.
Acting and my life
Yes, acting has affected my life both positively and negatively. The negative aspect is that it does not give me room to attend to my family and friends. It takes a lot of my time.
Actresses and marriage
Acting will never be a hindrance to me. I will get married the moment I am ready for it. I am a woman and when I find the right man, I will marry him. My kind of man should be God-fearing. It is not really about outward appearance but about inner beauty. Having money is not something I consider but my dream man must be comfortable enough to take care of me.
Boyfriend? Did I have a boyfriend before? I can't remember if I have ever had a boyfriend, it's been a long time now. I am a beautiful woman, men naturally come my way but I know the aim of everyman that comes my way. So it is up to me to know what I want. You can't be my fan and also want to have a relationship.
There is nothing impossible under the sun. I can see light at the end of the tunnel. It is not going to be easy, but I know we would definitely get there. In Nollywood, there is too much of envy, but I guess it is everywhere in showbiz world. But the way we are going, I know we would get there because Hollywood did not spring up in a day. It took some years and if we have the support of the government, we would surely get there.
I love my fans and I will try my best to give them what they want.