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Femi Durojaiye

Source: nigeriafilms.com
How I started acting
I have always been interested in the theatre when I was growing-up. I used to watch plays staged by the late Hubert Ogunde and Duro Ladipo in those days. So, the interest in the theatre has always been there. In 1987, I joined the Mother Africa Theatre group where I was trained formally on stage and that was how I started acting.

First movie
The first home video was Scavenger in the 90's. My cousin; late Yinka Obe, also acted as a lawyer in the same film. I went on set and played the role as an extra. I did it so well that the director noticed me. After the production, even on the street, people told me that I acted in Scavenger and I was really elated that I could do something in extra and still get recognised by the viewing public. Since then, I have acted in so many movies. I have acted in X gang, Enslaved, Dangerous Twins, The Investigator, Ajiko Forest, House Party, The Player, The Mayors and many others.

Childhood days
Growing up was fun. I had a highly protected background. My father was a senior military officer, while my mother was a nurse. I grew up mostly with my mother because my father had a polygamous family.

Being on locations
I have been to so many locations from the villages to the cities. It is sometimes interesting and sometimes boring depending on how the location manager does his job. I might get to a location where everything is set and we would just go ahead and shoot the film. At other times, we would arrive at the place and the owner of the house would tell us that he wasn't expecting the crew. At the end of the day, we might be sent packing..

Those experiences opened my eyes to a lot of things. I once had an experience when we shot one of the series of a soap opera entitled 'My Uncle's Head.' We went to a shrine to shoot the production and it was frightening. When I talk about mixed bag, I mean that some locations are built up, while others are real. We went to a shrine and I was very careful on how I did things there.

Educational background
I attended St. Thomas Aquinas Primary School, Surulere after which I proceeded to Government College, Ojo. I also attended Yaba College of Technology for my Ordinary National Diploma and Federal Polytechnic Bauchi for my Higher National Diploma in Food Technology.

Coping with female fans

Women can be very warm and enchanting. Imagine a room filled with men and a lady walks in there, the atmosphere of that place changes. It just shows that women are different, exciting and interesting. They could help to build men. I love the women folk. They are supportive and majority of them are my fans.

Challenging role
I am one of the unfortunate artistes that is under utilised in Nollywood. I believe that I am multi-talented. I have played different roles in different movies, soap operas and television series. I have not really got a role that would challenge me. All the roles that I have got, I have taken them in my strides so easily. I have not got any role that would really task my acting talent.

Soap opera

I have acted in 'Super Story' where I played the role of a Divisional Police officer, Taxi driver and a bank manager. Other soap opera entitled: In This Life, Odd Life, Papa Ajasco, In Cracks, I played the role of a lawyer, while in Solitaire, I played the role of a husband. In Zenith, I played the role of Bola, a casanova husband. In Heaven's Gate, I am playing the role of a recalcitrant village elder that is troubling a household. In Every day people, I played the role of a doctor.

Acting as fun
Yes! acting is fun. The main challenge is to put something of value on air for people to watch and enjoy but acting is usually fun and hard work. The glamour is on television, when an individual is watching some movies on home video in the serenity of his house, he or she would not appreciate the hard work that must have gone into the work.

Role model
The home video industry is divided into two parts, the English and the Yoruba. For the English Home video, I have Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD), because he is a director's delight. He takes a script, gives it life and adds flesh to it. When I watch him either on stage or home video, I always find out that he gives something extra, which seperates him from others. He digs deep into the script and comes out with something extra apart from what the script gives.

For the actresses in the English home video, I have Liz Bension and Joke Silva because they are wonderful actresses. In the Yoruba Home Video, I have Lere Paimo ( Eda Onile Ola) because of his diction in Yoruba language. He is a consummate actor, he knows his onions and unfortunately, he does not act in English Home video.

Negative role
There is no negative role. A story usually has a message and that is what I tell my brethen in church. They would say that what I do is worldly. Even for a Christian film, if you want to portray a prodigal son that spends his father's money recklessly and sleeps with women, you have to play that role even if you are born again and spirit filled. It is a role that has a message and the message has to be put across.
There is no negative role. Everything works together in a production to pass across the message to the audience.

Embarrassing moment
While I was acting in my first Yoruba film, Tinumi ni mo mo. The director called action and instead of me to speak Yoruba, the first words that came out of my mouth was English. I was so embarrassed and the director had to call cut and we had to start all over again. It showed that I have been too involved in the English movie industry that my mind is not attuned to speaking Yoruba.

Message to fans
I love them. They make all the problems, hassles in the movie industry worth it. They are supportive, loving, kind and I hope that they will continue to support me.