MOVIE MARKETERS FRUSTRATED ME
Queen Temitope Oluwa is an actress with a difference. Although the talented lady has acted in over 50 movies, she is not desperate to be famous. She recently spoke with us about the industry and her pet project
Q: What are the jobs you have handled as an actress and a model?
•Queen Temitope Oluwa.
A: I produced Ise Ti Yato, Opin Ife, Eto Ilu and a new one that will be released soon, Opin Ife. I also model for Labomita Hair products. Apart from that, I've featured in more than 50 Yoruba movies (home videos) and one English movie.
Q: How do cope being a producer, an actress, a model and a business person?
A: God. It has not been easy, but you just need to have faith and be focused. Once you are focused, you can do anything.
Q: What are the challenges of being a movie producer?
A: It has not been easy combining acting and producing; let alone being a model and a business person. I don't feature in every movie and when I am producing, I don't play the lead role. As for the business thing, I have someone working for me, so I don't travel every time. The division of labour principle has really worked for me.
Q: You said you have done about 50 movies, how come you are not very popular?
A: I guess it's because I stopped for a year, I actually kept a low profile.
A: I had a problem with marketers over the last movie I did.
Q: What actually happened?
A: When you give them a movie worth a million naira, instead of paying you the money in full, they pay you peanuts. It's very frustrating.
Q: How does that affect acting in other people's movies?
A: I just got fed up, you come back home from location with N5,000, N3,000. It doesn't pay my bills. I went to face my business squarely, but I think I'm now back.
Q: Now that you are back, won't the same problem force you out?
A: I think I am more experienced now. I have to know the kind of marketer I will deal with, somebody that has a name to protect, someone that knows what it takes to produce a movie.
Q: Are you saying not all Idumota marketers are qualified?
A: Yes. We have some that are good, they deserve to be addressed as marketers.
Q: The same way we have good actresses and bad ones?
A: Yeah, we have some good actors and we have bad ones. We have some stupid producers in the industry, that collect money from marketers but do not give them what they want, so it's vice versa.
Q: Now let's talk about your new film…
A: I have Atupa Emi coming out soon. I want people to just call me and tell me what they think about it. You don't need to wait until people tell you that you have done well before you will know you have. At least, when you do something that is good, you will know you have done something good. I think Atupa Emi is not just a movie. Technically, it is okay, the story line is comprehensive, I have the best cast and crew unit. It features people like Lola Idije, Toyin Alausa, Dekunle Fuji and Eniola Olaniyan among others, and the movie was directed by Muyideen Sansaliu. I think I have a good movie anyway, just check it out when it finally gets to the stands.
Q: What is the theme?
A: It is about love, faith and betrayal. Some people were born to be great while some were born to be wretched. The wife was born to be great while the husband was born to be wretched, and no matter how the woman tries to help the guy, his bad luck overshadows the good side of the girl. I don't want to say much about the movie. All I will say is that the movie is about love, faith, betrayal and destiny. It's going to be premiered later this month, but I don't know exactly where. We are still thinking, perhaps Events Centre or LTV 8.
Q: Let's talk about your acting career…
A: I started acting in 1992, I was a kid actress then. I was at Odunfa caucus with my sister, I was there for about three or four weeks before I met Kunle Makinde (Dejo Tunfulu). He saw me and said he could use me for his scripts. I was tested and I did American Girl, that was how I started.
Q: If you count from then till now, what sacrifices have you made to get to where you are today?
A: You lose something very important to you; that is your privacy. People start talking and pointing at you whenever they see you. They don't want to see you on okada any more, they want you to cruise in exotic cars. But the industry is not like that. You enjoy the popularity and fame but you don't enjoy it financially.
Q: But we have seen actors come out to say they collect more than N450,000 for a movie?
A: Laughs…I have never paid any actor N450,000. Secondly, nobody has ever paid me that kind of money, so I don't know how true that is.
Q: A lot of young people in the industry have talked about sexual harassment. As far as you are concerned, what can you say about that?
A: I have never been harassed. May be because I don't go to locations where I have not been invited. People just want to make the name and fame overnight. You have to start somewhere, be focused and work hard for it. Some people want to come in today and become a star tomorrow. Definitely, some people would harass them.
Q: What is that unique thing about you?
A: I don't want to say I'm unique, but I think the fact that I'm contented with what I have stands me out.
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
A: Laughs… Hollywood. I want to be a role model and I want people to celebrate me.
Q: Are you married?
A: I'm very single.
A: Am I? No.
Q: Who is your average Nigerian man?
A: A man who is able to pay his bills; not dependent on me. I think that's okay. If he can pay his bills, I don't care.
Q: Should your average Nigeria man be romantic?
A: Yes, he should be.
Q: Based on your own experience, is an average Nigerian man romantic?
A: They are not, probably because they are frustrated or something, I'm not sure. I don't want to insult them. It may be due to the stress of everyday existence.
Q: What was your growing up like?
A: Not very tough, I grew up as the third kid in a family of six. I'm the third child. The second daughter. I attended St. Mary Government School, and then Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State. I studied banking and finance. I'm now in Lagos State University (LASU) studying Industrial Relations and Personnel Management.
Q: If you are told to change one bad habit of yours, what would that be?
A: I would like to be able to react better to insults. I will like to be more patient because I know I am hot tempered.
Q: Your love life, what is it like?
A: My love life is boring, though not very boring.
Q: A parting shot?
A: Determination today leads to success tomorrow. You have to be focused and respect yourself because if you don't, nobody is going to do that for you.