I dress to express myself
What was your first movie?
What course did you study in the university?
I have a diploma in Theatre Arts and I am still at the university of Calabar, studying English, I'm currently in my 400 level. I want to improve on my English. Everyday I learn new things and make mistakes, but I make use of what I learn and improve.
That's good; at least you have some background in theatre arts.
Yeah, I mean I love acting and showbiz in general.
Were your parents supportive of you when you wanted to get into the movie industry?
Oh, well, they didn't take it kindly because it has to do with a lot of travelling and they didn't like that. But they do understand where I'm coming from and know this is what I love; so they just have to support me in whatever it is I do
How old are you?
Where do you hail from?
Akwa-Ibom; hope you know where that is.
Yeah, I do, aint been there though.
When you where younger what did you hope to become in future? That was something I didn't even think about.
Ok, so if you were not into acting right now, what would you be doing?
Show business in general. I love it.
I heard you were banned or six months, is that true?
Yes, but that didn't hold for the whole six months.
And apparently from what I read, you were banned because of your dressing, you were coming to locations dressed in a raunchy manner, more like a prostitute.
That is just a crazy and extreme accusation. Firstly, they didn't know me to just judge me like that by what I am putting on. But seriously, though, I wear what I am comfortable with. That shouldn't really bother anyone. I mix my clothes to feel good with myself. If they walk down the streets and see someone wearing the same clothes as I, they wouldn't refer to the person the way they are referring to me. It's just because I am in the public eye and everyone is watching you. But I wear what I am comfortable with, if somebody doesn't like it, well, too bad. I am not going to change for anyone; it's all about me being happy and comfortable.
If you could describe yourself, how would you say Ini Edo is?
Well, Ini Edo is a determined, nice, friendly, strong and God fearing person.
How many movies have you done till date?
I guess about 30. I cant really keep the count.
What are your new movies we should look out for?
Beautiful Faces, One God, One Nation, that I just finish shooting with Chika Ike. I
cant really remember the name, but will keep you updated on that.
Is Ini in any relationship at the moment?
Yes, but will rather not talk about it.
What is the craziest thing you have heard about you in the papers?
Now as for this, the papers come up with different stories just for t heir sales. I understand that, but, again, they don't really care about how the person they are talking about feels about that. But, yet again, when I hear stuff or I read stuff and it's not true, I just laugh. There was one which I found funny: the papers carried it that I snatched someone's husband.
And what is the craziest thing a fan has done?
I was in front of a store one day, and this lady came up to me. She said she stays in Europe. She was wearing a pink and white pendant. Guess what she did?
What? Told you she was a lesbian?
(Laughter) No, she actually cut the pendant off her neck and gave it to me. That was really sweet of her, at least, there are still good people in this world like that lady.
Wow, that is so sweet. What is your favourite drink and food?
I love any energy drink and I love my Indomine.
I see, proper Nigerian babe. What clubs do you like and where do you go to relax?
(Laughter) Well I'm not really the going-out person. I prefer staying at home. But my friends are always taking me out whenever they are going clubbing. And, so far, I think PLANET 44 is a cool place.
That is also known as Extreme right?
Yes, I mean I used to love the club that caught fire, I think, last year, but I hear they are building it again.
What do you think of Planet 44 when you came during the Christmas period?
Planet 44 is a nice club, was in there more than four times, I think.
How do you feel when you are somewhere and someone recognises you?
It's crazy. There was a time I left one location and was in the car with my crew. Some secondary school kids followed my car for 10 minutes. And there was traffic, so I could not escape them, but I'm getting used to it.
You are a beautiful lady, black, lovely, shinning skin. What's your secret?
Eating right and drinking lots of water.
About your complexion, people are linking you to Genevieve Nnaji and most people say you are overtaking her, what have you got to say about that?
I love her. She is my friend. But I am myself and she is herself. There is nothing like overtaking her. She is an actress, so am I. Just because her face was gracing the movie covers for the past two years or so, and mine is now, that does not mean I am taking over.
Most of the G5 are now seen or have added something to go with their acting job. Some say they are singers and all that. Do you see yourself going into the music industry?
My dear sis, I don't have a good voice oh. Though I love singing you know when you are having your bath and listening to a song, when you hear a song come on the radio, but definitely not in that line as others, taking a singing career. Everybody wants to do everything, which is good, but, I do what I like, instead of doing it just to add to your profile or something. Still music is not my line, though it would be a nice thing to do.
So are you a model, or have you done any modelling job? Because I could see during my stay in Nigeria, almost everyone was gracing the billboards now.
I actually have a contract; it's still hanging, though. Because there is a lot of things to consider, if you want to model. I want to work on my weight
Did I hear you say your weight?
(Laughter) Yes o! okay, I am not skinny.
But you know you don't really need to be skinny to model. So you shouldn't really go that far.
My dear, this is what I want to do, it's my own choice. So it's not as if I am slimming down for someone else.
Yeah, then I'm sure the fans can not wait to see you do your thing. Speaking of the fans or rather the public. They want to know where you are living, who you are dating, your past and all that, mainly because you are famous. Do you think or feel like you owe that much?
No, but I keep my private life and affair to myself and I treasure that so much.
Why do you feel like you don't owe them?
I mean I am in the public eye. You watch my films; I do more films for you to keep you entertained. I have interviews with the media so you can read about what is going on and what I have to say. But I have a life outside the movie world; I also have friends and family and loved ones. The character I play is not me. I don't have to live my life the way they are living theirs. So it's a two-way thing, I do something for you and you let me be me.
Who do you look up to, or who inspire you?
I think you should know, the one and only Joke Silva
What was your growing up like?
My growing up was fun, because I grew up with good hands. My parents are very well respected people. They are very religious like. It was like they were too hard on us. They kind of imparted discipline in all of us and at the same time they also gave us time to express ourselves. So I actually enjoyed childhood.
That means you grew up in a Christian home?
You said your first movie was Thick Madam, am I right?
No that was the first I did when I came… actually I got into the industry by year 2000, I did three movies and I left immediately and I came back in 2002, when I did Thick Madam.
You left the country or the industry?
I left the industry almost immediately. That was in 2000.
And why did you leave the industry?
Well, I wasn't prepared for the industry. Someone invited me for and auditioning and I came. So, I just saw how it was like and I wasn't prepared for it, so I left.
Which movie then was your first?
Child of Destiny. I think that was the very first time I appeared in a home video.
Produced and Directed by whom?
Produced by Obi Madubogu and directed by Ndubuisi Okoh.
I was on a set that included Hanks Anukwu, Ngozi Ezeonu though I can't remember the name now but I think it was a Zik Zulu movie, directed by Lancelot Imasuen that the crew waited several hours for your arrival which never happened, at least before I left, and calls were made to different producers shooting at the time to find out if you were on their set but none knew your whereabout so the discussion on the set was that that was your normal behaviour, that is, to delay production, what do you have to say to that?
On that set what actually happened was that I was out of town. I was supposed to come back but I was robbed of my phone. So I couldn't get in touch with any of them until I got back to Lagos. I couldn't come back because of the whole thing and I couldn't get anyone to talk to. You see, people say so many things; it's a free world (laughs)
When you get to read so many of these negative things about you in the papers, how do you really feel?
Well, it doesn't feel good to be lied against, it doesn't feel good to read negative things about oneself but what can I do. I have come to terms with the fact that in this industry, it's an inescapable thing, something you can't avoid. I can't really find one artiste that has not been, you know, has not had one false story or the other written about them. So, I don't think my case is different. I feel bad but, somehow, I am used to it.
What inspired to want to act?
I have always loved acting right from when I was a child. I used to act in the church, in the school, act in my house. You know, I did a lot of drama back then Reading Theatre Art exposed me to acting, and I had to go all out to do things and a friend of mine came around and invited me for auditioning and I went. And it kind of interested me when I saw other people, you know, since it was something that I already had love for. So, it didn't take much for the interest to develop.
What is that thing that you will like to change about yourself?
Yeah, I think my openness, I think that is actually what I really wish I could change.
Openness in what sense, is it that you are too generous or what?
I think I am too free.
You have regrets for having to be free with people?
I have, in fact, lots of it.
Can you mention one of them?
I wouldn't want to go into it.
Was it that bad to the extent that you wouldn't want to mention it?
It was bad, it's bad when you are open and taken for granted.
As a popular and beautiful actress, how have you been coping with your male fans?
Well we make them understand that you are interested or you are not interested.
Ini Edo, and you are from Akwa Ibom state, how come about the name Edo?
Not the Edo but Edo (second Edo pronounced in Efik, in its original form)
And what does that mean?
(Sighs) I don't know. Edo like, who is God, like Edobong which means, who is God.
So it's a kind of shortened name?
It's an abbreviated name, like who can stand God, something like that, but it's been shortened. But that's my father's name. That is just the way it's been for some time.
What has been your most challenging role?
This movie I just shot. But it is not out yet. I guess it will be out anytime from now. Unforeseen, in which I played triplet. It's a totally different thing from what I have always done. And I don't think anyone else has done it in the industry.
But that is almost the same thing as Dangerous Twins?
This one is Dangerous Triplets. I am sure Ramsey must have gone through hell doing that Dangerous Twins thing.
So you went through hell doing this one?
I tripled the stress.
But by the end of the day, how did you feel?
It was so stressful, but it was good and I have lots of hope in it. I think it's a masterpiece. I think it's something people will really appreciate. It's not out yet but I am keeping my fingers crossed and still hoping that I won't be disappointed at the end of the day.
One of your movies that I really enjoyed was Desperate Billionaire, what impact does the film have on you?
It was a beautiful movie. It was different. I love movies like that, you know, the girls, girls thing. It was very good having to act along side other very good female artiste, It was nice. I just wanted to do something different, to make my own character look different from every other person's character.
Can you for any reason act nude in a movie?
Even for ten million dollars?
Not even for a hundred million dollars.