FOR NOW, THERE’S NOBODY TO MARRY, SO I’M MARRIED TO MY CAREER
Popular Yoruba actress, Funke Akindele got her break when she was picked to play the lead role in the rested TV drama on sex education entitled I Need To Know. Apart from featuring in Opa William's Naked Wire and Egg of Life, she has today through her Mass Communication and Law degree backgrounds built a unique angle to her kind of stories as a script writer and producer; investigative and crime flicks relayed in Ojo Ketala, Agbefo, Eta 'nu and Maaku. In this interview with Victor Akande, the Lagos State born cross over actress reveals more about her rising career and desire for a good husband and blissful family life.
You have done four films already within the short time that you became a producer, any other one in the offing?
My latest movie in the market now is Maaku. It was released last month and it's doing well in the market all together. as you well know, my first movie is entitled Oju-ketala, followed byEta-Inu, thenAgbefo and nowMaaku.
Of the four movies, which do you consider more challenging?
Everything, is really challenging because I am the producer and the writer at the same time. It's really tasking and the budget is really on the high side. The four movies are all the same.
But Yoruba movies are not known to have such tight budget.
Well, I wouldn't want to call my movie just a Yoruba movie because it is well sub-titled in English and I shot it very well to suit international standard such as film festivals. Even then, if you have a good product and you put it in the market without advertisement of course it will sell. That's what happen to my films. I shot them well, the public saw them, they felt cool about them and they are doing well in the market.
Talking about international film festivals and the quality of a Nigerian movies, how have you shot your films to ensure that they meet these standards?
Well, I made sure that my movie was shot on High Definition(HD) camera, I ensure that the sound is perfect, I actually went back to the studio, to check the picture and then of course they were well subtitled in English, I also intend to subtitle them in French.
What is the reason for this ?
I've been watching Indian films. They don't speak English and we really get to watch their movies. It suits international standard. There is this Indian film I really watched and it was like I was watching an American movie. All the effects in it were o.k. The gun shots, the accident scenes and what have you. Indian film is a very good example of how a film can break international barriers and I said to myself, why can't we do something like that in Yoruba movies, it's not compulsory that our films must be in English language. Indian films are really selling well and their industry is quite large. They didn't start this big, but they are very big now.
Kunle Obayun's , Irabada is a beautiful movie I saw it, beautiful picture, Amazing Grace, beautiful film, I believe with time, we will get there. Especially with films like that, so if I give it a trial, it's not bad.
You studied Mass Communication and Law respectively in school. But you seem to have discarded your training. Why?
Right from secondary school, I had this dream that I wanted to be a big actress, writer and producer. I started off writing scripts way back in secondary school. it was just about a hobby that has become a dream come true.
When you started trying your hand on script writing, why didn't you decide then to study Theatre Arts?
Well, I have always loved Theatre Arts and Law. But you see, acting is a talent and a gift from God. Law has always been what I really wanted to do because as a girl growing up I argue a lot and never liked to lose an argument. The aspect of law that I love so much is the criminal law, and if you watch most of my movies, you find elements of crime in them. For example in Oju-Ketala, I had rape in it, in Eta-Inu, I had murder, in Agbefo, I had armed robbery, InMaaku, I had murder with rituals in it. So, it has always been in me. I see law as a career and acting, a talent. I didn't study Theatre Arts though but right now I want to do a course in movie directing.
Do you see yourself some day practising the law profession or are you just going to restrict it to the movies?
Well, I leave everything to God, but I really love my job. That's the film business; acting, shooting movies, being a producer. But I still want to go back to law later, when I start having kids, I want to take care of my children and the home. I can then say, yea! Let me take a bow from acting for a while, go into law and stay behind the camera.
You started off as an English language actress in I Need To Know, a TV drama on sex education. Is it that scripts in English language movies are no more rolling in for you?
Well, I will start by saying I'm not condemning the English industry, because we are all one, but you see, Yoruba movie stories are very deep. They have got beautiful stories, but merely lack in technicalities aspect, but we are improving. , There are some good movies out there in Yoruba like "Maaku", "Adujobi"and "Eniakoko". Good cameras, well laid and treated sound, nice costumes, beautiful location and the stories too are really tight.
Who are your mentors in the industry?
Well, I really admire Liz Benson a lot. Because she is a good actress. She's very versatile, I love Aunty Joke Silva and then Uncle Olu Jacobs and I really like Yinka Quadri too. He's my boss, he's been very supportive in this industry.
In term of producing and directing who are the source of your inspirations?
In term of directing, I give pass a mark to Andy Amenechi. He is really deep and Abbey Lanre is solid. He's directed my movies. As for a producer, I will give it to Uncle Tade Ogidan, he's a good director too.
You are not getting younger, when is Mr Right going to come?
Well, everything depends on the plan God has for me. Some people are early starters while some start late.Right now, i leave my marital desire to God. If God says Funke you are getting married tomorrow, no man can stop that. For now there's nobody to get married to, but I'm married to my career.
Who is your ideal kind of man?
I really trip for honest guys. A God- fearing and good looking man. I'm not keen about handsome men, just good looking, presentable and caring.
Even if he is an illiterate?
No, he has to be educated.
Some people have the opinion that the reason you are not yet married is because there are so many suitors and you don't know who to choose.
Well suitors keep coming from left and right, yea, saying, I like you Funke, I want to marry you, but I leave everything to God. I really admire my colleagues that are married; I admire Foluke Daramola, Ope Aiyeola, I really admire her you know. I pray for a good man, I ldon't like my fans feeling that I'm too choosy. I know they want the best for me, I know if they see me outside they will want me to be happy, because they enjoy my movies, so they should pray for a good man for me. I'm not choosy.
Some also think that you are proud and this really could scare some men.
I'm not proud, I'm only confident. May be they are mixing confidence with pride. I'm not proud I'm humble and down to earth.
Tell us about your fashion preference.
Well, I only wear things that suit me. I don't wear things because they are in vogue. I love to wear things that I feel comfortable in. I am conscious of what I wear and what the people feel about it. I must be comfortable and assuring in what I wear.
I overheard you saying to someboady a few minutes ago that you are beautiful and you know it. Isn't that pride?
Who said that, I never said I'm beautiful.
Is it that you don't know that you are beautiful?
Of course, I know I'm beautiful and I give God the glory. But I never, never said I'm beautiful.
Now that you know you are beautiful, what is your strong point?
Well, my confidence.
Confidence has got nothing to do with beauty. I am talking interms of your physical look.
Okay. I think my eyes. People keep telling me my that my eyes are seductive. I see that as my strong point.Then of course my courage, my personality.
Where do you hang out?
Sorry to say, I'm a home person. I just hang out in my home, cooking a nice soup with fresh fish, watching movies, switching on the AC, reading books, reading novels, listening to music, relaxing with my family and my friends.
Any bad habit you wish to change?
I don't smoke, I don't drink. Let me see what is the bad habit o.... I tend to trust Peope too much, that is my weakness, it's not a habit really, but I think biting my nails; that is the bad habit.
What do you drink?
I take soft drink and juice, no alcohol. It's tasteless, so why should I drink it.
How do you maintain your shape?
Well, I go to the gym. But not all the time I'm lazy about it but I try not to be too lazy, because I think that's what brings about protruding tommy.
What do you do in aspect of your beauty routine?
I wake up in the morning, take my bath I don't joke with my netrogina facial cleanser, netrogina facial toner, I don't joke with it.