Since her entry into Nollywood in 2015, Efe Irele has since produced well over 15 movies and featured in countless movies. Not relenting, the beautiful actress spoke with MUTIAT LAWORE about the journey thus far, challenges among and sundry issues. Excerpts…
What were you doing before acting?
Before acting I owned an event management company and before that I used to work as an Human Resource Manager because I have a masters in Human Resource Management. I did that for not up to a year because I was frustrated in the job and I just wanted to get out of there because before that I was into TV modeling and I kind of knew that I loved being in front of the camera. It was a weird transition; I never really knew that I wanted to act but I knew that I loved watching movies and re-enacting things in the house with my parents and my siblings and I also used to do appearances in music videos. For me, it was when I did Adekunle Gold’s Sade. So when I did that my manager said a lot of people started asking after me for acting roles just like that. So, I started falling in love with acting, going to auditions regularly until I finally got my role in Aso Ebi.
Would you say 2015 was when you got your big break?
I don’t know what to define as a big break; I won’t say one movie in particular gave me my big break, I think every movie that I did just put me a step forward to that point that I needed to be. Yes 2015/2016 was that period where I started personally and I started taking acting seriously.
How has it been since then?
It’s been tough but it’s been an amazing journey and I’m always appreciative of every single step that I take in my life and the tough times have taught me and made me stronger for everything that I am going through now. And I’m only just getting started by the way.
Would you say your journey into acting started with ‘Being in Nollywood?’
I actually started acting before that. So Being in Nollywood was an initiative of the owner of Roc TV, Mary Njoku. At a point, she said she wanted to start a reality show where she brought about five upcoming actors who she felt were doing good in their own way. That’s why you thought so but I have been acting before that. It was actually a Roc series in 2016 that was the first time ever.
It’s been seven years of active acting, how have you been able to handle fame?
This thing called fame I think a lot of people look at it differently; it’s what you make it. Obviously it’s very different now that you can go out and people recognise you and try to come close kind of. It was weird at first, it was very weird even for my family, my dad (may God rest his soul); I just lost him on May 2. He would freak out when people would call because he was very protective of me, so it was weird at first but I kind of got used to it like as this is my new life. What is your most exciting experience with a male admirer? Nobody can thrill me. I feel like I’ve always been a fine girl so the fame is not even doing extra. I’ve not had any admirer that has trilled me, everything is just normal, nothing extra.
Are you in a relationship?
Yes I am.
One of your colleagues made a statement that there’s no actor in a serious relationship that loves truly, what’s your take on that?
Who said that let me go and hold the person’s neck (laughs). I don’t think that’s true.
A lot of people believe that actors and actresses cheat a lot… Cuts in…
all human beings cheat. Everyone cheats in one way or the other and not just in relationships.
Why have you decided to keep your relationship off social media?
B e c a u s e as much as there is fame I like to keep certain parts of my life to myself and enjoy it on my own. It’s almost the same way even with family. I don’t always post my family so much, I like having that moment for myself.
A lot of your colleagues have proved that celebrity relationships don’t last, what’s your take on that?
I don’t know what you are talking about but it’s like every human being has their faults, we all have our faults but people now generalise it because we are in public view. Every human being in every aspect of life will falter; no one is perfect at the end of the day.
Do you believe in the saying ‘what will be will be’?
Yes you just have to allow the universe to take control. Anything can change but at the end of the day it is not in anyone’s power, you just have to allow it and let life happen.
Have you produced any movies?
I have a whole lot of movies that I have produced. I’ve been producing for three years now. I have produced about 15 movies.
How did your parents feel after sending you to the UK to pursue your master’s degree only to come back and venture into the entertainment industry?
My mum was open to it, but my father initially did not understand it. My mum would book appointments for me and ask me to follow it up, like interviews and all that. I look at her today and I can see smiles on her face. I am into showbiz for real, and this is what I love doing for a living.
Since acting has taken a better part you; are you quitting being a video vixen model?
I still do some selected videos, but not everything that comes my way.
How much of nudity have you displayed as a video vixen?
That was never me at any point in time. From the outset, I had this kind of mindset that I am not going to show my skin to bring any attention to myself. In all the musical videos I have featured in, I was properly dressed.
What if the pay is good to show your skin in a musical video, will you reject it?
No matter how much you offer me, I won’t expose my body in a musical video.