Acting hasn’t brought me great wealth yet- Ijeoma Grace Agu
In an extravagant landscape filled with pop divas and entertainment kings and queens, Ijeoma Grace Agu known as Ijeoma, stands out. Acting is so encoded in her DNA that you literally see her become any role she plays.
Having come a long way to succeed in turning her craft into a lucrative venture, Ijeoma is one of the most versatile actors you would find in Nollywood.
In this Interview with TheNewsGuru, the award winning actress opens up on her passion for acting, working with her husband, playing stereotypical roles among others.
Your rise to stardom has been inspiring; do you sometimes wish you got into the industry earlier?
Yes I wish I started at four years old.I would have learnt all there is to learn quite early and gather the experience needed.
If you were to start all over again what will you do differently?
That would be to start early.
How has working with your hubby contributed to your growth?
He has literally given me wings to fly. He trusts me and gives me free rein of things. So that gives me the confidence to give my best.
What is the first thing you do after you decide to play a role?
It’s funny but I print out the script and mark everywhere I see my character name.
What do you look out for in a script, money, story-line?
Before the birth of my daughter, I look at the story-line, these days I consider the money.
What if the story-line doesn’t agree with your values and the money is good.
It’s not about me. It’s about the inherent message in the story. My job is to fully serve the purpose of the story
Does that imply that you can take on any role, as long as it passes a message across?
What has acting not done for you?
It hasn’t brought great wealth yet, but soon will
What has it done for you?
Acting has given me great fulfillment from living my purpose
I have seen you play the role of a prostitute in two movies, don’t you think you are being stereotyped?
What’s wrong with stereotype? We misunderstand stereotypes and what we don’t understand we dislike. But stereotype is okay. When an actor is called upon severally to play a particular character it simply means he/she did it convincingly the first time. But I have taken on other roles. Have you seen ‘Happy, In Our Trap, Uncloaked, For My Girls etc?
How has it been, being a filmmaker in Nigeria.What are the perks and the downsides?
It’s been challenging but great none the less. Perks is being able to live your purpose for creation. The downside is lack of steady income
Do you think the government is supporting Nollywood enough?
They can do so much more. We are putting the country and our culture on a global map for good. We are creating jobs on a steady and large scale. We are building a viable industry. Yes the government ought to do so much more.
You said in an interview that you had a secret wedding?
Yes I did.
What prompted that decision and what was your parents’ reaction when they heard the news?
That’s what I have always wanted. My parents didn’t blow the roof when they found out. They know I don’t just take any decision without thinking it through. All was good.
What is the limit for you when it comes to fashion?
I won’t get into debt in the name of fashion
In the course of your career what advice have you been given and who gave it?
I once had a troll say mean things about me on twitter .When I told Aunty Joke Silva she said:’ It’s only ripe fruits they throw stones at, if you don’t want trolls then don’t go on in this career’. Succinctly put, it comes with the territory.