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Acting nude is against africa culture…nollywood star actress Lydia Eires

Fast-rising actress and entrepreneur, Lydia Eires from Eshan Central in Edo State, is one person to watch out for in the movie industry. In this chat with E24-7 MAGAZINE’S RASHEED
ADESHINA, she speaks on her career, amongst other issues. Excerpts…
How did acting start for you?
It’s a long story though. I have always had the
dream of studying Theatre Arts in School and as
God would have it, I gained admission
into Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State
where I studied Theatre and Media Art. Though I
studied Theatre Art in school, I never wanted to
practice at first, but wanted to do business.
And because of the numerous stories I used to
hear about Directors and Producers wanting to
sleep with ladies in exchange for roles, I was
skeptical about getting involved in movies. But
one fateful day, my friend, Vivian Spears, called
me that some movie-makers would like to use my
shop where I was selling clothes and fashion
accessories for a shoot. When they came, there
was this lady that was playing the role but she
wasn’t doing it well, so I complained about it and
even asked the director if she was auditioned for
the role or not. The director then asked me if I
could do it because they had done like four takes
already. At first, I was cautious, because I didn’t
want it to seem like I was trying to take the girl’s
job; but the director insisted that I should try it
out. I agreed with him and I told him I will show
the lady how to perfect the role. I did it and even
the lady liked it and even told me to do it. After
that, the Director asked me if I had been acting
before, so I told him no, though I had done some
stage plays before while in school. To my surprise,
he gave me a script where I have to act in 22
scenes. That movie was titled ‘Alingo Babes.’ I can
remember that while on set, there was a lady that
walked up to me and asked me how long I’d been
in Nollywood. I told her I was just a starter, so she
told me that if I want to have my face on the
movie poster, I would have to pay the producer
N20,000 for that. I was worried and I asked why I
had to pay the producer for that, when I was not
even being paid for the job. She said that’s how
the industry works, but I refused to pay. However,
to my surprise, when the movie and all posters
came out, I was on the poster and the lady was
missing. Since then, I believe more in God with all
I do in the industry. That first job paved the way
for many others for me.

How many movies have you acted in so far?
After ‘Alingo Babes,’ I did ‘First Of All’, Hard Life,
among others. I also acted alongside Patience
Ozokwor (Mama G) in a film titled ‘Grandma’s
Birthday.’ I also produced my own movie last
year.

Which is the most challenging role you’ve
played?
There was this job I did which was Executive
produced by Wisdom Macaulay titled ‘Raw
Emotion.’ I played the role of a girl who loved her
younger sister, but was hated in return; it was
such an emotional role.

Which character do you look forward to
playing?
There is this script I’m working on presently, and
my role in it is quite challenging because I’m
acting as two different people; a young lady and
an old woman. Besides that, if I find myself
playing the role of a lesbian, I will love it.

Do you think you will be able to handle the backlash that may follow such role from your fans?
Yes. As an actor, you must be able to deliver on
every script that comes your way. And for every
script one is having, you must pray first because
movies and music have got their own spirits. It
also depends on the script. If the character is
meant to educate the society and not to corrupt
or encourage any mind to indulge in such acts, I’ll
gladly take it. You know lesbianism is strange to
African culture, so those indulging in the absurd
act have got to stop, or face its nemesis.

Have you ever faced S**UAL harassment?
Yes. While on the set of the first movie I acted in
‘Alingo Babes,’ the director made advances at me;
that I must date him. But I begged him, and told
him not to scare me back with all these. I also told
him that as an upcoming director, such conduct
won’t fit well in his profile. So I can say I’ve had
my own share too, but all were unsuccessful. I
have also learnt that the way we ladies carry
ourselves determine the approaches or
advancements from men.
Most times, how the female wannabe actresses
put themselves to the director determines the
outcome. I’m not the type that is desperate for
jobs; even if I’m only doing two or three scenes,
I’m satisfied, and I always give my best.

Which movie have you enjoyed being on the
most?
I think that will be the one in which I played the
role of ‘Chimkamso’ because of the comedy in it. I
acted as a naughty girl who refused to go to
school, but preferred to sell oranges and
groundnuts. I played the lead role in it alongside
top actors like Mike Ezuruonye, Ruth Kadiri, and
Amaechi Munagor, and lot of people were jealous
of me as a result of that.

Was that your first lead role in a movie?
Yes, it was my first lead role, and I enjoyed it
because I had the chance to express myself very
well.

Can you act nude?
That’s a capital NO. I’m an African woman, and
that’s totally against our norms as Africans. One
day, I will become a wife and mother; and no
mother in-law or relative will agree to their son
marrying a woman that has once been naked in
front of the Camera. In fact, my mom will be the
first to disown me if she sees it.

What would you like to change about the movie industry?
I will start with the up-comers in the industry. The
way the wannabes are treated has got to change.
You find out that no one cares about this people
when they come to location. So I’m using this
opportunity to beg all producers and directors to
make a change about all these because these new
faces will one day be the face everyone will be
craving for, so they should be treated well.

Which actors would you like to work with?
I will like to work with my number one role model
and that’s Mercy Johnson-Okojie. I really like her
acting skills; she’s a natural person that blends
into every character she plays.

Can you act in a Yoruba movie?
Yes, I will love to do it. In fact, there was this
movie I acted in titled ‘Stubborn Babes’ in which I
was asked to speak Igbo language. At first, I didn’t
get it, but later on, it sank in, and I delivered.

What’s your relationship status?
I’m not married; but I’m in a relationship, so I
don’t think I’m searching.

Can you date or marry an actor?
Hmm…that’s personal.

What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done
to you?
I can recall a fan that watched the film, ‘Pains of
Chiamanda’ who confronted me that I am too
wicked, because I really was in that movie. It took
me a lot of time to convince her that it was just a
movie, and I’m not like that in real life.

Parting words to your fans?
Know that I love, appreciate and celebrate you
too as you’ve been celebrating me. I promise to
make you proud and give the best of me. More
importantly, I need your prayers, and I pray that
God will bless your endeavors, amen.

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