For the passion for showbiz, Gloria Okafor fell in love with the camera at a very tender age and ever since she excel in her new chosen field as an actress cum producer who have featured in countless movies. The graduate of statistics and computer Science and a native of Nnewi sure have a lot to offer the creative industry.
In this chat with MUTIAT ALLI, Gloria spoke on her venturing into the movie industry, why lots of female actresses have delved into production, reasons celebrity marriages crash, her ideal man amongst others.
It’s almost the second quarter of the year, how has the journey been so far?
The last few months have been work all through because I have not really had time to rest but all the same I thank God who is the giver of talent.
What have been the challenging moments in the last few months?
Well for me, I won’t say there have been challenging moments because everything has been planned out.
It will interest you to know that I just I finished the production of two of jobs ‘Pages in between and Hidden Flaw’ and I am currently working on the post production now because one of them will be coming out pretty soon.
What is the movie ‘Pages in between’ all about?
The movie is a dear one because it concerns we entertainers especially those of us in the movie world because we are been seen or known as entertainers but people have a different perception about us most which centres on negatives thoughts.
The movie shed lights about a particular character that was misjudged because she chose acting as a career and on her first meeting with her soon to be laws; they already have their judgment based on her chosen field.
For you what is the challenge in putting out a production like this?
Initially one of the challenge that happens to most movie producer is that when you looking forward to use a particular actor in your film and the person is not available; it knocks you out;
one things about me is that I make proper planning before shooting a movie, I take the pain to call all the cast and crew needed to know their schedules.
As regards funding; I have also imbibe the culture of getting things already sorted out before starting off so that I am not left hanging.
Did you see your becoming an actress while growing up?
I wouldn’t say that because the truth is the trait of going into entertainment was already there due to the fact that my mum worked with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Benue where she has a particular programme she anchored tagged ‘Children Variety’ and then as a child, she will dress me all up and take me along to the studio.
Truth be told, going with her made me fall in love with the camera and when I told her I wanted to going to entertainment; she gave a nod that she will support me.
So did you for the love of acting study Theatre Art?
Not at all, I studied Statistics and Computer science but the love for acting just came up and I am proud that I am doing well.
it is important to state here that it is very key to go to school and have a basic ground in education but honestly there is not as joyful as doing what you love to do; so I will say acting puts food on my table and gives me lot of fulfillment.
Don’t regret dropping your certificate for showbiz?
Never, the joy is the fact that I have a certificate, I may decide to go back to it when I want to but showbiz is something that I have utmost passion for and career that I want to purse as long as I want because I don’t see myself giving up anytime soon.
A lot of female entertainers have delved into movie production and competing with the male counterpart; how do you feel about this move?
It makes feel proud and happy because now ladies in the entertainment industry now know what they want unlike before when ladies struggle to get roles as the case may be.
First you need to know what you want and be discipline plus when you are blessed with the resources nothing can stop your drive. It also gladdens my heart that when check out most of the jobs produced by female filmmakers; they come out beautiful.
Which will you consider easy for yourself, as a producer or actress?
Actually been a producer is stressful while been an actress is stress-free; most time as an actress, I try as much as possible to put myself in the shoes of the producer and won’t not want to stress the person because I understand what it feels like to be a producer.
There is a misconception about actors who ventured into movie production because of limited roles from film makers; would you say you fall into this category?
I don’t fall into that category, because most of the movies I played are based on recommendation. My mother would always tell me that, ‘acting will take me to where my legs cannot take me and millions of people will be watching me’.
So, the producers or directors also discovered my talent by watching my works. However, I perceive movie production as another phase in the industry I need to explore.
Do you have dream roles?
No because I don’t like to be stereotyped to a particular role at all time that is why I am an actor, I should be able to interpret any given role as long as it does not portray nudity.
I am mindful in roles playing because my parent had told from day one that I shouldn’t play a role that when they see me on TV, they will disappointed; I don’t forget where I come from because that is home.
What will make you reject a script?
If the script portrays nudity and weak story line.
Sex for movie role has been known to happen in some cases in the industry; have you had such experience?
I have not experienced such and the sayings that the way you dress is the way you will be addressed comes to play because most people that have watched my movies know that I don’t involve myself in silly things because producers know my worth and as such they can’t approach me for such.
Among the movies you have featured which would you say is your favourite?
I have played notable roles in movies including Husbands of Lagos and Public wife.
Though, I didn’t play lead role in the movie, the flick gave me recognition and I played a different character from the usual good girl role.
However, I also featured on flicks like Lucy’s Dilemma, My wife and I, For the Love of You, Journey to Wed luck, Dusted, Primitive Dim ‘O ma (Igbo), Tears and Blood, Unveiled, Duplicity, Wanted Girl, Chinelo the Shy Virgin among others
Are you saying no producer or director has approached for a relationship or sex for role?
None! If you doubt me, then let them quote me wrong by speaking up.
What should your ideal man look like?
Very important, he has to be God fearing, supportive and have a vision because most men when they see a lady doing well career wise; for instance as I am a producer they tend to have a change of mind if they could manage such a lady as wife or in a relationship. I need a man who will join forces so that we both can build an empire.
How would you describe love?
Love is like a tree with different branches. Sometimes, you enjoy the fruit, then it falls off and also you have to water the fruit for it grows again. For me, it has been weary and enjoyable.
Though, I have experienced heartbreak, it’s a lesson for a healthy relationship and I don’t have any regret at all.
Would you bring your private life to social media for judging?
Hell No!! I won’t do such because most celebrities that live their private life don’t usually get involved in such; I think in everything we do, there should be caution and know when to draw the line because most people are just looking for what to say and make news headlines.
For me, I don’t see myself doing that even though as an entertainer; I don’t have to put my family on the line.
There is this believe that it is hard for a female celebrity to keep a home?
A lot of things come with fame but controlling it is what matters; even though you may appear to be the reigning queen at the moment, I feel there should be a level of control; your man should be able to stand his ground.
One major reason why we have lots of marriage crash is that fact most Nollywood actress put their career first before their marriage.
No matter how good you are as an actress, definitely producer will call you for jobs but a situation when you can’t balance your marriage, career and children together; such union is bound to crash.
How would you advice those aspiring for success?
To become successful and relevant in the industry, you have to remain focused and determined. Most importantly, your work will discover you.