Known for her distinctive craft and acting prowess, multi-talented actress Funke Akindele-Bello is sure bringing her A-game on the new project ‘ Your Excellency’ in partnership with EbonyLife Films. In this interview with MUTIAT ALLI, Funke shares her directorial debut experience, working with other cast members,
As the lead character, what do you think Nigerians will take home from the movie ‘Your Excellency’?
For me, a lot that is anything you want to do just go all out for it, never take no for an answer and just keep pushing because you don’t know when the big YES will come knocking.
With a political setting in ‘Your Excellency’ don’t you feel it could be misinterpreted for shading the political system of Nigeria?
Not at all!! Don’t forget this is comedy and Christmas is usually fun time and family time; with Your Excellency I can bet you we don’t have time shading any politician or the political system of Nigeria in general.
What then is the story line in the new movie ‘Your Excellency’?
Your Excellency tells the story of Chief Olalekan Ajadi, a bubbling, billionaire businessman and failed presidential candidate who is obsessed with Donald Trump.
Just when his campaign looks set to be another disaster, Ajadi is anointed by a major party and becomes a credible contender-all through the power of social media.
As the political drama unfolds, it seems possible that even the most inept candidate with little to offer voters except viral soundbites and amusing antics can mount a serious challenge for the presidency.
How easy or tough was it joggling the role of a director and lead cast on the project?
I must say tedious because I do that a lot as the head writer for Jenifa’s Dairy and some other contents in you see on Scene One Production, so I also act, produce and direct too.
This is more tedious for me because this is film compared to TV Series and we kept on working everyday and I am super proud of the outcome so far and can’t wait for people to see what we have cooked.
So for you which is more comfortable acting or directing?
Honestly, I think acting because I get to express myself so well and holding to the fact that this is what I have been doing for so many years; I feel so much peace doing it; directing takes a whole part of an individual.
Considering the stress that comes with the two responsibilities you carry on set; is there moment you felt like cutting off production?
Don’t forget that I am also a strong woman; even those days I had down moments on set; the executive producer is always there to give words of encouragement.
She will be like ‘Funke you can’t give up now; let the world see the stuff you are made up on this project’ and all those words from her and other crew members made the job seamless for me.
And before I forget, my ever supportive husband was also there to support and encourage me and one thing he keeps telling is that you have done your jobs well; this is another person’s production; you have to kill it.
What is that one thing you love about this particular production?
Well that will be the fact that everything you see from start to finish of the movie is 100%real in terms of props and more importantly all the cast came with their A game.
So when is your creativity normally at its peak?
I draw inspirations from things happening around me. I could get an idea and when I am in the bathroom taking a shower I develop it. Later on maybe during a massage, I could give the concept a deeper thought.