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Gideon Okeke: Actors are guided by story not money earned

Talented and handsome entertainer, Gideon Okeke is one of the Nollywood act whose acting and stage delivery is second to none. The multifaceted hottie (Actor, presenter and model) plans to spread his wings across all forms of media as far as his career is concerned. Having featured in countless movie and popular TV series ‘Tinsel; Gideon is a great stage performer. In this chat with MUTIAT ALLI, Gideon spoke about his role in the coming movie ‘Cross Road’, working with RMD, parallel line between stage and acting amongst others.


What role are you playing the movie Cross Road?

I am playing the role of Omotimi Jomo who is one of the five robbery suspects in an incident crime in the movie.

Omotimi Jomo sounds Bayelsa, how easy or tough is it for you playing the role?

Just observing, A few of my friends works from Bayelsa I just pull my resources from them, I just hear how they talk, how they relate with one another,  so that’s where I pull most of my energy from and at the end of the day what is left is just to add colour to what has been gathered.

Is that your first time playing a robbery role?

No, it’s the second time

What extra touch are you bringing to this one knowing that you have played other robbery roles?

I don’t even know, because from the beginning to the end that is not me and I am not the guy, I am only trying to weigh his scheme, and you can never be as good as oneself, it takes a life time to be good as oneself so from the beginning of our shoot till the very end of our shoot I am still trying to reach for this guy. So, what you see is an attempt to reach so it might sound funny to some people but I just had to work different on this one

What attracted you to the script?

The story telling is well crafted, its one event, five characters in one robbery case or presumed in the robbery case, the way the story is told, we have a lot of writers around here, we are pushing for a time when screenplay and visual will start seeing a sense of character with both screen play and visuals. When you watch a movie, you can tell who made this film, we are definitely coming to that, the writing here is very characteristic.

Is there any lesson to be learnt from your role?

Lesson to be learnt from my role? I’ll just say enjoy the movie, enjoy watching the character then as for lesson he is a militant from Naija Delta the lesson I think is clean up the Niger Delta which

Do you think at the end of the day the movie will tell the typical Bayelsa stories in the positive light knowing that the state is known for cases that militancy amongst others?

I am only one robbery suspect in all of this story, so our story goes five different ways, it doesn’t stay on my character for long it has to go back and come forward. It tells its own thing that’s film language you are seeing this on screen is a big information so he still his own story, he is a guy who has his own story to tell, he doesn’t really tell you what to say.

Working with RMD how was it for you?

It is my first time working with him, he is an icon someone can be so cool that they will know you by your initials that’s how cool he is. He is known by his initials you don’t need to know his whole name so that’s where we are working towards you don’t need to say my full name just say G.O and where one knows who are speaking of.

As a thespian in your own field, will you reject a script because of the other characters involved?

No. I mean it promises right we are guided by the story not guided by the money we earn, the fact is aside from the cash , we are all bounded by the story that why you see us staying late at night and sometimes for days tolerating each other. For instance, for Cross Road, we have spent well over 42 days and still counting on set.

So what other projects have you been up to?

I will be doing more of Theatre movement and for this month, I will be going to London Theatre where I will be playing for about six days and when I return; there is another stage play in September and other things I am personally preparing for in November; with that you can tell I will be very busy.

Do you agree with the thought that there is a parallel line between those who study Theatre Art and those who just delve into acting for love of the craft?

You can text book as much as you want but it’s a performance act it is show and proof. For Jazz music you learn the basics to be a bad jazz player, you learn the basics and then you break the rules. That’s how come you have those kind of guys because they learn the basics and then they broke the glass here so you can text book all the way but at the end you have to show and proof, so some people don’t need to go to school for it, some people went to school for it but the basic thing is as long as you want to earn from the business, you must have training, if you are in the business you must come with training, your training could be Theatre Arts that’s a training it’s not just what you study. Your training could be theatre arts, your training could be from grammar school, your training could be on set that’s why we have actors and movie stars

So, which do you find more comfortable, the stage or the normal movie

There is no one without the other, I go for stage to test myself because you are like the Plata-scène. You form one object you crush it, form another one and crush it. So that’s the scene that’s who we are. I grow up in theatre, there is no money in theatre.

Are you sure? 

We only go there because we love it because we are going there to fill our self. Money is nothing, it’s just the joy in acting. So, if you find a place and you are told you have the chance to act that should be the happiest moment in your life not when they pay you that bold cash, just the chance to do that thing it’s the happiest moment.

Knowing that stage performance requires lots of energy, how much of such energy do you put in your delivery?

How much of that energy? You don’t know where it comes from. It is like your gift, you don’t know where your gift came from but you know who the source but you don’t know how it passes through you. so, you don’t measure your gift, its limitless. So, we go to the theatre to pull out our energy and go to the movies to show it out, you know it’s a big screen so we come to the movies to shine and theatre to build.

Despite your tight schedules, how then do you unwind?

I might be singing, chilling, I love chilling when I have nothing to do. Music is a great deal and I love listening to jazz music

You are a good singer too, is there a next step for you in terms of singing?

Well that’s a very personal thing, I mean my thing, my personal relationship, let’s deal with the one we know.

What is your take on the supposed government plan to stop entertainers from shooting outside the country?

Am still trying to process it since I heard about it but off the jump, it’s laughable with double standard; we think we know so much but we just land on our foot and then just show ourselves.

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