I am indeed a Drama Queen-Seyi Shay
Seyi Shay is one of Nigeria’s beloved songstresses who took the music industry by storm with her music after years of working with diverse artistes outside Nigeria. The songstress who recently released a brand new body of work’ The Electric Package EP’ has equally found her way into the hearts of many fans via with her debut into Nollywood with Biola Alabi’s Media (BAM) new body of work titled ‘ Lara and the Beat’ where she played lead role alongside rapper, Vector.
In this chat with MUTIAT ALLI, Seyi Shay talks playing Lara Giwa in the coming movie, her attraction to Nollywood,
challenges amongst others.
How easy was it transcending through the different personas you had to take on in the movie?
Well, I haven’t been extravagantly rich, and I haven’t been extravagantly poor before, so that is why I tried to keep it in the middle and try to portray the real, raw emotion of what a lady or woman might feel like if those things were happening to her. I just tried to stay true to myself.
Let’s talk your role in the coming movie ‘Lara and The Beat’ where you played Lara Giwa?
Well, I had a great time. I saw the script, I loved it, I loved the story and I really wanted to dedicate it to
Lara. So I embodied Lara, I fabricated a life, I dreamed her, I ate her and I slept her. I imagined what kind
of moves she might make as a person. I had to create and bring Lara Giwa to life literally.
You showed a lot of different emotions in many scenes, how were you able to channel those emotions, was it not difficult going to the extreme as in some cases?
I am a drama queen, you obviously know that. Seyi Shay is a drama queen naturally. So, like I said to
you, I lived, breathed and slept Lara Giwa. She’s a typical young lady whom you see in different lights.
You see her really rich, you see her very poor, you see her in between, you see her fall in love, you see
so many different emotions in her. So I wasn’t really thinking more about those elements per say, I was just thinking more about every girl, every lady, every woman that is going to watch the movie; how they would react in certain circumstances that Lara Giwa was in within the movie. I tried to portray that so that whoever is watching can relate.
There were some very emotional scenes visible in the trailer, what memory did you channel, what welled up in you that provoked those tears you shed on screen?
Like I said earlier in the hall, a lot of times, I had to really try to use my imagination to take me to a place
of reality. I had to think like this “how would I feel if this really happened to me?” Remember that, based
on the story; I had already spent one month exercising the role of Lara, so I became her. I was already her in my mind; I was a hedge fund baby. I was already flying jets. So when I now got to the part that I had to act as if I had lost everything, it felt real. So that’s how I translated those emotions.
What was the most difficult or challenging part of playing Lara for you?
Oh! That was the part where she was a real bitch, earlier in the movie. Even though we can all be bitchy
as women, right? It was quite hard for me to be that honest with myself on camera, knowing that millions of people are going to watch it. Do you understand? That’s because a lot of people have the misconception that actors behave like their real selves when they act. So I don’t want people to think that I am as horrible as she is, but the beauty of this movie is that I showed the reality and the truth of a
young lady’s real emotional transitions. So it was such a fluid storyline, I didn’t really have many problems portraying a young lady.
Is there any similarity between the personalities, Lara Giwa and Seyi Shay?
Yes there is, that is why they casted me. Now I know. When I got on the set and I was reading the script,
I was like “you guys planned this thing.”
Pairing up with Vector was interesting for most people who saw the trailer, how was it for you?
It was great, Vector is my friend, and so it was easy.
How about the steamy kiss, what was it like?
The kiss with Vector was cool, there’s a bit too much kissing in the movie though.
But how did that make you feel?
It was like kissing my friend, like “oh, my brother!” because that’s what we are now.
If the script had not had anything to do with music, would you still have accepted to play the role?
I definitely would have, now, in hindsight, because I enjoyed the process so much. I did not think I would
enjoy seeing myself on the big screen as much as I did today. I really like it.
Do you have plans on taking a step further in Nollywood?
Yes. Nollywood is definitely an attraction and I am currently open to good scripts.