The name Lilian Amah Aluko is already a household name in the movie industry; she is one of the most respected actress considering her acting prowess and delivery.
Having been in the industry for over two decades; the talented actress is also a writer and has continued to display her writing skills in literature; having several novels to her credit.
In this interview with MUTIAT ALLI she shares her views on piracy, why it should be made a criminal offence, her love for good books amongst others.
Considering the damages already done to major movie projects in the country, what would you as a major producer, opine could be the solution to piracy in the Nollywood industry?
The way forward for filmmakers; we are actually working on forming a strong pressure group, which is something Fidelis Duker, the CEO of Abuja International Film Festival started. It’s about a conference in Nollywood – I’m just throwing out things that came up on the phone.
Now that the Mopicon bill has been passed; it is the bill that will empower the industry, because it gives legal backing to the things we want done. Before the bill was passed, the fine for the current anti-piracy law is twenty-five thousand naira for crying out loud.
It is ridiculous! So anybody can pirate then will you take them to court, what happens? That is a slap on the right of any entertainer; pirates make millions from our product, pay the fine and then walk away.
So until we can get the MOPICON bill is passed; that gives legal backing to what we are doing. However, truth be told, you cannot control piracy all over the world, you can’t eradicate it; you can only try to reduce it. Our industry has been a laughing stock because we are not united, so we are trying to unite so that we can speak with one voice.
Some people are of the opinion that piracy should be made a criminal offence; do you think it is necessary to do that?
It should be criminalized because it is destructive. It is a crime just like any other white collar crime. Piracy needs to be confronted head-on. Nollywood is the second largest earner for Nigeria and it has the potential of being the largest.
As you can see, with the decline of oil in the world market, Nollywood has the potential of becoming the largest income earner for the country. So the pirates are stealing not only from the practitioners, they are stealing from the country.
Acting for you, how did it all started?
I started acting in 1996 with RMD (Richard Mofe Damijo) in the movie, ‘Out of Bounds.’ I saw the notice of audition in a paper a friend bought and I went for the audition and was chosen.
The movie is still my most challenging because I was new then; I had to challenge myself to play it even before the great RMD and Tade Ogidan, the producer. It also brought me two awards: the TEMA and REEL awards,” she said. Lilian, whose first novel was published in 2010, also spoke on why she ventured into acting and producing.
Which role amongst all the roles you have played in the movies you have produced, would you say was the most challenging?
I think for now, I would still say Out of Bounds. It was the most challenging for me because it was a totally new thing and I was playing in front of the great RMD and being directed by Uncle Tade Ogidan who are legends in the industry. I give it to them because they were awesome.
The director was very calmed and Uncle Tade particularly, is a very gentle, soft-spoken person and drew out the best in me, which I found very encouraging, so that helped me a lot.
It remains the most challenging because I also challenged myself; I went into that character, which I don’t think I have, ever after, gone so much into a character like that.
What is the greatest lesson that life has taught you?
The greatest lesson life has taught me is patience; with patience, you can achieve anything.
How do you relax?
Reading; I read a lot and everything, everywhere I go. So for me, relaxing is reading, and I don’t like doing e-book because when I read a book on my I-pad, I don’t get satisfaction because I have to flip the pages.
So I prefer hardcopy, and at the end of every day, no matter how tired I am, I read at least a chapter of whatever current book I’m reading.
What does style means to you and how long do you prepare for an event?
On a daily basis, I don’t even make up, I just apply lip-gloss, all I take time to do is I try to decide the night before, what I’m going to wear so that I’m not wasting time in the morning.
In the morning I just throw on my dress, apply white powder and go. But when it’s a function, especially if it is a red carpet function, I try to pull out the stuffs as much as I can.
Who is your best author and what book are you currently reading?
I’m reading Patricia Cornwell’s Dust, she’s a fiction writer. I read a lot of her books. For me there is nothing like best; every author brings something different with a new experience, so I read a lot of authors. This is what I’m currently reading; Patricia Cornwell’s Dust.