interviewBy Amina Alhassan
Uru Eke is a fast rising actress in the Nigerian entertainment industry popularly known as Nollywood. Born and raised in England, Uru Eke studied Business Information Technology at the University of Greenwich, London. She also worked as a Business Acceptance Test Analyst for five years before venturing into films and movies. Here, she speaks with Weekend Magazine about her budding career and more.
How long have you been in the movie industry?
I have always been in and out of Nollywood from 2007 to about 2010, but have been actively focused on it now from May 2011 till date.
Was there any career that interested you before you started acting?
Sure, I worked in an IT firm before changing course.
On a scale of ten, how stressful is your acting career?
It has its pros and cons but more pros I would say.
What are your strong points as an actress?
Hmmm....I'd like to leave that to the directors I've worked with to answer, but I try my best to bring everything to whatever role I'm given to play. I try to be real about it and maybe that is one of my strong points...just maybe.
Tell us what your first audition was like
My first audition was for an Obi Emelonye film in London sometime in 2005. I used to work as a care support staff and had to be on a night duty the same evening Obi was holding his audition. I thought I could quickly make the audition and then rush off to work, but before it got to my turn to audition, I had to leave, because my colleague at work was blowing up my phone to show up for duty. So, I never actually got to audition that night.
Tell us how your passion for the acting started
My career as an actress has been an unconventional one. I studied Business Information Technology at the University of Greenwich, London. I then went on to work as a Business Acceptance Test Analyst for five years. While working there I always played with the idea to star in films and movies. It's just that I never had the opportunity. When the chance presented itself, I grabbed it with both hands and here I am today. I am also glad that I did.
Are you satisfied with the roles you have played in your acting career?
I'm happy with the roles I have played so far; all of them have been a joy, but not completely satisfied as I haven't been fully broken yet.
As a celebrity, how well have you handled your popularity?
God has been amazing and constantly held me up and together. I come from a humble beginning and sometimes forget that I might be popular and to be honest I don't even know if I am (laughs).
What special recognition or award have you received in your acting career?
I got an award recently in Dublin; it came as a huge surprise and honour as we were only there for the premiere of 'Last Flight to Abuja'. For that I am very glad.
For you, what do you think is the hardest part of being a celebrity?
Nosy people, but I guess it just comes with the territory, so you just deal with it, but most times they can be real thorns in your flesh. So, I have just learnt to ignore and move ahead in life.
WM: If you have an opportunity to change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Erm ... maybe to be more tolerant of people. I tend to switch off people quite easily if they step out of line, so these days I'm being more patient.
So far, what is your favourite part of the job?
It's a job that I'm crazy about and absolutely love. I love everything about the job.
What is your take on the Nigerian entertainment industry?
The Nigerian movie industry is fast changing direction and producers are stepping up their game in terms of quality and movie standards. Nollywood is going big and you never can tell it could be bigger than Hollywood. It's a great time for Nollywood I must say.
What were your dreams as a child?
To be a singer/dancer, but hey I'm an actress so, it's close right (Laughs)
What is your favourite type of movie genre?
Romance! I'm a sucker for love. I love romantic movies.
What is your favourite inspirational quote that you live by till date?
"Nature compensates the man who dares to pursue his dreams" by Ireal Ikoku. Believe me when I say this has stuck with me for years.
Who do you count as your mentor?
Absolutely Bimbo Akintola, she can do no wrong by me.
What is the one thing you would like to accomplish before the end of this year?
I would love to end the year featuring in a smashing film.