Fast rising actress and model, Jennifer Obodo, has narrated her encounter with ‘fake lovers’ in the movie industry. The thespian also talks about why she can’t act nude even for millions of dollars. Enjoy it.
Can you tell us briefly about yourself?
Jennifer Obodo is a model and actress. I am from Imo State and a graduate of Mass Communication and Media Technology from Leadcity University, Ibadan, Oyo State.
How long have you been acting?
I started acting full time three years ago.
How did the acting journey begin?
I first went into modeling in 2010 after my secondary school education. I have always had passion for acting but I didn’t know how to go about it. However, I had friends who always encouraged me to go for both modeling and acting because, according to them, I had what it takes to be a TV star. So, I developed the courage to go for it. Soon, I started getting audition updates from people even though my family was against it, most especially, my elder brother who was like a bone in my neck (laughs). But I told him that the only thing I needed was his support or else I would go behind him and do my thing. My mum later gave in and supported me.
What was your first movie?
In 2011, I was at home cooking when my friend came and told me that some people were filming close to her house. She said an actor on the movie set came around to buy something and she told him she had a friend who wanted to act but didn’t know how to go about it. Based on this, the guy requested to see me.
On getting to him, we talked and he took me to the set where I did three scenes. The movie was BlackBerry Prostitutes and it turned out to be my first movie ever. But unfortunately, the guy is late now. May his soul rest in peace. That was actually the starting point for me.
How was your first time on set?
There was this joy in me that day and I felt I finally found my passion. Since then, I started attending auditions here and there. But it wasn’t easy at all. The stress was too much for me and I almost gave up on acting. I met so many people who promised me heaven and earth but failed. I met the fake and real ones before I decided to go back to school. But all along, I never stopped modeling. I was doing modeling while still in school and using the proceeds to support myself. Then in 2015, I decided to come back into the movie industry having understood its principles. I graduated in 2015, served in Akwa Ibom State in 2016 and then started calling the producers and directors that I was ready for full time acting. Till date, it has been a great journey for me, I must confess.
Who were those you looked up to before joining the industry?
I looked up to the likes of Genevieve Nnaji, Nse Ikpe Etim, Mercy Johnson, and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde.
What were the challenges you faced at the early stage?
The challenges I faced were not as bad as I expected. It’s just that some fake people would approach me, wanting to have a relationship with me. But at the end of day, I’d discover that all they wanted was to have a taste of me and run. I met so many people like that, and it was because of this that I almost quit acting.
How does your man react seeing you play romantic roles?
He would always say ‘later, you’ll say it is movie you are acting’.
Does that make you select roles?
No, I select based on the storyline and role given to me.
What kind of role will you reject?
I can’t act nude.
Even, if you are paid millions of dollars?
I’m not interested. I can’t expose my body to the world in the name of acting.
What makes you unique?
I love being different and not being a stereotype. I have a great self-esteem and confidence. It makes me willing to seek out and accept challenges. I’m open-minded and can’t stand injustice. I dream big and work hard. I’m not afraid of failure. In fact, I think it is an essential part of the experimental process that takes you to success. This is why I am unique.
What are the movies you’ve done?
I have done several movies such as Karma, Bed Distrust, You Found Me, Obi Obara, Melissa, One Good Turn, Sweet Yesterday, Axiom, and Damaged among others.
Which is the most challenging?
None. I’m yet to get the role that would challenge me.
Aside acting, what else do you do?
I’m planning to have my own fashion store, and I hope to do that soon. Also, I want start a pet project of mine.
What part of your body do you admire most?
My height, smiles, dimples and legs.
How do you relate with your male fans?
I try as much as possible to be nice to my fans. I smile and pose for pictures with them if need be.
Have you encountered sexual harassment in Nollywood?
No I haven’t. It has been the grace of God protecting me.
Are you in a serious relationship at the moment?
I don’t want to talk about my relationship. I want to keep it private.
Given the opportunity to change certain things in Nollywood, what would it be?
We have to be more creative in the way we tell our stories. Nollywood should also learn to grow young actors. We should learn how to transcend to the next level and not using older actors for teenage roles. We have so many wonderful actors out there, so there should be a mix.
I see so many errors in editing where spirits are scared of crossing the road or shadows of spirits, which doesn’t make any sense. Another thing is that actors are not appreciated like some other artistes in the society, which is wrong. I hope to change most of these things if given the opportunity.