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Any actor who lacks discipline, commitment won’t go far – Ogogo

The biggest movie project in Africa will emerge from the Yoruba-speaking side of Nollywood. The right type of cultural movie, putting everyone together, created exposure for us because we started seeing each other again like in the old days. I am particularly happy to witness this beautiful development. People should still expect more.

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In this exclusive interview with DAVID ADEBAYO, Ogogo expressed his unwavering dedication to his craft and hinted at more projects in the offing.

PSN: You have been in the business of acting for a long time, and you don’t even seem to be getting tired. If there is one thing that has kept you going, what could it be?
Ogogo: I have done a lot of Yoruba productions, both modern and cultural, because culture itself has a category. There are times when I get to the location before I have the script, and I immediately put myself into the character. As an actor, I put myself into action because I don’t have another job; I have to deliver. As a professional actor, you can’t afford not to give it your best shot all the time. I don’t think there is any special thing that can keep an actor in the game other than discipline and commitment to their craft.

PSN: However, not all actors exhibit discipline. Is this why some of them don’t stay this long on the job?
Ogogo: It is not unusual to act alone. It is applicable in every facet of human endeavour. You must not just be committed to your craft; you must be seen to be doing it well and add discipline to it. Recently, I read somewhere that what you go through to get to a certain level is not as important as what you need to keep yourself on that level. They are two entirely different things.

PSN: How hard has it been managing fame and staying relevant?
Ogogo: It is not hard, as far as I am concerned. When you know what you have signed up for and how to apply all of your professionalism to it, it becomes easy, and the passion will certainly keep you moving forward. You can’t be lethargic and expect to be on top of your game. It doesn’t work like that. My craft is my own, and I know it well. I am also willing to learn and unlearn. I am not shy about learning from you. Once you tell me something or teach me how to do it once, you will not need to tell me or teach me again; just watch me turn that thing into something exceptional in your presence. Just give me a script, and tell me about camera rolling and action. That’s it. I will give you what you want.

PSN: It appears that the movie industry is currently rocking two worlds. The old world consists of veteran actors, and the new world is where the young generation of actors, including skit makers, are making the moment count for themselves. How do you feel about this development?
Ogogo: We are all actors. We are all in the industry to make a living and do what we love and have passion for. I don’t have any problems with the young and new actors. We are colleagues. I want to learn from them. Even if you give me a 10-year-old child to act with, I will give you what you want. Acting is acting.

PSN: You were in Anikulapo. How would you describe the experience?
Ogogo: Let me just say that Anikulapo is a movie or series in which you don’t want to miss an actor. Suppose you received an invitation to participate in the project, but due to unforeseen circumstances, you were unable to attend. You will miss that experience for the rest of your life.

PSN: If there is something special that Kunle Afolayan brought to the game that helped you deliver your lines better, what would it be?
Ogogo: He’s a fantastic actor whose understanding of his craft is mind-blowing. I have experienced it before, but what he pulled with Anikulapo and how he managed to bring everyone together on the project is so unique and tells a lot about his ability to get his job done using everything available at his disposal. Once he says, I know you can do this, it means you are going to do it and do it better, even if there are 100 people who could play the role. There is something he sees in people that we are yet to understand. He’s simply phenomenal.

PSN: It seems the Yoruba movie industry is rising back to its spot in the movie-making business in Nigeria. For a long time, you and others appeared to have given up on stepping into the big league of movie producers who can break the box office. What has changed suddenly?
Ogogo: Well, first, I want to appreciate the good work Afolayan and others are doing to make sure movie making in the Yoruba movie industry reclaims its rightful place. The truth remains that people know what we are capable of doing when we come together and make great movies. The records of such feats are still there, but we are now coming to the realization that we have the capacity to do more and better. Some of us were hesitant to invest millions in a project that could succumb to piracy and plunge us into a spiral of debt.

PSN: So you and other veteran actors are back at your best now?
Ogogo: We have always given our best, but we just didn’t want to invest so much in an industry that is not well structured. Now that the structure seems to be in place and big investors like Netflix and others have been approaching our people, encouraging them to go all out, you can see how our movies have been dominating the cinemas. This is just the beginning. I said it to someone days ago: The biggest movie project in Africa will emerge from the Yoruba-speaking side of Nollywood. The right type of cultural movie, putting everyone together, created exposure for us because we started seeing each other again like in the old days. I am particularly happy to witness this beautiful development. People should still expect more.

 

 

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