Here is a recent interview she granted Punch Newspaper in January this year. Please read on.
Akwa Ibom State-born Ini Edo started her acting in 2000 while studying for a diploma in Theatre Arts at the University of Uyo. The Nollywood actress tells ADAEZE AMOS about her real self Do you wear those skimpy dresses you wear in your movies in real life?
I don’t wear skimpy dresses when I’m going out, even if it’s a party. I prefer trousers. I can’t remember the last time I wore a skimpy skirt to a party. I would rather wear a pair of jeans trousers. I’m not very good at wearing short skirts and being conscious of the way I sit, I prefer to wear something that I would feel comfortable in. Yes I wear skimpy skirts in movies, but it’s only because of the characters that I play. I hardly wear skimpy skirts in real life.
Who do you want to be like in the movie world?
I see myself as Ini Edo. Everyone can only be themselves. I intend to create my own pattern and be myself.
Was the ban placed on some top actresses responsible for your quick rise in the industry?
Before the ban, I was already shooting movies. In fact, I had the opportunity of working with most of the banned actresses. And during the ban, I had already started doing movies. People were already calling me to do movies for them. When you stay where you are and people start looking for you to come and do movies for them, that means that you have been accepted. What I’m saying is that Ini Edo had already started making her name before the ban.
You are dating Mike Ezuruonye...
No, I’m not dating Mike Ezuruonye. I think the rumour came about because Mike and I were doing too many movies together at some point. How can I be dating him when I have a relationship already? It’s absurd.
What does your dream man look like?
My dream man must be comfortable and God fearing.
How did you discover your acting talent?
As a child, I always knew I had this talent in me. This was why I always grabbed the opportunity to act in church drama. While in school, someone invited me for an audition. I went there, performed well and later got the role. But my parents did not really like it. They insisted I complete my education before going into acting. I had to beg and convince them before they allowed me to feature in my first movie called Thick Madam in 2003.
What determines the roles you play?
This depends on a lot of things – the story, remuneration and the people I am going to work with. I do not act for the fun of it, but because I love it and I enjoy it. The storyline must be very strong. It must not be just any kind of story. I do not like everyday stories with flat characters.
Who inspires you?
I get inspired when I watch young girls like me making it in the industry. If I have a good story to work on, it gives me a lot of inspiration. God and my love for acting also inspire me.
What was it like on your first time out?
I was not nervous because I started with stage performance. It was not really a new thing to me. At first, I felt a little bit intimidated by the presence of known stars, but, as time went on, I got used to it.
Who and who contributed to your growth in the industry?
A lot of people contributed to my growth in the industry. Ikenna Igwe encouraged me to take up a career in acting. There was a movie they produced sometime ago. My course mates invited him over, and he gave me a role.
Which is your most challenging role so far?
The most challenging role for me so far was played in a movie entitled Worlds Apart. That was the first time I was given such a lead role. I really had to come out of my own character to learn a new language, putting up an attitude that was out of my own lifestyle.
Have you been sexually harassed for roles before?
I have not been harassed by anybody, though people talk about harassment. I have never experienced it. It might be because I never came into the industry through the back door. I have overheard people talking about sexual harassment but, truly speaking, I have never experienced it. Besides, I believe that anything that you don’t get through the right source can never last for you. I worked hard to get to where I am today.
How do you feel when you act roles where you are kissed and fondled?
If you decide to take it, then you must act it. There are certain scenes that you may not like, but because it is your job, you have to do them. But honestly, no personal feelings are attached to the job. It is just pure professionalism.
How has acting affected your life?
Acting has affected my life positively and negatively. The negative aspect is that it does not give me room to attend to my family and friends. It takes a lot of my time. The positive aspect is the fame I have.
Will it hinder you from getting married at when due?
Acting will never be a hindrance to me. I will get married the moment I am ready for it. I am a woman and when I find the right man, I will marry him.
What do you think of Nollywood?
In Nollywood, there is too much of envy, but I guess it is everywhere in the showbiz world.
What is your educational background?
I graduated last year from University of Uyo. I now have a degree in Theatre Arts.