By Perpetua Egesimba
She is bold and daring. Indeed, she’s one of Nollywood’s actresses that can take up any role.
Eno Udo first appeared in the late J.T Tom West’s movie, Death Warrant and has since featured in about a dozen soap operas including Family Ties, Life Secret, and Moments. She has also starred in movies such as Dignity and Tears of a Mother.
In this interview, the Akwa Ibom State-born actress talks about her career, aspirations and many more. Enjoy it.
Tell us briefly about yourself.
I am an actress, event planner and caterer. I am from Akwa Ibom State. I have a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Business Administration from Kwara State Polytechnic.
How did you come into Nollywood?
I started out when I was in SS2 to be precise. That was in 2000. I came through my director, the late J.T Tom West. When I finished my secondary school, I joined Alpha Bash Theater Group, which was based in Ikeja, Lagos. My first movie was Death Warrant by J.T Tom West. I can’t forget that movie; it was an epic. It starred lots of actors like Keppy Ekpeyoung Bassey and others I can’t remember now, because I was so young then.
How much were you paid to do your first movie, Death Warrant?
Let me say that they cheated me. I was in secondary school so maybe they looked at me and said, ‘what does she want to use the money for?’ They gave me something but I wouldn’t count that as anything.
From then till now, how many movies have you featured in?
After that, I went straight to television series. I have done more than a dozen soap operas. But I did some movies of recent. There was even a time I left to do other things, but I later came back to continue from where I stopped.
Some celebrities believe that being controversial will keep them at the top. Do you believe that?
To be honest, at times, it helps because when you trend you become so popular. So, indulging in some controversial activities helps sometimes.
How daring are you and would you act nude to interpret a role?
I have never acted nude but I have acted crazy and stupid roles. To be honest, right now, I could act nude. Movie is just a make believe, so why not? If I am given the role, I will. In the past, I have acted a lot of seductive roles; so acting nude is not going to be an issue for me. It’s no big deal.
What part of your body do you consider a selling point?
I said that earlier, the seductive part.
Which part exactly?
The front side of the body is what I use mostly. I prefer the backside though; it’s my selling point.
What wouldn’t you do as an actress?
I really can’t say because I can act anything, and I have acted different crazy roles. So, I wouldn’t know the one I won’t be able to do right now.
Some actors have complained of being sexually harassed in the industry. Have you ever been sexually harassed?
No, not at all. The producers and directors I have worked with have never done that to me.
Who is your role model in the industry?
Bimbo Akintola is one person that I love so much and that is because she is so natural. There was this movie she featured in that I watched when I was younger. I can’t remember the title. I fell in love with her acting talent after watching that movie. I told myself that I want to be like this lady one day.
So far, what have you found to be challenging?
The most challenging is ‘I know you’ kind of thing that plays out in Nollywood. They tend to select the people they know. Even, when you go for audition, they already know whom they want to pick. It is not about coming to the audition or having talent except by the grace of God. This is to say that there is godfatherism in the industry. If nobody recommends you, you might have hard time finding your feet.
What is your general perception about Nollywood?
Nollywood is a great industry that has great talent. Nowadays, we have more people on the screen with less talent. When you see some cast members and watch some Nollywood movies, you will be disappointed. You don’t see the talent they are giving out and those that have the talent are not given the chance.
What’s the worst thing you have ever heard about yourself?
They say I am proud but I am not.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Can you compare Nollywood when you started in 2000 and now in terms of quality?
Nollywood now is better in terms of production. But like I said earlier, we are no longer seeing the raw talent we used to see in those days. We are seeing people coming, shouting and going. The production is dope but the talents are not really there much like before. There are times I watch some movies and I am like, ‘who directed this movie?’
What is your ideal man?
Somebody that is intelligent, focused, has dream and the fear of God. He should be a dark, chocolate guy. I don’t know what I see in dark guys. He must have height because I am not too tall.
What’s your advice for up and coming actors?
Work on yourself, one day you will be discovered.