I refuse to expose some parts of my body in movie to become famous –Ego Nworji, actress

Nollywood actress, Ego Nworji has revealed how she quit acting for a while to save her marriage.

The Enugu-born role interpreter also opened up on her experience with randy men, especially the younger ones who would love to go beyond being fans. Here are excerpts from the interview:  Ezoic

Tell us how you ventured into acting?

My name is Ego Nworji. I started my acting career in 2009 and I have been trying my best since then. I’ve actually done many films and one notable thing is that there has to be a particular role/film that’ll announce you. Mine happened to be Gifted, a series on ROKtv.

What do you like most about the character you played in the movie?Ezoic

I love everything about the character I played. During the auditioning stage, the director said that I was too young to play the role and asked that I be replaced with someone older. Fortunately, the producer already knew my capability because we’ve worked together in the past, so he convinced the director to give me a chance, as I would do well with my make-up on. In the first scene, the director wasn’t impressed but from the second scene, I made a great progress and that was it.

Was it easy for you when you started in Nollywood?

To be frank, it wasn’t easy.

Was there a particular time you wanted to give up?

Yeah, I actually gave up at some point. For like two years, I dropped out. The reason was that I was working but wasn’t getting paid. The money we were being paid was nothing compared to the effort we put in. It actually caused a problem for me in my marriage because we would leave early and come back very late, and still get little or no payment at all. My husband wasn’t willing to accept that and I too got tired at some point. So, I had to quit to give peace a chance.

How is your husband feeling now that you’ve had a breakthrough in the industry?Ezoic

I’m sure he’s happy and proud of whom I’ve become. But then, I know it wasn’t easy for him at first.

When did you get to know there was hope for you in the industry?

It was after I had my last child. I was called to shoot a movie in Abuja. So, I had to take my baby with me. It was really fun and the job gave me an edge. I reasoned that since my husband could allow me to go with my baby all the way from Enugu to Abuja, then there is hope. To crown it all, I was well paid for the first time ever and was also well taken care of. It was there that I was opportune to work with people like Jim Iyke, where I played his mother-in-law. I met other actors too and I encouraged myself not to quit after that. I’m glad I did that because today is a good evidence of my perseverance.

Apart from your husband, was there any other thing that discouraged you like sexual harassment, bullying etc.?Ezoic

I wasn’t sexually harassed, not even once. As I said earlier, the major thing that discouraged me then was not being paid for job done, as well as the nonchalant treatment meted to those playing minor characters.

How were you able to perform the roles given you creditably?

Acting is a kind of family thing because my great grandma was a very funny person and it rubbed off on the rest of the family including me. When I say things on set, people tend to laugh and they always want to have me around, and that makes the roles given me to be easy.

Looking back, which of your movies was the most challenging?

Gifted, because I never had the opportunity to live with an aged person, so trying to act like one wasn’t easy at all. But along the line, I began to flow with it to the extent that people began to wonder. These reactions encouraged me to give it my best, and I thank God that it came out well.Ezoic

What has fame done for you? Has it opened doors or denied you of anything?

Fame has paved a lot of paths for me. It has given me the opportunity to enter places I wouldn’t have ordinarily.

Can you describe your most embarrassing moment as an artiste?

I did a job where the character I played was that of a wicked person. After the movie, people began to behave somehow towards me, forgetting that it was just a movie role and not who I truly was. I often went to the market and people would say all sort of embarrassing things to me, like ‘wicked woman, why did you kill your step-daughter’. Another annoying thing is that market women tend to hike prices of commodities for me just because they see me on TV. They assume that I’m rich. It is really embarrassing.

Since you became popular, what has changed in your life?

My life has changed because right now, there are certain places I can’t afford to be seen, and certain things I can’t also do as a result of my status.Ezoic

Which of the actors are you excited to work with?

It’s Patience Ozokwor popularly known as Mama G. I was excited to work with her for the first time, and now we’re quite close.

Do you think any movie script has changed your perception of life?

No, acting hasn’t really affected my way of thinking, because what we act isn’t our story, but someone else’s. So, acting has no way of changing my thinking pattern and lifestyle.

Have you turned down any movie script and why?

Yes, I have turned down some movie scripts before. There was this particular script I was supposed to shoot, but the producer told me that I would expose some parts of my body. When I inquired why, he said it will make me famous. I turned it down outrightly. Apart from that one, when a script comes to my table and I don’t see the moral lesson in it, I turn it downEzoic

Some celebrities are popular but not rich, where do you belong?

I’m not rich. I’m just comfortable and contented.

What scares you most in the industry?

Honestly, what scares me the most is the fact that people have different motives and you don’t know who has ulterior motives and who doesn’t. There are lots of jealous people in the industry and most times, you tend not to be free with people or you just don’t do things extraordinarily to avert jealousy. I feel that the high competition in the industry is responsible for this. I actually don’t believe in diabolism but rather in hard work and earning whatever you deserve. I’m also not saying that diabolism doesn’t exist in the industry because you can never be too sure.

How do you balance family life with your career?

I don’t think I would like to talk about my marriage.

Do you have randy men trying to get close to you because they see you on TV?Ezoic

If I say no to this, I’d be lying. So, it’s a yes.

Have you had a situation where a younger person tried to woo you?

Yes, plenty of them. Boys of these days no longer respect people. They want to get acquainted with you because you’re a star. They see you on TV and they need a sugar mummy and all of that.

What advice do you have for the younger ones who have interest in acting?

My advice to up and coming actors, most especially actresses, is to take things easy. Try and work on yourself, you don’t have to bribe anyone in cash or in kind for you to be a superstar. By the way, how many of them do you intend to bribe, as there are many of them out there who you’ll meet. I’m not saying that finding love in the industry is a crime, but you shouldn’t do just anything to work with them. Keep praying, keep working on yourself to get better and the sky will be your limit.Ezoic

Has becoming a celebrity attracted more men to you?

Yes it has. I’ve had a lot of admirers since I attained this level. But there’s one thing about me, I don’t like being seen everywhere with men. In as much as I try to be accommodating and good to people, I have my boundaries.

How do you handle the stubborn ones among men?

I try my best not to be too harsh while talking to them, neither do I degrade them because there’s a way I’d act now and they’d be like ‘is it because you’re a star that you’re behaving like this?’ I try to make them understand the reason why I can’t be with them. Sometimes, I even go to the extent of begging them to stay away.

As a mother, would you suggest to your daughter to go into acting?

No, I wouldn’t do that. But if it’s what she wants to do, I won’t stop her.

Why won’t you allow such idea?

I won’t allow it because she’s still in school, but when she’s done with school and decides that she wants to join the industry, then why not? I’d go out of my way to put her through because there’s actually nothing wrong with the industry; it’s the people in it that make it look bad.Ezoic

Aside acting, what else do you do?

I sell ladies’ wears during seasons. So, it is not every time.

Aside from who we see on screen, who actually is Ego Nworji?

Ego Nworji is a normal woman. I am a quiet and calm person; I don’t talk much and I love being on my own. I’m also contented and tend to mind my business. I am a Christian and a devoted and dedicated mother.

Is there any misconception that people have about you?

I was surprised when I was termed a prostitute at a time. They also see me as proud and arrogant probably because I keep to myself most of the time.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

In the next five years, I see myself as a megastar, and a producer too.Ezoic

Is there any one you’d love to act alongside with that you haven’t met yet?

Yes, I’ve been praying to work with RMD because he’s a wonderful actor. But I’ve not had the opportunity to do so yet

Are there people who weren’t close to you before you joined Nollywood that came closer after you became a star?

Yes. At first, some people didn’t believe in me but as I rose to the limelight, they all came rushing back

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