Nollywood star, Sharon Ifedi, who discovered her acting talent while in secondary school.
Though, she aspired to be a doctor, she has been waxing stronger in front of the camera ever since.
In this interview, the lead actor in the movie, Gold Story, opened up on her sojourn from being a singing prodigy to Nollywood stardom. Excerpts:
Tell us how you ventured into Nollywood.
I started acting when I was seven or eight years old. I went for auditions with my mom and from there I started acting a scene or two. They liked my performance and started calling me for movie jobs.
How did you feel facing the camera for the first time, were you nervous?
Not really, I’ve been into music as a child before venturing into entertainment fully. So, I have been facing the camera ever before I started acting. I came to Asaba in 2016 and started acting that same year. I was into children’s music when I was in Abia State. Then I was a bit nervous because that was the first time I did something that was a bit reasonable.
Can you recall some of your childhood experiences; did you plan to become an actress?
No, I didn’t. I planned to be a doctor from childhood but I didn’t know I would be an actress today. Now, I realize that studying medicine would not have been my thing.
How do you combine school with acting?
I’m done with secondary school. But it wasn’t easy because there were some classes that I skipped, so I ended up staying for extra lessons.
How did your classmates react seeing that you are an actress?
In the class, we were free with one another. Even if other students didn’t see me as an actress, my classmates saw me as that normal person that came to school just like every other person.
What kind of student were you in class?
I was the cool type, not talking nor laughing too much. I even used to have a best friend in school.
What was the first movie you acted?
I played the lead character in Gold Story, the first movie I acted in. It’s the same thing with Saving Grace and Muna. I acted lead characters in these movies when I was a kid.
Which of these movies brought you into the limelight?
Saving Grace did it for me.
What did you like about the character you acted in the movie?
I was a girl that came from a wealthy family and whose father was having problem with his friends, like they were Mafias. So, she got kidnapped from school and she was saved by a man; that was where the title, Saving Grace came from.
Would you still want to be a doctor?
No, medicine is really not my thing. I did art subjects in school, not science. But when I gain admission into university, I will like to read Mass Communication.
Why do you like Mass Communication?
I have always practiced it in school, reading fast and acting. Acting is all about reading things and saying them out without using a book. So, I think Mass Communication is the thing for me.
What would you say are your challenges as a kid actress?
I used to hate the fact that I had to wake up early, leave my siblings at home, go for work and come back late at night. So, it was really stressful. Now, that’s not really a big challenge anymore because I’m used to it; and I like the person that I’ve become and would still be. However, my challenge now is the roles that I’ve not played, because as an actress you need to be versatile.
Have you ever turned down a marriage proposal at this young age?
No, I have not. And no one has approached me for marriage.
What qualities would you like in a man?
That would come when I come of age, because I don’t know anything about man right now. I am just focusing on my career.
What is your funniest experience with a male fan?
I was on the red carpet taking pictures at an award ceremony and a male fan jumped out of nowhere to hug me. I did not expect it. I was shocked because the person didn’t want to let go, and the people around had to come help to take him away.
Can you marry a man much older than you?
I don’t know if I can say no or yes to that question, because I don’t know what the future holds for me.
Have you had your first kiss in the industry?
No, I have not.
How do you relax if not on movie set?
If I’m not shooting, I relax by staying home with my siblings, because I don’t really have much opportunity to be with them. Sometimes, I stay in another city for up to two weeks. For instance, I’m traveling to Liberia for a movie series and would be there for like one month.
Who inspired you into acting?
Angelina Jolie, an American actress that acted Magnificent. I am aspiring to be a Hollywood actor. Angelina Jolie inspired me and I’m looking forward to be in Hollywood. I am seriously praying to God for it.
What would you say is your career turning point?
It’s when we moved from Abia State to Asaba, Delta State because of my acting career. In fact, being an actress has changed
my level of thinking. I now read books, go on social media.
What are some of the changes you would love to see in the industry?
The change I will like to see is that everyone should be treated as equals; there should be no preferential treatment. I would also love that every movie should be of good standard.
Have you ever experienced sexual harassment in the industry?
No, I have never experienced sexual harassment because I am still going out with my mom.
In the next five years, where do you think you would be?
I see myself acting in Hollywood. That is the only thing I am praying for right now. Also, I see myself getting a degree in Mass Communication.
Are there actors you look up to in Nigeria?
I did look up to Genevieve Nnaji and Stephanie Okereke. But now, I realized that I didn’t get this talent from anyone. I can act with the help of books, Google etc.
What would be your advice to young actors like you?
I would tell them to first look at themselves in a mirror, practice and see if they can fit in. And if you get the confidence, determination etc., then you can start going for auditions. And if you are really good, a producer can like you and feature you in one of his movies, and from there you can pick up. Definitely, it won’t be easy, but if it is what you really want, then you can make it.
What are some of the most important lessons learnt in the course of your career?
Never give up. If you know what you want to do, just do it. And my mother really helped me get to where I am today in my career. My sisters and aunties, too.
How many movies have you acted in?
I cannot count them. But to mention a few, they include Bury Me, Saving Grace, Muna, Adanna, Familiar Stranger, Glimpses of Hope etc.
Is there any role you would like to play but have not had the opportunity?
I would love to play a mad girl in a movie.
Has acting denied you of anything?
Acting has denied me of walking freely on the street. I think every celebrity can relate to that. The way my sister goes out to buy things, I cannot do that. Acting has denied me that freedom, and I don’t really have many friends. But then, acting has provided for my siblings and me. It’s way of having income aside from having passion for it.
Are you in any relationship?
No, I am not in any relationship. I am not dating anybody. But of course men would always say they like me.
Which part of your body would you say is sexy?
I think my eyes. People have given me compliments about my eyes being sexy.
How does it feel like acting alongside big names in the industry, do you feel intimidated?
Not at all, I don’t feel intimidated. We see each other as friends, even if you are meeting for the first time. First of all, before going on set you have to rehearse and from that rehearsal you become friends. You have to like the person, be friendly with the person before you can perform well with him or her.