The media was set alight last week with a suspicious photo of Nollywood actress, Biola Ige, and actor, Muna Obiekwe, seemingly smooching, with the actor kissing her boobs.
Within minutes of the picture being posted, it went viral, almost like an orchestrated campaign against the beautiful actress who is just finding her feet again in the industry after a long absence.
Biola has said time and time again, that there is a conspiracy against her and it seems that conspiracy has come home to play a big prank on her career.
According to Biola, people couldn’t be more wrong, as she is unperturbed by the picture. She talked with me on the matter and here is our conversation. Excerpts:
This picture about you and Muna Obiekwe smooching obscenely: is it a clip from a movie or what?
That picture is not part of the production I was involved in, with Muna, and if people want to confirm, they should go and watch the movie. The name of the movie is ‘Pregnant Hawkers’.
That movie came out two years ago, and, at that time, I was still battling with the thyroid I had .There was a defect in my eyes too.One of my eyes was bigger than the other .I will just like people to go and watch the movie and let me know their opinions and what they think of the movie.
How did that picture come about, because both of you were pictured smooching?
All I know is that there was nothing like that, nobody in his right senses will do that in front of the cameras .I just want people to go and watch the movie ‘Pregnant Hawkers’ and if they see something like that in the movie, then, they can judge me and label me anything they wish.
So, are you saying the picture is a product of photoshop or what?
Yes, that is what I think it is, because what I know is that, I shot that movie two years ago, and I and Muna didn’t do anything like that. It must have been photoshopped.
What part did you play in the movie ‘Pregnant Hawkers’?
My character was that of a poor girl who grew up in the slum. She hawks for a living and had to make ends meet by sleeping with men and then she finally got this rich man (Muna) sleeping with her and she was getting money from him in order to take care of her family.
That is the role I played in the movie. As an actress, I can go all out to play a role because that is what I do for a living. I just want people to understand that, if you are praying for a change in Nollywood , you need to take it to another level .Hollywood didn’t get to where it is today by shying away from interpreting roles as the script says.
This same set of people say Nigerian movies are crap and they see someone who is trying to do her job and they go all out to complain. The difference here, is the issue of nudity and people saying that this person was sucking my nipple.This is the truth about it, they should go and watch the movie, then, they can come and judge me later.
Why do you think anyone will love to circulate such a thing?
I am the kind of actress people tell I am not good at what I do but I believe in myself and I know that I am good. I interpret my roles the way others don’t . It is safe for me to say that my acting is not for the Nigerian market really, it is for the people who are exposed in life and willing to accept change. I am very different. If the script says you should make love, I am ready to make it as real as possible.
In the number of years that I have been acting, a lot of my colleagues are not happy .Why? Just because you cannot do something, does not mean another person cannot do it. Now, for this picture to have gotten out, I know it’s somebody, somewhere, trying to sabotage my image.
They know that I have been out of the scene for some years, and they know that I am ready to come back on the scene. This is their own way of saying, ‘go back to where you are coming from, we don’t want you’ .It’s like a threat to whoever released this picture and I don’t care.
From what you are saying, you are the kind of actress that can take up sex scenes….?
Of course, this is an art, I am an actress. I am born to act. If it’s not in you, you can’t go all out to do it. Angelina Jolie cannot be an actress if the fire isn’t in her. The Nigerian mentality is hypocritical. We condemn Western values and still copy them. If you are ready to copy the Western world, why don’t you go all out? Why are you pretending to be an actor if you cannot go all out to do your job?
This is what you are being paid for, a way to make ends meet .Why can’t you do anything for your job; why are we always pretending? I, Biola Ige, can do anything for the arts, for my job.
If anybody has another opinion about it, no problem, they should keep it to themselves .Opinions cannot pay my bills. the last time I checked, I cannot put someone’s opinion into an ATM machine and it will turn into money that I will use to feed myself and my family.
But the picture that is all over the internet- did you engage in the act?
I didn’t do it, that is why I have been saying people need to go and see the movie. If you see that scene in the movie, call me and judge me and even do whatever you like when you see me. Don’t say anything until you watch the movie. They are making it look as if it’s a fresh movie that we just shot.
Even though you claimed not to have done what the picture portrayed, can you do something similar to that in a movie?
Not something like somebody sucking my nipple, but I can definitely come out of the room cupping my breasts in my hands and deliver my lines and do my work and go in.
What you are saying is that you can do a bit of nudity without having sex on set?
Of course, I can. It’s my job. What I want people to understand is that acting is about impersonating somebody else’s character. In order to play that character you have to bear in mind that you are no longer yourself, and you have to do the extraordinary in order to be able to bring the character to life.
The problem we have in Nigeria is that once you do that, people will start saying you are wayward, forgetting the fact that this person is just showing you a picture of a non existent character. That is why I am not taking this whole picture thing too hard. I don’t even care. It’s already out .What they are doing now is to promote the movie for the producer.