With Director and Nollywood Star Funke Akindele-Bello’s latest comedy “Your Excellency“ premiering this weekend, OnoBello Media sat down with the lead star of the movie.
If you’ve missed the trailer, the film follows a bumbling billionaire businessman and failed Presidential candidate (Akin Lewis) and his wife (Funke Akindele-Bello) as they try to win the elections through the power of social media.
Your Excellency also stars other heavy weights in the Nollywood industry; Lala Akindoju, Shaffy Bello, Kunle Coker, Eku Edewor, Alex Ekubo, Oreka Godis, Osas Ighodaro, Seyi Law, Akin Lewis, Bimbo Manuel, Deyemi Okanlawon, Ini Dima-Okojie, Chioma ‘Chigul’ Omeruah, Emmanuel OMG, Ikechukwu Onunaku, Helen Paul and Toni Tones.
Ahead of its premiere this weekend and before it hits theaters December 13, Funke Akindele-Bello popularly known as “Jenifa” exclusively tells us how she feels about her directorial movie debut, what she hates about her character, her favourite part of filming the movie, and how important social media is to her for promoting projects. She also expresses how people are using the the tool to promote sex, nudity and bad stories.
OnoBello Media: What do you hate about this character?
Funke Akindele-Bello: For me, what I hate about Kemi is that she’s got a few self-esteem issues and I don’t like that. Because in the movie she feels Ajadi’s other wife is better than her. We’re going to see some scenes where she’s complaining, ‘she dresses more than me, she looks better than me’. Funke will never say that. She believes in herself. That’s one thing I don’t like about the character.
OBM: What was your feeling on the first day of shooting?
FAB: The first day of shooting I actually came with my husband, because he’s a prolific director and I was like ‘It’s my first time of directing I want you to be there, sit down and watch me do it.’ And he came to whisper ‘You’re doing well’. I truly appreciated it. You try to understand everybody, the crew, especially the D.O.P, trying to let him know that ‘Yes, we have to do this.’ I’m a woman, but regardless I’m the director, you have to listen to me. First day, it was more of trying to understand everyone, trying to balance everything. But after then, things went on fine.
What difficulties (if any) did you face while shooting?
Funke: None, because I see challenging moments as expected. It’s necessary to face difficulties. But, I won’t call it difficulties, maybe challenges.
OBM: How would you describe your character’s personal style?
FAB: (laughs) That’s a beautiful question but the answer is wack! She’s always wearing many colours together with odd names like future pink, baby pink, bright red, red crimson. Later on, she got a stylist and revamped.
OBM: When you have a five-minute break on set, what do you spend that time doing?
FAB: While filming Your Excellency, I tried to plan the next step and to think about the next thing. Yes, I would have planned, but I try to flashback, ‘What am I going to do, where would this position be’. That’s what I do, try to plan for the next thing.
OBM: What was your favourite part of filming the movie?
FAB: Being in front of the camera and behind the camera.
OBM: Do you think social media have done more harm than good in today’s society?
FAB: For me or the society I must say both ways. But I think a lot of negative vibes, a lot of wrongness is gotten from the youth. If you’ve noticed these days they tend to spread the dirty and bad stories on social media than promoting motivational stuff, inspirational quotes or inspirational stories, and celebrating in some areas. Instead, now what people do is sex, nudity and bad stories.
OBM: How important is social media for promoting your projects?
FAB: For me, It is very important because we’re in a digital world now. It’s the main media. Everything has gone digital, so for me, I see it as number one. When people wake up from their beds the first they do is to check their phones, ‘what’s happening on social media, what’s happening on the internet’, hence I promote my work a lot on social media. I don’t joke with my Instagram account and Twitter. Even Facebook, I’m still very much active there. Also, Snapchat. Everything is very important for people to see you because that’s the main media, that’s where people go to. Again, It’s number one for me and I don’t joke with it.
OBM: Besides yourself, which actor in this production is going to blow people away?
FAB: Ajadi, played by Akin Lewis.
OBM: Would you prefer to be stuck on a red carpet for a million years or in a Presidential villa for a million years?
FAB: On a red carpet
OBM: What’s your favourite emoji?
FAB: The Smiley face
OBM: What’s one fashion item in your wardrobe you can’t live without?
OBM: What’s a secret talent of yours?
FAB: Hair and makeup
Watch the trailer below.
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