A five-minute chat with dashing Nollywood actor Tope Tedala quickly reveals that he is extremely passionate about acting and he’s eager to conquer new grounds.
The talented actor who was nominated ten times in 2014 and won six awards the same year for his role in ” A mile from Home” speaks to Nollywood Observer on acting, his favourite actors in Nollywood as well as D’ ija his celebrity crush.
Most exciting project thus far
I always try to look for the excitement in every project I work on. It could be the story, the character, the language…something.
There are a couple of projects coming up. I’m currently about to film Out of Luck, a feature film to be directed by Niyi Akinmolayan and produced by Naz Onuzo.
A couple of projects are also coming to theatres soon like Charles Uwagbai’s Drive, Mildred Okwo’s Surulere, Seyi Babatope’s Lunch Time Heroes and some others.
At some point in my life, I was excited and dreaming about the prospect of playing a schizophrenic person. I’ve learnt that you never know what role might come your way that will blow your mind. I keep my mind open to the possibilities.
Roles you could have done better?
I’m hard on myself because I want to do better so you’d be surprised that a performance that people praise may be panned by me. So, if I’m to answer the questions we would have to review every single project I’ve worked on and that would be a chore, lol!
Most rewarding moment as an actor
The fact that I’m doing what I love and making a living from it is a blessing and that is a reward in itself.
I don’t think it’s wise to wear your laurels on your sleeve. You receive them, you thank God for them, you smile, but quickly you drop them and go on to fight fresh battles and conquer new grounds. The flurry of awards initially were a scare, but later on it just was a motivating factor to keep putting out great work.
What motivates you to act?
On a basic level, the fact that I can become anything and be transported to another place, time and take people along with me is simply magical. Acting can literally change the world. I recognize its power and I understand my place in not only providing entertainment but, also affecting people’s emotions, mindsets for good. That is enough motivation for me to keep pursuing it.
Like I read in a book recently, our work as actors reminds people that things can change, that wounds can heal, that people can be forgiven, and that closed hearts can open again.
Best 2 Nigerian directors
This industry is littered with a lot of gifted directors and I’ve been privileged to work with a couple who take a different approach to their work. I’m looking forward to being directed by Tope Oshin Ogun, Tunde Kelani, Kunle Afolayan and a host of others.
Best 5 Nollywood actors
That’s an unfair question to ask because I don’t have best actors. I’ve worked with a lot of people who inspire me… but I must say that I grew up watching a lot of Francis Duru, Richard Mofe Damijo and JT Tom West.
Being star struck
I remember the earliest auditions I attended when I started pursuing acting as a teenager. I saw a lot of established actors, then and I couldn’t help myself from gawking. So, yes, I have been star struck. If I see the singer D’ija today, I may faint.
I’m also passionate about music. If I wasn’t an actor I’ll probably be a musician.
Away from the arts, I’m truly interested in seeing young people live their full potential. I mean through seminars, counselling and so on, we can inspire young people to greatness.
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