On-screen chemistry announces itself. It is a necessity for good actors to connect with fellow actors on-screen. Good acting is flexible and smooth. When we see two actors with an undeniable connection on-screen, we root for the couple on screen and a step further; we hope that they end up together off-screen. Their role is to entertain us and the love they share for each other does not extend after the film, it ends there. The job of a great actor is to create believability and the worst enemies can look like actual lovers on screen. It is the thrill of this art form.
For those that enjoy romantic movies, usually boy meets girl-sparks fly and the universe flourishes for their sake. Films are endearing and they can be a source of inspiration, it is no wonder that such films have the capacity to enjoy success at the box office. Some of them thrive and are remembered years later for their ability to create anxiety in those watching.
Nollywood rolled out several romance movies in the early 2000’s. It is because of love stories that we adore popular actors like Ramsey Noah, Richard Mofe Damijo, Emeka Ike, and Genevieve Nnaji. It was the genre they enjoyed most and they triumphed effortlessly. Most of the female actors had the physical beauty and when they got paired with the industry hunks, we all got a copy. We swoon when the love triumphs, we cry when they break up or lose each other but we snap back to reality. When the chemistry is sizzling, we speculate a relationship amongst the actors but most times, they were just being professional.
These are our best examples of on-screen chemistry in Nollywood films;
- Emeka Ike and Kate Henshaw “A Million Tears”: Emeka Ike has chemistry with everyone but the best example is with Kate Henshaw in “A Million Tears.” The film served its own flavour though it is an adaptation of the popular Hollywood film “A Walk to Remember.” A Million tears has its own flavour, brought by its leading actors and that is why it remains memorable.
- Gabriel Afolayan and Yinka Olukunga Ademo in “Nnenna”: Super Story makes our cut. The most popular TV programme in the early 2000’s was Super Story. New stories were dished but the best is in “Nnenna.” We don’t get a scary ghost but a ghost that inspires. This is not something that we should even enjoy but we did because Gabriel Afolayan and Yinka Olukunga made it totally enjoyable. And to add to that “Ijoba Orun” as the soundtrack complements this heart-breaking love story.
- Emeka Ike and Genevieve Nnaji in “Two Together”: Emeka Ike makes the list again! He was the “it boy” and he just knows how to balance every “lover boy” role so effortlessly. In “Two Together” Genevieve is his student and he is the ruthless teacher. He mistakenly destroys her eye and he is forced to marry her and through deep seated hate, he finds love-they find love. Even with the hate they had for each other in “Two Together” the chemistry was undeniable. We miss this two.
- Saint Obi and Rita Dominic “Wedding Fever”: They never seem to be in love in “Wedding Fever” because all they do is argue but when they are not quarrelling, they make us happy. Rita Dominic and Saint Obi play two interesting characters in “Wedding Fever” we enjoyed them so much, we would love to see them re-unite on screen.
- Nick Mutumi and Chiagoziem Nwakanma in “This is It”: if you are looking for modern chemistry check “This is it.” They don’t try hard, they fit in perfectly. Nick and Chiagoziem play a newlywed couple in “This is it” and they make the series totally enjoyable. They fit like a glove. The connection is sparkling and it seems too real to be a job. They are totally adorable.
- Nse Ikpe Etim and Wole Ojo in “Phone Swap”: Being worlds apart does not mean that the chemistry will not shine through. Wole Ojo and Nse Ikpe Etim do not enjoy enough screen time together in “Phone Swap” but they keep us hooked because there is a connection between them. We enjoy this in their conversation and in the last few scenes they share together.
- C. Ukeji and Ini Dima Okojie in “North- East”: fighting for love can be tiring, this has re-occurred severally in films and it is the same in “North-East”. This time, O.C Ukeji and Ini Dima are cast to play a couple deeply in love but they have to fight family for the sake of their love and if not because these two actors are compatible, we will have no other reason to watch “North-East.”
- Nse Ikpe Etim and Joseph Benjamin in “Mr and Mrs”: Susan and Ken Abbah take each other through hell but their love triumphs at the end of it all, it inspires change and it is one of 2012’s best films not for its story but for Nse’s impeccable acting chops and her comfort with Joseph Benjamin on screen. We root for them because they give us a reason to root for them and I doubt “Mr and Mrs” will be as enjoyable if they were not cast.
- Damilola Attoh and Blossom Chukwujekwu in Flower Girl: You will expect Damilola to be paired with Chris Attoh since they appeared together in “Flower Girl” unfortunately Blossom shines through with Dami. Maybe because she shares more humorous scenes with Blossom or maybe it is because Chris plays a total Jackass but from the moment they cross path, we root for them and they happen.
- Damilola Attoh and Kabiri Fubura in Before 30: Temilola Coker has a few love interests in “Before 30” but the presence of Akin makes everything fall in place. Damilola and Kabiri make the perfect pair; we can’t wait for a second season of Before 30.