‘People try to avoid me’ - Frankline David

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Frankline David is fast gaining fame as a gangster in Nollywood. His life on the screen as a killer has kept trailing him outside showbiz. He now has to explain over and over that what he does as an actor is only make believe,writes Musa Odoshimokhe.

IF there is any thing that has ever shocked Franklin David, it was when a police man put it to him that: “You always play the role of an armed robber, carrying gun all the time, are you sure your are not one?” Rattled by this embarrassing question, the gangster actor replied “this is just a film, I don’t decide what I do in films or the role I play, what I do depends on what the producers or directors want me to do and if this is the nature of the script they always have for me, I will do it a million times.”

That has been the perception of many people over the role David plays in films. David started his acting life with a film entitled Unrighteous Paradise where he shot Peter Bruno, another celebrated actor. Since then, he has been acting the role of a gangster in films. It is either David kills someone or acting the role of a body guard. one would not therefore be surprised at the policeman’s question. “In my first film which I called Unrighteous Paradise, I shot Peter Bruno. After that, I did Cobra where I took the position of one of the body guards. I later did Outcast with Sola Shobowale, Lillian Bach and Sandra Achums where I was also a bodyguard.”

Given his swiftness and ability to take roles well, he played a policeman where he was attached to Omotola Jolade in the film entitled The Prostitute.
When The Saturday Comet asked him the difference between David the person and David the gangster, he replied “that is why I said you don’t have to pass through a university to be able to act. You must have the flair and interest, with this you can handle any role given to you.”

Explaining further, he said, “producers and directors who know fully well that I can deliver very well when it comes to gangesterism always come looking for me when they have such storylines. And in most cases I use my personal motorcycle which has become my stock in trade to achieve success for the role so designed.” The Anambra state born artiste came into acting in 1999 and did about 15 movies and left to pursue a career in spare parts business, but soon discovered he was not cut out for such things.

“It was frustrating, it was not easy at all because sometimes you stay close to six months without having any job to do.” Having come back, David said nothing would make him leave because it is where he derives joy. “I have come to stay and have submitted myself totally to the profession. Right now, I am one of the task force members of the Actors Guild of Nigeria [AGN].You can see that I am committed to the affairs of the Guild.” David said he wants to use his position to achieve something for himself and for the Guild. While assessing the Guild compared to when he left, he said there has been a remarkable improvement.

“That is why I came back to the industry, we cannot compare then and now. There have been a lot of changes. Then I don’t think Nollywood was tenth in the world but today we are number three in the world. So, you can imagine the efforts we have put in to achieve this.”

The actor said the Guild has turned his life around and he’s still hopeful better things would come his way in the years to come. He said if he had not quit the spare parts business he was into, he would probably be groping in the dark by now. When asked to remark on the film that brought him out, he said Inside Job was the film that did the magic. He said he was very daring in the film, yet, nobody knew who was responsible for the evils being perpetrated but at the end of the whole thing, his evil deeds found him out. It was like waoh! so you are the one behind the acts.

But why do producers prefer to give you the role of a gangster? “I called some of them one day and said does it mean you people cannot change my storyline, after all I can do well as a loverboy and things like that? I did not get a convincing answer.” Recalling his role in Outcast where he killed Lilian Bach, he said some people still ask why did he kill the innocent girl. He has to explain that this was not also real but a movie. “I am not a killer, I don’t kill people, why must people come to ask me why I kill people?”.

David narrates his ordeal at Mr. Biggs, Akoka. “The one that pissed me off was when I went to eat at Mr Biggs, Akoka. As I entered to take my seat near a lady, she stood up and walked away. I was too surprised and had to follow her to ask what was the matter? ‘She said do you want to kill me as you killed other people?’ She said this in the presence of many people. I told her that I am not a killer that it was just a play.” However, he said despite this, those women who understand that he was merely acting come close to him, while those who believe he is a killer avoid him.

There was this girl I was toasting for a serious relationship, when her younger sister saw me, she called her aside and said ‘you mean you want to befriend that guy that is killing people, if anything befalls you that would be your business.’ I started laughing and had to call her to explain that I don’t kill people, she said I was a liar because I was always carrying gun.” David insists that he still maintains cordial relationship with women despite their different views about his personality. “I take them as my sisters, I try to forgive them no matter their remarks because women have every tendency to go astray from time to time.”

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