I Was Born To Act – Remi Oshodi Surutu

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I see Remi is still as crazy as ever...

By Daily Independent

Remi Oshodi came to limelight in the movie Surutu. Before then she had featured in the movie Sparks and Village Headmaster on NTA. She has come a long way ever since. Patrick Uwalaka took her up on her rise to fame and sundry issues. Excerpts:

Can you still recount how you found yourself in the acting profession?
It is a long story that has spanned about two and half decades but it all started in 1985.

How did your motivation for acting come about?
I was once a model and my cousin told me that instead of just modelling, why not combine it with acting. I then went to the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) for an audition and it all started for me there.

Which movie gave you your break?
It was when I came back into the Yoruba movie industry, and the movie that launched me heaven wards was Surutu.

Is that why they call you Remi Surutu?

How challenging was the movie for you?
It was really challenging for me in the sense that for you to speak a language that is not yours is a great thing that I surmounted.

Where are you from?
I am from Lagos and Ondo states.

You said ‘speak a language that is not yours,’ what do you mean by that statement?
I meant speaking a language that is entirely different from what you are familiar with.

How has the Yoruba movie sector been treating you?
We thank God; things have been going on fine. I came back from the United Kingdom in November where I won an award as the Best Actress in the Yoruba movie industry at the last Afro Hollywood awards in London.

How do you feel when you are recognised and given an award for excellence?
I feel happy that my efforts, which is driven by the zeal to be among the best in my field, is finally paying off. It spurs me to push further.

Which movie would you say has had the most impact in your career as an actress?
I have done so many and don’t know which one I would say is the movie, but the truth of the matter is that I was born to act; actors are not made but born, so, I think that is just what I am.

Which movie would you say you have found most difficult to interpret?
None so far except roles with hard Yoruba incantations. An incantation is not like ordinary lines which you read and comprehend. So, incantations in any movie is what I find difficult to understand.

What gives you the drive to take the bad roles that you have come to be known with?
I don’t go to them for such roles, rather they come to me and believe that I fit into such roles. If you give me the role of an 80- year-old woman I will play it well as a wild one, no problem. I am like Patience Ozokwor in the English genre that does such roles in most of her films.

Can we say that is why you are now called the ‘Bad Mama’Is that what they call me now? I don’t know about that, you are just telling me.

Tell us about the real you.
I am a very good mother and actress with a very friendly personality. I love everybody, but I don’t like it when I am lied to. You can describe me as a no-nonsense woman.

You are a very beautiful woman; tell us some of your beauty tips?
I don’t have any beauty tips. For instance, I am not wearing any make-up now; just lip gloss, so it is God that makes me shine like this.

How many children do you have?
The truth is that I have children and I don’t want to count them; both mine and those of my younger sister who are living with me. I love them because they make me happy.

What is the beauty of marriage to you?
In that aspect you have to switch off your tape recorder because that aspect is my personal life and I don’t want to go there; I am praying that someday I am going to call you for something good.

Where do you think the Yoruba movie sector is heading?
We are aiming high. By the end of this year, you will be surprised with the giant strides we have made in the motion picture industry. We are trying hard so that we maintain our pride of place in the scheme of things to come.

What has stardom brought your way?
It has fetched me more popularity and acceptance among the movie faithful who watch the movies I feature in. And, I get some privileges when I travel.

What is your unique selling point?
I am not a copycat; I do my thing and try to be very creative.

Have you found joy and fulfilment doing what you are doing presently?
Yes, and to God be the glory. I have found fulfilment in acting and still give God the glory?

So can you still remember how much you got for your first movie role as an actress?
I was paid N30 for my role in Sparks, while in Village Headmaster I got about N75 and we were made to collect the money at the bank, Universal Trust Bank at Obalende and we were very happy about that but now we are paid very good money.

When did you make your first million as an actress?
That was long ago.

What does fashion mean to you?
Well, I believe in dressing normally, responsible dressing will get my vote any day, you don’t have to dress very loud or flaunt your body for the sake of fashion.

Do you believe that sexual harassment exists in the movie industry ?
I don’t know; you have to ask others about it.

How do you keep men off your back?
I use the wisdom God has given me to do that.

Who are those actors and actresses that you like working with the most?
I like working with everybody in the industry, I don’t have favourites; everyone likes me also.

What was your reaction on set on your first day?
I was nervous; it was on the set of Sparks and I got over it soon.

You have made so much money from acting so what does money mean to you?
I don’t have money; I am still asking God to bless me in his time and I believe he will do so.

I Was Born To Act - Remi Surutu
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