• Naija Rules! has been around since 2003, providing a hangout for the fans of Nigerian and African movies. Our members were in the forefront of the spread of movies from Africa to the world.

Most people think I'm gay -Antar Laniyan

Not open for further replies.


Well-Known Member
From Tribune

Antar Tunde Laniyan is a native of Osogbo in Osun State. I’m a 6 footer and I’m above 40. I’m married and I have two boys. I’m an actor as well as a director and I write songs and sing as well, though so many people do not know, because I have not exhibited that.

I grew up at the Army Barracks, Ilaro, because my mum was selling things at the Mammy Market within the barracks. I grew up among soldiers, so initially I wanted to be a soldier, until during my years in secondary school when my principal told me that he thought I’d do better as a theatre artiste, because as of then, I went for theatre competitions and would come back with laurels. Unfortunately, he is not alive today to witness what Antar Laniyan has become.

At what point exactly did you discover your talent?
I was 13 when I started following a theatre troupe at Ojora, so it was then that I developed the interest. Then, I was also being trained as a boxer, until I met Ben Thomas Loju, who was my teacher then. I won the best actor’s award in school then, and he called me and told me that he wanted me to join the Kakaki Art Squad after my school certificate exams.

Starting at such age, what were your parents’ reactions?
I really didn’t take their feelings into consideration. I remember a day when we performed the Sango play, which of course gave me the best actor award and a black and white photograph of me in Sango regalia was taken while I was performing. I kept the picture in between the pages of one of my notebooks and one way or the other, my dad saw it. I knew he had seen it, and was scared, but he didn’t say anything,. Later, I saw that he had written ‘Antar de Sango’ behind it, and to me, that meant a go ahead. My mum too gave me total support.

I went to a Muslim primary school, then to Lagos Baptist secondary school and Jubri Martins for my ‘A’ levels, before I proceeded to the University of Ibadan for a degree in Theatre Arts.

First major role you played?

I played a major role as a child, but the first major role I played as a professional actor was during my days at the Kakaki Art Squad, and the play was called ‘Everybody wants to know’. I played the role of a Major General. It was a stage play that we did in 1981. It was written by Ben Thomas Loju and it was the first major role for me.

Most challenging role?
I make every role challenging, because if I do not see it as a challenge, I will not do it well. Even if all I have to say is a single line, I have to portray the character really well.

Your name has been on the lips of many people for years, and yet you still make waves in the movie industry, how have you been able to achieve that?
I’d say discipline and hard work. Then I try to be scandal free.

What inspires your movies?
The first thing I take into cognisance when I am writing a story is that it must have a message. There must be something in it that corrects the ills in the society.

What was the worst rumour you’ve ever heard about yourself?
That I’m a gay (Laughing). And it’s because I don’t go to locations with women. When I’m on set, either acting or directing, it’s strictly formal. And because I act more like a military personnel while working, it gave people the notion that I’m gay. And I couple their belief with the fact that I’m always at the location with my male trainees, and they sleep in my room.

How were you able to manage the rumour?
I stopped bringing them along and even when they do, they don’t sleep in my room anymore.

What do you have to say about the scandals in the movie industry?
Scandals are everywhere; the banks, ministries, everywhere. I visited a friend working at the ministry once and I saw him tap a married woman from behind, right in front of me and when I challenged him, he said confidently that the woman wanted it and came towards him intentionally for that. No one can force you to do what you don’t want to do. It takes two to tango.

Which movie made you?
It was the soap operas that made me, because in my early years, I did ‘Moving finger’ and because soap operas were not common then, people really embraced it. Then ‘Checkmate’ gave it a boost, and when ‘Palace’ came, it nailed it. Though being in the movies has really helped, because it goes into every home, but I’d say soaps did it for me.

How has being an actor changed you?
I’ve played so many characters, and it’s like I’ve lived so many lives. I’ve lived the life of a carpenter, a chief, and all these characters have tailored my life and perspective about life and how to manage different situations.

How do you relax?

I don’t have a social life; I don’t go to parties unless it’s highly compulsory. I’m either on location, my office or at home playing with my boys. The social time I have is with my boys, we play and throw pillows and I just love hanging out with them. I also like having people around me.

What’s your Christian life like?

I’m a Christian, though a Muslim by birth. In fact, my father died on a praying mat during his early morning prayers. He went down and that was it. My mum on the other hand came back from the mosque, went to bed and never woke up. But during the course of my father’s transfer at work, it was affecting my education. I had to repeat classes everywhere I went. So I decided to stay with my father’s cousin who was a Christian and I also went to a Christian oriented secondary school.

What are the challenges facing the industry at large?
Piracy, it kills us a lot.

What can’t you do without at the moment?

I can’t do without reading, because I know it develops me, so I love reading a lot.

How do you maintain your physique and look?
I abstain from some things. I don’t drink, smoke or womanise. Then I thank God for his grace too.

If not movies, what would you have delved into?
No doubt about it, I would have been a soldier.

Fashion sense?
I love T-shirt, jeans and canvass. It’s only when it is a family party, when I’m on set, or when it is really necessary that I wear native attires.

Favourite clothier?
It used to be Sigetto, but now I shop for what fits and I buy B.Wright now, Bukky Wright’s label, and it’s really cool.

Favourite accessory?
I love rings and necklace, with a nice pendant that fits. I’m not really a fashion person per say.

Any word for upcoming artistes?
They should be hard working and for the women, they should never think they have to sleep with someone to make it. Don’t stay in the dark and wink, come out and showcase what you have.

Most people think I'm gay -Antar Laniyan


Born to lead and follow
I love this guy...he's sound in movies...in the same rank with the Lewis guy from Madam Dearest and Sola Fosudo for me.

NB: I didn't know womanizing changes physique and looks :roll
Not open for further replies.