Yemi Blaq is a quintessential actor and one that is good at what he does. The handsome dude has given much to the industry. SAMUEL ABULUDE caught up with him on set of Shadow Parties movie and he took time out to speak on his works and issues in the industry
You just finished part of the shooting of ‘Shadow Parties’ in Lagos. How was the experience?
The experience was great. Shadow Parties has a strong story of communal clashes, the causes and how to resolve them. I played the role of Lowo who later became a militant, Owoteru on account of things that happened to him and his people at Iludun community. It also has a rich cast. You can see here, Segun Arinze and Oga Jide Kosoko acting some of the scenes.
Do you think the movie will do well in the market?
The story is rich and relevant. It has a strong moral lesson and is a good tool for advocacy. It will surely do well in the cinemas.
What is your take on Nollywood presently and what do you want improved?
Nollywood is definitely going higher. We were not here before. We have better productions, more skilled professionals behind the cameras and the exposure is great. We are definitely going to see an improvement as time goes on. Talking about what I want improved, we need more funding in the industry and better distribution.
How much of you is out there in productions?
Yes I have been acting and busy on the sets. You are going to see more of me in the coming months.
You started professionally in 2005. How difficult or easy was it breaking into the industry?
I would say I was one of the lucky ones because I got into the industry when everyone said it was a bit tough. I was in it for about five or six months auditioning for roles, going to the National Theatre, talking to people. Then I ran into a really large audition which turned out to be a grand encounter.
The first couple of days I didn’t get any chance then the third day someone walked up to me and said, ‘you, where have you been’? I said I’ve been here all day we got into an argument about that until I told him what he wore on the previous days. Then he said he had given the role to Desmond’, but would get me other projects. He asked me to read some more which I did. In the end I got the lead role. It was in the movie, ‘Lost to lust’.
You’ve featured in about a hundred movies. In all of these which would you say gave you the breakthrough?
There have been a couple of them. First, it came with Lost To Lust.
When you get a lead role as a first in the industry you get a lot of attention especially if you handled it well. Many liked it and I got a lot of reaction which led to my other one, Lagos Is For Strangers.
This gave me quite a bit of exposure. People would see me on posters and would call. That was one of the best dramatic comedies that came out of Nollywood with me and Genevieve Nnaji, Cecilia Ibru where the bank played a cameo role.
What do you think makes you stand out and sought after?
I think it is my dedication to work. People who don’t know me say I come across as a different way from what they thought before eventually meeting me. They realize I’m dedicated to my work and give my all, every time.
It makes working easier because I don’t have an attitude when I work. I’m calm and could make suggestions to the director. When I’m like this it makes my work easier. Naturally you won’t want it any other way. I do seem to know my work (laughter). If you ask me I will say I am a good actor because I know what I am doing and I love my job.
What then does acting mean to you?
It is an expression of my inner passion, my inner joy. It’s just my poetry and my love.
Is there anyone you look forward to working with?
Yes, for the guys, Majid. He is a brilliant artiste. With good acting you are making the right actions and getting the right reactions. It makes you better. You are acting a lot better instantaneously especially when you know your reaction you know the subject of the words you are supposed to say as against a situation that doesn’t give the adequate action.
What other forms of art are you into?
I write songs. I’ve been writing for myself basically and working on getting my single out there first. When that is done I can then begin writing for other people. At least by then they would have known me and what I’m capable of
What are your other plans for this year?
I just finished recording a song I wrote in 2006. I don’t believe there is an expiry date for talent and music. Though I wrote the song years ago, I feel the time is right to put it out. I just want to share my talent with the world and it will speak for itself.
Who is Yemi Blaq outside acting?
Yemi is your boy next door and loves life to the fullest. I thank God that I am married to my best friend and most wonderful woman on earth.
What are three things people don’t know about you?
People don’t know I can sing and I can sing well. Perhaps people don’t know I can dance.