Tana Adelana, an actor and producer, is one of the success stories in the New Nollywood having acted brilliantly in scores of movies. Being in demand, the gorgeous thespian has been able to make a success of her career in the dynamic movie industry. In this chat with SAMUEL ABULUDE, the mother of two speaks on her experience in the movie industry and how she’s been able to put her family first despite her busy schedules and other sundry issues.
What have you been up to?
Work, work, work, movies, movies, movies still working on my brand. I’m hoping to release my new project on August 15.
Tell us about it ?
Something great that my fans would love… Let me just give you a name, Achalugo. You’ve been seeing it right, it means something, and it will be unveiled on the 15th of August.
Aside from that, how has the industry been?
It’s been very hectic, thank God I’ve been in demand, I have no free time
You like to travel often between Nigeria and the US, Are all your family in the States?
No, not all members of my family are over there, just some of my family members. I last had a vacation there.
How do you shuffle between family time and movie locations?
I always make sure I come back in between work. I give myself two or three days in between, but I come home see the kids, see my husband and move.
I know there are challenges for a young actor and the demand to stay relevant after gaining stardom, what are the challenges you face most now considering your level of popularity?
Generally, you have to remain humble and you have to tolerate quite a number of people in a number of situations. That on its own is very tough and like you said, staying away from family for long period of time at a go is not a very easy thing to do. Sometimes you read that my colleagues have marriages that are crashed, you know some people that can’t keep the home together while some know how to keep their homes together. It’s not because they don’t want to, sometimes it’s just a very difficult situation.
Do you think it could be avoided. Several marriages have crashed due to these reasons?
Well, if you make a conscious effort then maybe it can be avoided. Also, you need to have an understanding partner. Not every partner understands. A lot of partners want to marry you and immediately they get married to you they want you to leave your source of income, or leave your job and look for something else. It’s not very easy, being in this industry, it is like being a drug addict. You really can’t say no matter how long you stay away, one day you’ll come back.
So would you have left your job as an actress if your husband had asked you to before you got married?
I won’t have even married him if he had the inclination that he would ask me to stop.
So you love acting this much?
I love my husband more.
Yes but you could do something else…
Not really, marriage is not just a contract. It’s an understanding, even though you make compromises you also need to understand your partner. If I had gotten married to a kind of man that would ask me to quit my job, then I never quite understood him. Those are the signs you see as long as you don’t ignore them you will be fine.
What is it like getting married to a Yoruba man?
Oh it’s great, I don’t know Yoruba but I’m married to a good man that’s it so (general laughter) it could be Yoruba, it could be Igbo.
Did you have fears before marriage?
Not really, cause like I said we understood each other in the beginning so….. I don’t like to talk about my marriage.
In your movie, Body language, how easy was it for you to play such a revealing role?
It was very challenging, because it had a lot of sensual scenes. We had to get a body double because I’m just that kind of person you know, so not all the scenes you saw were my body. We had a body double. It was a very challenging character.
So far in Nollywood what are your most memorable moments?
Memorable moments for me are, you know in the beginning it was very tough in an industry that is dominated by women. Everywhere you go there are women, no matter how beautiful or talented you are. At some point you will nearly give up because there are just too many people around and you will think to yourself, I know I am talented, I know I can do this but is there really a chance for me? Having stayed long enough to be recognized is deserving only of a child of grace. It will always be a high point for me.
Has attending a film school been of help in stepping up your game?
It helps because in acting, you just need learn how to put yourself in characters and it also works with your environment, where you are. For instance, you go to school in America and they teach you how to act like an American and you’re here acting a proper village Nollywood girl scene, there’ll be a problem. So just understand the concept of acting itself and you’re good. So if you go to film school pick up a few things, don’t let it confuse you.
You hardly talk about trending issues on your social media platform why?
I actually don’t act like nothing is happening. During EndSARS, I was very vocal because lives were lost. I’ll say it today and I’ll say it tomorrow, anytime and anywhere. Now, sometimes I get very busy by the time I catch unto the trend it’s over and it just looks like I’m jumping onto a bandwagon. But I do have my strong beliefs and strong opinions and if I’m given a podium like right now I’m talking to you, I’ll speak my mind.
What do you think about the Twitter ban?
I think it’s stupid, I think it’s insensitive and I think it’s just completely violating the rights of a citizen of any country. I have a right to speak and I can speak anywhere. I mean yes you have the power. Okay that’s fine but no matter how you try to sugarcoat it or explain it. It’s wrong
Asides what we see in the movies, how will we describe your personality?
I’m am an ambivert I’m a mixed of an extrovert and introvert. So sometimes I’m an introvert, sometimes I’m an extrovert. I most likely lean to being an introvert because most times.
What’s the next big thing for you?
I’m launching something on August and I’ll keep working. I don’t think I’ve scratched the surface of what God has planned for me yet so I’ll just keep working.