There is nothing like old or new Nollywood —Gabriel Afolayan

There is nothing like old or new Nollywood —Gabriel Afolayan

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Actor Gabriel Afolayan rated as one of the most celebrated actors in Nollywood. In this interview with SEGUN Adebayo, he discussed his role in “Anikulapo: The Rise of the Spectre” and what should be expected from him in the coming months.

You and your brother, Kunle have been working together on movie projects. How do you draw the line between getting paid for your work and being siblings?

I think it is about the legacy we met back then. Aside the professionalism that we both bring into the job, the brotherhood also plays out a lot because of our common interest. The reason is because we are always looking forward to making movies and creating contents that people would like. So, upholding that legacy tells a lot about our working relationship. They are actually two distinct parallel lines: professionalism and brotherhood. It is not like anybody is found wanting in anyway because we have a common goal. The truth is that we have taste for good stuff.

 

Tell us more about your relationship with him beyond the screen?

You know people think we don’t disagree or we always have it smooth all the time. But I can tell you that we are doing just what each person knows how to do. My brother is a superb movie director and more. While I stay on the acting side because that’s what I really love to do. Beyond that, it is a legacy for us. Movie making is what we met as a family, so there is the professionalism aspect and the family bond as I said earlier We have a common goal of excellence, so there is a way everything just works out perfectly.

 

How often do you engage your brother on projects?

My brother and I talk about future projects every day. So from that perspective, we have a common goal to get things right.

 

How do you manage to keep doing this without feeling the need to go into movie production yourself?

I have a movie coming to the cinema very soon and I produced it myself. I think people should just watch out and see the magic created. Just wait and see. Per Second News will be invited to cover the event.

 

How will you describe your experience on the set of Anikulapo: The Rise of a Spectre?

Every new thing is always exciting and intriguing. So, the initial idea of Anikulapo was to make it a series but we decided to do a feature first to see how it will play out and if people would like it. Once that feature was done, it was all clear that we are going to turn it into series. I knew Anikulapo would be a great movie regardless of Netflix or not. Not because of the strength of the story but because of the strength of what we put together. The human resources, natural resources and the driving force as well. It was interesting because it is fresh and we can’t say it hasn’t been seen before but I can tell you that once people start seeing this, you will see a new meaning to Nollywood. This job, from the onset, gave the vibes of this is where we ought to be; this is how we are supposed to ride. These are the type of things that should represent Nollywood.  As an actor, you must not take a role too far from your character because you must be comfortable in your role. And I love, love, so acting in love and selflessness, is a lot similar to my character. If I’m ready to do something, I do it with my all and once I’ve made up my mind that I will do something. I will do it, so the doing is coming from the decision for me, so there is a lot of me in Akin’s character and a lot of Akin in myself, except for places I have to make tweaks.

 

How did you manage to bring all many veterans back into this project; bringing the young and old together must have been very interesting. Was it a hard thing to do?

That’s actually one of the most interesting things about the project. It is actually the base of this job. Pulling the two worlds together was the sole backbone of this movie. Apart from it telling on the story, it tells on the relationship. Some of us haven’t seen many of these people before, probably we grew up watching them on TV and now you have the opportunity to be in their presence, it was a good time. That in itself was one of the drives that pushed the job to that top notch level; we all blended well. That’s why I give huge credit to my brother, Kunle Afolayan. That’s why I call him the spirit director, He feels it; he gets it done. From inception he already had that idea of bringing best of both worlds.

 

Do you believe there is anything like old and new Nollywood?

I don’t like to say some people belong to the old or new Nollywood. As far as I am concerned, Nollywood is Nollywood. You rather have veterans and the new ones; that’s my idea.You know how many people have been yearning to meet all these people? Some of us just want to see them and how healthy they are and what makes them who they are. You know It was intriguing that the veterans were also looking forward to working with the young ones. They wanted to be in our presence. Kudos to KA.

 

Knowing the detailed of the project and considering the indigenous nature of it, how much of Gabriel did you portray?

It was sweet, and the kicker is a blend of veterans and the new team, and it’s a big industry. You either experience being on set with a veteran or you are one yourself, you will know that based off your experience as well. It was the best of both worlds, coming together to work. There is fun on and off set. We never jeopardised our fun for anything. So work is work. And fun is necessary.

 

You shot for months, were there moment you were tired and wanted to give up?

We will all do our best, everyone has reasons why there are in the game. Whatever your doing has to be from your vantage point. So everyone is trying their best. But we can’t start pointing hands. As even the metropolitan story is superb, the cinemas are boiling right now. Girl’s story, robbery, gangster. We are everywhere. So it doesn’t have to be culture all the time. Once we start doing traditional stuff. Then we will do it as well.

 

You appear most time in selected movies, is it that you don’t want to feature in movies or you don’t get invited to be part of movie projects?

This question cracks me really hard when you say I appear in selected movies in the industry. I don’t bounce in and bounce out. It is just a careful career choice that I have chosen. I wish I could show you the number of scripts I get regularly that I don’t entertain. The truth is I am only trying to make careful career choices for myself and giving the best of myself to the craft when the time is right. I don’t have to entertain all the jobs that come my way but I love to do what makes me happy and gives my career the facelift it needs.

 

You have always been like this…

Like I said, I have chosen a career path that I must follow carefully and consciously. It does not mean my career will not be in the spotlight or I have to force my way into the game. Half of the time, it is always good to do things that resonate with you and your brand because whether you like it or not, whatever you feel as an actor in the role you are playing is what the audience will feel when they see you in the movie.

 

With the newbies in the industry; how do you ensure that your career keeps getting the attention it deserves?

It is the same attention I put towards both. I cannot say I love one more than the other. I can’t just pick one because the passion I have for acting is the same I have for music. This is for those that think I want to quit acting for music; no, there is nothing like that. Acting is forever with me; music is an added trait. It’s more of a case of an actor who doesn’t want to sit down and stay idle

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