By DAMILOLA SHOLOLA
Sylvya Oluchy is a beautiful, classy and highly intelligent lady. After graduating from Nnamdi Azikiwe University with a degree in Theatre Arts, she went on to Nollywood and has starred in a couple of TV series and movies.
She won the Most Promising Actress at the Best of Nollywood (BON) awards in 2013 and has also won other awards including Best New Actress at City People awards in 2011 and Best Rising Star at Nollywood Movie Awards 2012. She recently turned a lot of heads when she released semi nude photos of herself on the beach. In this exclusive interview with Showtime Celebrity, She tells us what she’s been up to and more:
How has your career been so far?
So far so good, we thank God. I’ve been in Lagos now for about almost 3 years. The period I’ve been here, I’ve won 3 Awards and I’ve been on a couple of movie sets, done some series of which the popular one is Lekki Wives. I’m in Lekki Wives Season 2, so it’s okay, things are getting better and there’s a serious growth going on in Nollywood with the kind of movies we’re doing now and the kind of attention to detail. It wasn’t there before, so I’m just really happy to see that growth.
Which is your most successful movie so far?
Alan Poza did very well during its run. Another one that was really successful was On Bended Knees. That had Chioma Chukwuka, myself and Seun Akindele, but I’m really looking forward to Being Mrs Elliot which will hit the cinemas in a couple of weeks, because it’s packed with stars and the storyline is so awesome so look out for that one. Then also, Lekki Wives season 3 will soon be in the works so I’m also looking forward to that.
How did it feel winning the Most Promising Actress at the Best of Nollywood awards?
It was really fun. Before that, I had won Best New Actress at Citypeople 2011 and I had won Best Rising Star at Nollywood Movie Awards 2012. You know most of all these things, when you hear you’re nominated sometimes they put some really big names up against you so you go with a lot of anxiety. For me, there are two big rewards in doing this job.
One is when people see you on the street and tell you they enjoy your movie. The second is when you get an award because an award means that even among your peers, you are been recognised, so it kind of makes you want to work harder. It keeps you willing to grow, so you don’t just sit back and feel like I’m the star, I’m the bomb. It keeps you learning because the kind of job we do is a job where you need to know something about everything because you don’t know what character you’re going to play.
Who inspired you into acting?
My Mother. When I was much younger, in the broad classification, I would say I was a nerd because I had glasses growing up as a child, I was very quiet, I was shy, I was always with my books. I used to be those kinds of kids that were at the bottom of the social ladder so I used to always get bullied by even my mates, not just my seniors, my mates used to always bully me.
So once I got home, I didn’t have many friends but I had lots of toys. So I’d just pick my toys and I’d start to change my voice with each character. Sometimes I’d make my voice deep for the guys or, made it thin for the girls, and my mother would just be watching me.
So, she kept telling me I would be good as an actress. I can say I grew up everyday hearing ‘acting will fit you,’ so, it kind of sticks in my subconscious. When it was time for JAMB, I just tried out this Theatre Arts thing I’ve been hearing all my life and I went in for it and the rest is history.
How did you come out of your shell?
Many people don’t know this but shy people actually make some of the best Actors because shy people have so much in play in their minds. Many times they have played out different characters in their little, quiet worlds and when the opportunity presents itself they sort of explode. That’s how it is for me too, although these days, I’ve overcome my shyness, I can talk to anybody anywhere in fact, I think I’m now on the talkative side of things because now people tell me “You talk too much, keep quiet”.
My childhood really prepared me for what I was doing because right from when I was a little girl, I used to always make up characters in my head, make up voices and emulate different accents. That childhood obsession of going into myself and dragging up different personalities is now paying off because I feel like I have multiple personality syndrome, not multiple personality disorder because I know how to control mine.
Have you had any setbacks in your career so far?
Yeah. There’s this movie I did and I was the lead character but the movie never came out. I felt really saddened that after all the hardwork and everything I put into it, the movie never came out because the producer had so many ups and downs and he lost some money and everything. And there was one movie I was doing and I was removed from the run-in because I couldn’t speak Yoruba.
What has been the high-point of your career?
I guess the highest point so far will be whenever I win an award. I told you I’ve won 3 now so just going on that stage and having everybody finally seeing you that this is the Sylvya Oluchy, it’s cool.
You recently said you could act nude in a movie?
There was a bit of mix-up in that story. They only asked me what I think of nudity in movies and I said it depends on the movie. If you’ve watched The Gods Must Be Crazy, the nudity in that movie was done for accuracy because people then went about nude.
So, when they asked me I said it depends on the script. It depends on the director I’ll be working with because it’s all about the director’s picture, it’s the director’s story. If I know I’m working with a director who I trust, who I know will make everything tastefully done, where it won’t end up looking like some badly made pornography and it’s a good script, I’ll make my decision.
Can you do a sex scene in a movie?
Yeah. I mean in Lekki Wives I have a couple of kissing and romantic scenes, no nudity but there was a lot of kissing and lots of making out so it comes with the job.
What’s the craziest thing you can do in a movie?
It depends on the script, the director and the circumstance. I never say never because you don’t know tomorrow. You might just run into some script that blows your mind and you don’t know who the director behind it will be and you might just decide to say for this director and for this script, I’ll put in a little bit more. So you never know what’s going to come your way or you never know I might just see myself in Hollywood one day, you never know so I never say never. Nudity is not a big deal.
You released some semi nude pictures on the beach. Can you go topless?
It depends. There’s a level you’ll get to in your modeling career that you just have to do things like that. The highest paid models, the ones you see on Victoria’s Secret runways, I’m sure they do stuff like that. It comes with the territory so before you go into a career like that, you have to prepare yourself.
Even though that’s not really where I’m channeling myself to, it depends on why you’re doing it and the outlet. Gisele Bundchen is like the highest paid model in the world today and I’ve seen a lot of topless photos for Vogue and other things, she’s just doing her job.
You always look ravishing on red carpets. Do you have a particular designer?
I’m self styled. Whenever you see me, I style myself because I’m good at designing clothes. In fact, I’m working on launching my own label, it’s called Vyachi.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m a happy-go-lucky kind of person. I take life as it comes. I’m very adventurous, anybody who knows me, knows that much about me. If I go somewhere and there are like five things to eat on a table and I’ve eaten four, it’s that one I’ve not eaten that I’ll want to eat that day and then besides that, I’m into doing things like Hiking, I like to go out on the water, on a boat, when I was in the North then, we used to always go for mountain climbing because there are a lot of mountains in the North. I’m an outdoor kind of person. I like to be around nature, water, mountains, trees and animals.
Do you travel a lot?
I travel every once and again, maybe not as much as I’ll like to but you know this our career, the busier you get, the more you tend to travel. On my own now, maybe sometimes family vacations, I do go every once in a while. I’ve been to the States and when I was much younger, I schooled in London, did my primary school in St Theresa Finchley and I’ve been to most countries in East Africa; Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.
What turns you on in a man?
Nothing out of the ordinary but there are some things that I appreciate. I appreciate a man who works out, who has a fit, toned body because I work out a lot too. But most of all I’m more interested overall in a man’s brains than anything else because I like to talk, I like to have intellectual conversations so I like a man who has a high IQ.
Which Nigerian musician do you like?
2 Face. 2 Baba is the best. I love 2 Face. His music makes sense and it is enjoyable at the same time. 2 Face is deep and I like him for that
What’s your main philosophy of life?
My philosophy of life is simply to be optimistic in any circumstance. You cannot kill yourself so whatever life gives you, smile, take it like that and dream, hope and pray for a better tomorrow. You only Live once, you’re never going to come back again so live out loud, live as much as you can, do everything you’ve always wanted to do, don’t keep on procrastinating, a lot of people procrastinate and say tomorrow, tomorrow.
What more should people expect from you?
Finding Love is already in cinemas, Being Mrs Elliot is coming out very soon. The rest, I don’t think I’m at liberty to really mention now because I’m still shooting. I always wait for my producers to give me the go-ahead before I start talking about the job
Is there anything else you want to say?
Vanguard is a very big newspaper so I want to use your platform to beg those holding the Chibok girls to quickly release them. What has happened has happened and I really believe that the Government will work harder to bring those girls back.
Moving forward for the future, I’d like to suggest that if it’s possible for them to maybe inculcate some kind of mandatory self defense classes in schools for girls especially for girls in the North because there’s nothing as good as a woman that can defend herself. I know that if someone has a gun on your head, you can’t really do much but at least, just know those basic skills of how to defend and disarm somebody.