BY BENJAMIN NJOKU
She may not be a popular face in Nollywood but Aniedi Innocent has got what it takes to command respect in the industry. She’s got height, beauty and brains but these qualities, notwithstanding, Aniedi is completely not a happy woman. Reason? Love has been unkind to her.
She mutes: “I don’t have a love life because it has not really worked for me. I have not been lucky when it comes to having affairs with the opposite sex. Yes, I have once fallen in love, but it did not work out.” Find out also the little secret she kept away from her mum while she was younger.
My passion for acting! I was initially studying Law at Igbinedion University, Okada, in Edo State. But because out of the passion I have for entertainment, I crossed over to Theatre Arts without the knowledge of my parents.
In fact, my parents only got to know about the change during my graduation last year. I was already a 300-level Law student when I crossed over to the Theatre Arts Department and started from 200 level. I graduated about the same time I was supposed to have graduated as a Law student because it takes one five years to study Law.
After my graduation, I decided to come down to Lagos in search of my destiny in acting. I went straight to the National Theatre where aspiring actors and actresses usually gather and solicit roles. Fortunately for me, there was an audition on very the day I visited the National Theatre. And that was it. I featured in a reality show called “The Twelve Ambassadors,” which was anchored by Paul Obazele. Also, I did some episodes of ‘Treasure’ and played some roles in ‘Strict Singles,’ season I. I have done a couple of movies but some of them are yet to be released.
I stopped acting because it was taking me out of my studies then. But now, I am fully back to make my mark in the industry.
My parents reaction!
My dad really did not care about what I studied in the university. But my mum was the strict type. I was afraid of her because she was the one that insisted I must study Law. Unfortunately, she died last year, when I was graduating from the university. She never got to know that I changed from reading Law to Theatre Arts. She died of cancer, in September last year. May her soul rest in peace.
Why I didn’t let her into my little secret
There was no time for me to disclose what I did to her. During that period, she was sick and I was still an undergraduate. I only came back home three days before she died. I was not with her in the first place. And again, we were not certain that she was going to give up the ghost. I saw her only once, and that was the day I came back from school. The next thing I heard was that she had given up the ghost.
Yes, I really did. But the knowledge of my decision to abandon Law would have killed her before her time. Her dream for me was to become a lawyer. I can remember vividly how she frustrated several attempts I made while in the university to change my department.
She visibly contacted the Dean of the Faculty of Law, and instructed him never to allow me cross over to any department. So, there was really no way I could have told her that I later disobeyed her instruction. My plan was to break the news to her after I have completed my NYSC. But she never lived to see that happen.
Going into acting
Nobody introduced me into Nollywood. I made it happen by myself. Today, producers and directors are acknowledging my presence in the industry. These days, I hardly go for auditions, the producers simply come looking for me. I have a couple of jobs lined up for me and in a matter of weeks from now, I will be hitting locations. I have a project I’m currently doing with Sunny Mcdon, known as Nollywood Merit Award.
Also, I’m handling a project with Akwa-Ibom State Miss Tourism. On the project, it’s all about recognizing well-deserving Nollywood actors and actresses who have distinguished themselves in the industry. And the award ceremony will hold before the end of this year.
My movie roles!
I like playing controversial roles. I love being the bad girl. All the roles I have played in my recent movies depict me as a bad girl. I played the role of a boy-friend snatcher but I’m not one in real life. I think I love playing roles that will bring me to spotlight. I have this innocent face that portray me as a good girl.
If I don’t crave for bad roles, I might end up playing the good girl role throughout my acting career. I also love playing a romantic role and if I have to smoke in a movie to prove a point, I will definitely do it without minding.
In a relationship!
No, I’m still searching. I don’t have a love life because it has not really worked for me. I’m unlucky when it comes to having affairs with the opposite sex. Yes, I have once fallen in love but it not did not work out.
Believe in one is enough?
Not really. Like I said earlier, I have been in a relationship before which did not work out out. I don’t think after my past experience, I have dated anybody for up to one year now. I have experienced heart break several times.
I don’t even have any heart left for me. I lost my virginity to my first love but it is all about how men handle the opposite sex nowadays. They handle women disrespectfully and it’s very annoying . And that’s what is scaring me away from men. At the moment, I’m focusing on my acting career. So, when I’m done with chasing scripts, I will look for a boyfriend.
My past haunting my present?
Nothing like that. I’m just trying to be careful, and ensure I play safe. I don’t like taking risks because I’m not a good risk taker. For me, I’m very choosy when it comes to men. Any guy I’m dating must be someone I can be proud to present to people. He mustn’t be someone I can’t even kiss.
Kissing a man I dislike on set!
For the sake of that role I’m playing, I will do it, but when I leave the set, I will quickly brush my mouth.
I don’t believe in making mistakes. Rather, I believe that everything happens for a reason. It’s either I pick up the broken pieces of my life and move on or I learn from my mistakes.
Has my life been exciting!
No, it has been a struggle because the industry is very wide that new faces are emerging on daily basis. We have to struggle to remain relevant in the industry. I believe in doing everything possible to impress the producers, directors and always ensuring that one is where things are happening at all times. It’s a struggle and it has not been exciting at all.
Any relationship between upcoming actresses and established ones?
Most times, there is always lack of cordial relationship between the upcoming actresses and the established ones. I see it as a challenge to have people wanting to hang around you. Yes, most established stars are nice, especially when you are on the same set with them. But after the set, there is always no relationship.
My dream in Nollywood!
My dream is to transform into a producer and one that will produce blockbuster movies. Also, I’m planning to undergo a training on special effects and cinematography to enable me discover the secrets of making world class movies.