By BENJAMIN NJOKU
Charles Awurum is one of the highly rated comic-actors in the Nigerian movie industry. But beyond comedy, Awurum tells HVP, that he is capable of doing the unexpected. He recounts some of the challenges, he’s facing as a comic-actor par excellence.
My children are still under aged. My first son is about 6 years old. They ask me a lot of funny questions each time they watch my films. I always tell them that if I don’t do this, they wouldn’t go to school. In fact, they ask me funny questions which I also answer in funny ways.
It seems you didn’t marry early?
Yes, I married in 2006.
Why did you marry that late?
If I have known why, I would have married early. I met my wife in 2006, and we got married the same year. If I had met her before 2006, I would have wasted much time.
Does it mean you were not in any relationship before you met your wife?
Relationship is not marriage. You might be going out with someone who’s not your wife. That’s why in marriage, you must look out for somebody who must be ready to suffer with you and accept you for who you are. I didn’t find that kind of woman until 2006 when I met my wife.
Would you say you are stereotyped in movies?
I have acted in so many films that were not comedy. My first film was “Obiora” which was not comedy, and I interpreted my role very well. But it’s the viewers that sometimes influence the producers to consider an actor for a particular role. If Patience Ozokwor (a.k.a Mama G ) is not playing a wicked woman in a movie, the viewers would say, ‘this is not Mama G.’ The same goes for Mr. Ibu and I. I must not play a stupid man before you realise I’m an actor.
But were you born a comic-actor?
I was not born a comedian. I used to tell people that comedy is not about deformity. I would say that I forced myself into comedy. This is because, when I saw my colleagues playing comedy, I developed passion for it. I don’t believe in playing one particular role in movies.
At first, producers did not believe I could play comedy very well because of my hard face. They say, I have a hard face, but today, they do not want to give me any other role apart from comedy.
When you joined Nollywood, did you envisage that you would end up as a comedian?
I didn’t, but just watch out I will soon dump comedy. They way I came into comedy, is the way I will leave it.
What do you have in common with Mr Ibu?
It’s comedy. I used to tell people that my relationship with Mr Ibu is beyond the screen. He’s my brother. Don’t ask me why the producers prefer to pairs us in movies, but we enjoy each other’s companionship whenever we are on the same movie sets.
Following the roles you play in movies; do you think people sometimes take you seriously?
Most people tend to take you unserious because you are a comic-actor. Even when you tell a girl “I like you,” she would laugh at you, believing that you a joking. But they do not know that outside the world of make-believe, one can be really serious. I feel that people should start seeing us from that standpoint and learn to separate us from the characters they watch on screen. Outside the screen, I am a very serious person.