By JULIET EBIRIM
Though born in England, Soundcity TV presenter and upcoming actress, Laura Monyeazo Abebe ,who goes by the name Moet Abebe, lived in Nigeria for 11 years before heading back to England to carry on with her education. In a recent chat with Sunday Vanguard, the screen goddess shared her passion,dreams and what makes her stand out. Excerpts…
When did your career as a TV presenter begin?
I got into the industry about three years ago. It all started with a passion and a dream. It wasn’t necessarily my plan. I had always wanted to be a lawyer, but in my second year in the university, I thought about coming back home and doing something different, interesting and a bit challenging. So, I made up my mind to go into broadcasting and I’ve always wanted to work for Soundcity. As soon as I moved back, I did a screen test and I got the job.
Why did you decide to delve into acting?
In all honesty, I actually wanted to be an actress first. How far I’ve gone with TV presenting now is how far I originally wanted to take it with acting. But when I moved back to Nigeria and needed to do my NYSC, there was no way I could do my NYSC with acting. So I decided to serve in a media house. I served here in Soundcity and after my NYSC, I was retained as a full staff.
Which do you prefer – presenting or acting?
In all honesty, I think I equally like both of them but acting is quite fun because today you can be one person and tomorrow you’re someone else. While presenting is like a reflection of yourself, what you see on TV is actually who I am. But in acting, I’m a completely different person.
Which are you really passionate about?
Because I’m still rising as an actress, I would say I have more passion for it, because I obviously want to get to a certain level. Right now, since I’m still trying to get up there, I would say I have more passion for acting.
What has fame done for you?
It’s quite nice when you go somewhere and people recognise you and you also get to meet a lot of people. On the bad side, people often forget that we are human beings and we make mistakes. Sometimes, I may wear something that I honestly thought was spectacular, but it wasn’t. I’m the kind of person that if I make a mistake, I like to acknowledge it and try to change it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the past with this and other things as well, but the main thing is trying to change. There’s no point making a mistake if you don’t learn from it. Some people think because you’re a celebrity you’re not supposed to make mistakes, but it happens, after all we’re human beings.
How easy was it for you to break into the industry?
It wasn’t easy, but I really believe in faith. While in England, I kept on saying to my friends that this (Soundcity) is where I want to work. I felt that because I already had my mind focused, it wasn’t exactly so hard to achieve. When I got here, that was when the real work started, because I had no presenting experience. I even had more experience in acting than in presenting.
As an actress, how daring can you be at interpreting roles?
I actually take acting quite seriously. If the movie is all about sex, then that’s basically just a porn flick. I’m not going to do that type of movie where all we talk about is sex. But if there’s a scene and as long as it’s not too provocative and as long as my interpretation relates to the actual character, why not? I’m not going to go nude or anything like that, but I do believe that there’s tasteful nudity. I’m not going to do anything distasteful. As long as it’s necessary to the role, why not?
Are you saying you would go nude if necessary?
No. Take Lupita’s role in the movie ‘Twelve years a slave’ for instance. That’s literally adapting yourself to the role and whatever happened was necessary like what she went through, as opposed to just being naked for fun. So, if it’s tasteful and meaningful, why not? But I’m not going butt-naked. There are limits.
Are you in a relationship at the moment?
What’s your kind of man?
Hardworking. I don’t necessarily want to date anyone in the industry. I don’t judge people that do. But for me and the type of commitment I’m looking for, if I’m to get into a relationship, I’m intending to get married to the person. So I need someone that’s really focused and fully committed. I’m not really about the physical appearance, I’m more concerned about what you’re bringing to the table as regards my future, children’s future and all. Basically, I want someone who’s hardworking, has his head screwed up properly, who’s making his money and is basically responsible.
You don’t think you can find him in the industry?
I didn’t say I can’t, but I’m not looking in the industry.
Would you say your good looks have contributed to where you are today?
I don’t think so. There are so many more beautiful people than me and they are not here even though they would like to be. I don’t think it’s based on that. I think I am clearly offering something, my looks doesn’t make a difference.
What was your growing up like?
I was an only child from my mum, so I grew up mostly with my mum and grandma. My dad travelled a lot. It wasn’t really lonely because I grew up in a place where there were always kids around, so I had people to play with. But at the same time, I had the benefit of actually being on my own most times that nobody knows me better than I know myself. I feel that gave me the power and the liberty to know my strengths and weaknesses. I actually had a very happy childhood. I like my childhood because I had the opportunity to play with people around and also the time to focus on myself.
Did you grow up here in Nigeria?
Yes, I was here for about eleven years, but I was born in England. I did my nursery and a bit of primary school there. Then I came here, I went to Corona School. After that, I went back to England, got my school cert and A-Levels. Then I went to the University of Manchester where I studied Law and proceeded to law school there.