BIG SCREEN : Kiki Omeili : Acting Redefined
Every project comes with its own experiences but by and large, I like to play characters that are far removed from who I really am
VOM: We did a little research and discovered you are a medical doctor, tell us how it all happened from being a doctor to being an actor?
Kiki Omeili : It was all about the passion really. I'd always been involved in the arts right from primary school but I decided to study a professional course and went for medicine. I always thought entertainment would be something that i'd do on the side. But somewhere in the middle of Studying medicine, I realised that my artsy side was struggling for ex
VOM: Did you ever practice as a medical practitioner?
Kiki Omeili : yes, I did. I did my horsemanship at the University College Hospital Ibadan and my NYSC at the Ajeromi Ifelodun local government health centre, then I worked at pathcare for a little while before I quit my job and started acting.
VOM: Tell us how you first became involved with the Nollywood industry?
Kiki Omeili : I knew someone who was in the industry, i'd met him through a mutual friend. He started sending me audition notices, I started attending auditions and snapping up the roles. That was it.
VOM: How did your first audition go?
Kiki Omeili : my very first audition was for a series called "this is lagos". I got a lead role at that audition. We only shot the pilot and never actually shot the series,but getting a lead role at my first audition gave me the confidence that I could really do this.
VOM: Which of your movie projects as an actor excited you the most?
Kiki Omeili : it's really difficult to say.every project comes with its own experiences but by and large, I like to play characters that are far removed from who I really am. So,needless to say i've been excited about a lot of projects. Lekki wives, Married but living single,Sting, Oblivious to name a few
VOM: What advice would you give to aspiring actors who would like to know how to interpret roles ?
Kiki Omeili : i'd advice them to constantly study their environment, study the people around them and how they react in certain situations. All the things we see,hear and experience help us to interprete different roles in different situations. Its a very useful tool as an actor.
VOM: Lets talk about your background?
Kiki Omeili : i'm from Nimo in Anambra state. I was born to Charles and Maureen Omeili -a Banker and a controller of prisons in Lagos, I have three siblings, an older sister and two younger brothers. I attended fountain nursery and primary school in surulere Lagos, federal government girls college Benin city and then went on to study medicine at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos.
VOM: Lekki wives has a growing viewership , what is the secret?
Kiki Omeili : To be honest, I think Lekki wives has a story that the average Nigerian can relate to. Its well scripted, it's well interpreted by the actors and it infuses humour int the process of telling the story. It also has a lot of lessons to learn,its an eye opener to the things that really do go on. So I guess there are a lot of "secrets".lol
VOM: Tell us about your role in lekki wives?
Kiki Omeili : in Lekki wives, I play the role of "Lovette" who's a greedy, conniving character who doesn't care who she has to step on to get what she wants. She's an "airhead" who just does her thing oblivious to the consequences. She's a lot of fun to play.
VOM: What are the challenges you face in the industry as an actor ?
Kiki Omeili : There are numerous challenges. First things first, there's so much competition so there's a constant need to prove yourself and reinvent your craft. Secondly there's the issue of the way people look at you. A lot of people look at actors as people that are acting because they have nothing better to do. That is just wrong. There's also the problem of a lack of proper structure in the movie industry so remuneration might sometimes not be what it's supposed to be. But these are issues that we constantly face and manage to overcome.
VOM: Any advice for first-time actors, how can they start their acting career path?
Kiki Omeili : Networking with people in the industry and attending auditions are good places to start.
VOM: We have been hearing of old nollywood and new nollywood, can you explain the differences?
Kiki Omeili : in all honesty, i'm yet to fully grasp the concept. But i'd say that when people refer to "new nollywood" they refer to an emerging breed of talent(actors and directors)that make films a tad differently from how it used to be.
VOM: Did your parents have problems with you when you decided to go into acting?
Kiki Omeili : i always say that my parents are the best because they were very supportive and gave me no issues about my decision. I think that by and large, parents just want to know that their kids will be fine in whatever career path they choose.
VOM: What advice do you have for some parents who don’t want their children to choose acting as a career?
Kiki Omeili : i understand your fears because Nigeria is a country where it's safer to have a "paid" job. But study your child, if you truly believe that they have what it takes to make it as actors, allow them give it a shot.
VOM: What would you want the movie industry associations/guilds to change in the nollywood industry?
Kiki Omeili : i'd like them to make movie producers more accountable for the welfare of actors when they're working for them
VOM: If you were the president of the acting association or guild what would you change?
Kiki Omeili : There'd be a minimum wage for actors and I would make sure that it was enforced.
VOM: What is the most bizarre thing a fan has ever done to you?
Kiki Omeili : i was at the palms shopping mall in Ikeja and without asking me, this girl and her friend came and stood beside me and stared taking pictures. I didn't quite know how to react.
VOM: What is the most fulfilling experience you have had in nollywood?
Kiki Omeili : Every second spent on a set doing what I love to do is a fulfilling experience in nollywood for me.
VOM: What is the most embarrassing experience you have had in nollywood?
Kiki Omeili : As an actor you get to do so many embarrassing things all the time.but the truth is that at that moment, you ARE the character. So you have to drop everything that's the real you and become that character. So embarrassment doesn't really come into it for me.
VOM : Any nominations or awards on the movies you had acted in?
Kiki Omeili : yes. In 2012, I won the award for the best actress in a supporting role at the 17th African film awards in London for my role in "Married but living single" which was my first feature film. In 2014, I was nominated for best TV actress at the ELOY (exquisite lady of the year) award for my role in lekki wives and also for the SCREAM 2014 awards for my role in Lekki wives.I'm currently also nominated at the AMVCA for "Oblivious" a short film directed by Stanlee Ohikhuare and produced by Grace Edwin Okon.
VOM: Are there decisions you took as an actor earlier in your career which you regret and could have done differently?
Kiki Omeili : no. Building an acting career is a gradual process. Whatever I did in the beginning was what I knew to do best at the time. All the earlier experiences have helped to mold me into the actor that I am now and i'm grateful for them.
VOM: What do aspiring actors need to do so that directors can get the best from them?
Kiki Omeili : They need to listen and submit themselves as tools for the director to tell the story and hope against hope that that director knows what he's doing.lol
VOM: Any misconception about you that you will love to clear the air about?
Kiki Omeili : not at the moment,no.
VOM: Tell us about your dream man ?
Kiki Omeili : .hehehe.when I meet him,i'll know.
VOM: What is your beauty routine , that keeps you this pretty?
Kiki Omeili : first of all, please allow me to blush at the compliment cos you just called me pretty.lol. I always take off my make up at the end of the day no matter how tired I am,and I moisturise everyday unfailingly.
VOM: If you are called on to assist aspiring actors , what would you do to assist?
Kiki Omeili : i'd make myself available to them so that we could bounce ideas off each other and also have several acting exercises so I could show them the things i've learned over the years as an actor.
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