Jemima Osunde’s awesome personality and breathtaking acting skills have won her coveted roles in major movie productions and she doesn’t seem to be backing down anytime soon. RACHEAL ABIRIBA speaks with the Medical student Nollywood Star on what she loves about acting and how much her fans have influenced the roles she takes.
You’ve previously mentioned that you doubted your acting skills, even after shooting your first movie. Are you become more confident now or do you still struggle with that feeling of doubt?
I am definitely more confident now than I was back when I started and with constant practise as well as the grace of God, I’m sure it’ll keep getting better. The most important thing is to continue to grow in my craft, learn and develop my skills. I generally always see one or two things I could have done differently when I watch myself on TV but as long as I continue to give my best, my confidence in my work will inevitably improve.
From ‘Jungle Jewel’ to MTV’s ‘Shuga’, you have mostly done movies that aim to correct societal issues, was this a conscious decision? What other societal issues are you interested in addressing?
I’m extremely glad that most of the jobs I’ve taken on have in one way or the other targeted important societal issues however, I can’t exactly say that it’s by my doing. I’m really fortunate that these kind of scripts keep coming my way. I think it is very important for us as an industry to not only entertain the general public but to also find a way to use this platform to highlight the ills in the society and propagate as much information as we can which should lead us forward as nation. If I could, I would only go for such scripts but I have to be open to a variety to avoid being stereotyped. I’m looking forward to being a part of projects that will highlight the effects of drug misuse amongst the youth. A lot of people are unaware of the adverse effects of taking prescription drugs socially as well as abusing other drugs. Our life expectancy in Nigeria has drastically decreased as a result of this and numerous other factors which is rather unfortunate.
2018 is already a big year for you, how does it feel to be doing all these work?
It feels absolutely amazing! I shot a lot of things last year and I can’t even begin to explain how it feels to see it all come out now. Moreover, the feedback I’m getting has been so encouraging and this makes me want to do more. It’s one thing to have “a lot” of work out there and another to have “a lot of well received” work out there. I’m grateful for all the feedback and love! It’s very fulfilling
Many people don’t know that you are still in medical school, how easy has it been juggling Medical School with filming?
Easy is not even remotely the word I’ll use, very far from easy if anything. It’s been a herculean task combining both school and work and still having time for family, friends and all my personal relationships. I’ve lost friends along the way and have had to be absent at important family events. It’s pretty much all I do, work and school, but it’s totally worth it and I’d do it again. I’m fortunate to have a people that genuinely love me and completely understand. My family is very supportive and that goes a long way. I just have to make sure I keep a balance and prioritize well.
You’ve effortlessly played different types of characters, how easy is it to transition from one character to another?
Transitioning between characters can be difficult. It takes research, time and discipline. Despite the fact, it’s something I will always be in awe of! Reading a script and seeing the character come to life in my head first. It’s one of the reasons I love this job. It’s an opportunity for me to be so many different people that I really can’t be in my real life. I also have to give props to directors, makeup artists and stylists. They play a pivotal role in making me look the part and that’s a great help. Their creativity astounds me half the time and this always makes playing a new character so exciting for me.
After several movie roles, what do you think your fans love about you most? Do you allow their opinion influence the roles you accept?
I think it has to be the fact that I play very relatable characters. Naturally, people enjoy characters they can relate to, be that, love or hate. I got the most reaction from fans when I played Ranti in Rumor Has It. They absolutely hate her. People like it when you’re able to trigger a reaction from them with your acting and when you can trigger a reaction, you know you’re doing something well.
How do you communicate with your
fans? And what impact do you think communicating with them has had on you and your career?
I try to keep my social Media as open and friendly as possible. I reply to everyone on my Snapchat as often as I can and the comments on my Instagram posts. I feel it’s very important to relate with people and show them that you actually see their messages and appreciate them. Communicating with them is always a way to improve by getting feedback from the viewers. It’s also really fun, there are a lot of funny people out there! Lol. Nonetheless, I do not allow negativity on my page and I waste no time in blocking it away from me.
Do you have any ambition to transition from on-screen acting to working behind the scenes?
Most definitely! I’m very interested in working behind the scenes but that requires a lot of mastery and learning. I’m hoping that in a few years, I’ll be able to make that transition.
Nigeria is quite a patriarchal society. How do you think that affects women in creative professions?
First of all, I’m thankful to God for the era and time I live in. I feel it’s so much easier now for a woman to function efficiently and effectively in most professions. The world as a whole is advancing and people’s perspective are changing. There are still a few obstacles and hurdles we face as women in the creative industry as well as others but at the end of the day, I think we find motivation from knowing its possible and that we can do it!