With just four years of practice in the Nigerian movie industry, Kiki Omeili is one of the most sought after Nollywood actresses. The gracious actress has featured in 17 movies including Lekki Wives drama series. Trained as a medical doctor, Kiki went for her passion which is acting. She spoke to SAMUEL ABULUDE on her inspiring journey and interests.
2015 was a very busy year for you. Would you say it is the most productive so far?
I’ve always been pretty busy. It’s just that 2015 saw the release of great projects such as “Gbomo gbomo express” by Walter Banger and “Lekki Wives 3” by Blessing Egbe, “Couple of Days” by Lord Tanner and Ayo Orunmuiyi. There’s “Tears in a Cup”, directed by Efetobore Ayeteni. There’s “Living Positive” directed by Toba Oduwaiye. There’s “Mounds” directed by Vanessa Nzediegwu. There’s “Stuck in Perfect” directed by Emmanuel Akaemeh. There’s “Blind” directed by Emeka Madu. There’s “Jimi Bendel” directed by Ehizojie Ojesebholo and “Fast Cash” directed by Okey Zubelu. All these were shot between July – Dec, 2015 and some of them are yet to be released. So it was a very productive year also because I had so many award nominations of which I won two: Best Supporting actress at the GIAMA awards for my work in “Sting” directed by Stanley Ohaikhuare and Best actress at in short film festival for my work in “Deluded” directed by Dipo Abdul.
People say you are always brash in your movies. How would you react to this?
Well, that wouldn’t be too far from the truth. This is because my most popular roles have been that of the “seductress” or “antagonist” but that’s not always the case. See movies like Gbomo Gbomo express if you don’t believe me
Would you agree it also played in Couple of Days?
Well, yes, sort of.
Lekki Wives was amazing because of your role. I guess, you probably earned most of your fan base because of your character?
Yes, that’s true. Lekki Wives was a roaring success and a lot of people who know me as an actor know me because of that role “Lovette”. However, I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say that it was amazing because of my role. Every character was different and brought something to the table. And people loved it because they could relate to the story that was being told.
Lovette represents a kind of woman that is the product of the society. What is your message to people who have the same dispositions like Lovette?
Well, nothing good comes easy. If there is a certain thing you want you need to develop a plan of action and work to get it. As opposed to just sleeping around with men because of money; because you are greedy and want something above your reach. So, that would be my advice. And it is funny. A lot of people don’t like Lovette and a lot of people like Lovette. Most times I am like, ‘How can you love a character like that?’ Well, they say they do.
What has made you a better actor?
Practice. You get better with more practice. I am a mirror actor. A lot of the times I practice in front of the mirror. I do this to check facial expressions, intonation, etc. I constantly like to hone my skills. As you can see, I am currently at a workshop. I do things like this from time to time. I also read acting books. I am interested in things that make me better. I watch a lot of movies. I like to see how other actors interpret their characters. I like to see the choices that they make. I like to keep myself refreshed as opposed to being in a comfort zone, believing I have it all down.
Method acting is a familiar term with many actors these days. What is your opinion about this concept?
Truth be told, if you ask me what kind of an actor I am, I would say I am an actor that combines method acting and sense memory. Sense memory is like trying to recall a similar incident that had happened to you in the past and transporting the same emotion and reactions to a role. Method acting is basically believing that the character is you, like you are not acting it out, but being it. I think method acting is an acting concept that really works. I think a lot of actors practice method acting. I believe people should do whatever makes them interpret the role better.
You have been in the business for how many years?
I have been here for four years now.
Not many people know you are a doctor. Why did you leave medicine for acting?
I’m an actor because of the passion and love I have for acting. Some people think I’m crazy but I’m just doing what I love to do. Back in secondary school, I was always interested in social activities, stage performances, debates, etc. I thought it was something I liked. I was a literature in English prize winner at some point. I really loved literature. But when it was time to do a course in the university, it was all about professional course at that time —so medicine was it. By the time I was done with medicine, I realised I still had the love for performing. I practised medicine for a little while, but I realised that I needed to do this because it was something I loved. I just started attending auditions and here I am.
How many auditions did you attend before the first real job came in?
I got a lead role at the first audition that I ever attended, we shot a pilot but the project never took off. A couple of auditions later, I landed the lead role in “Behind the Smile.”
When are you settling down?
Marriage is something that will come when it will come.
How would you identify him when he comes?
When we see him, we will know. If I start specifying the qualities, you might end up with somebody that does not have the qualities. When we see them we will know.
What do you look for in a man?
I like intellectual men. I like God fearing and independent men.
This is the month of love, what do you anticipate for Valentine’s Day?
Nothing. No plans. I am really that kind of person. l see love every day.
Would like to share some of your Val’s Day memories?
I only remember spending Val’s Day on duty at the hospital, while others were partying. It was painful sha.