Streaming Platforms Have Benefitted Nollywood
Theresa Edem-Isemin is an actress, voice-over artiste, writer, model and filmmaker. Her passion for the performing arts started at a very young age and this found expressions in school dance troupes, drama clubs and in a church’s drama department. In 2012, Theresa decided to follow her passion and pursue acting professionally. She talks to Tosin Clegg about Nollywood, her supporting role in a Netflix block buster and much more
My professional career started by attending Royal Arts Academy. After graduation, I pursued acting full time. My big break came playing Angela on ‘’Tinsel’ for seven months. My career soared to new heights after that, and my first silver screen break came after I played Princess Ama in ‘Ayamma’. And of course, ‘My Village People’ made over N100 million at the box office and I was listed amongst the Top 10 highest grossing actresses of 2021.
Things that give me joy
I would love to win all the prestigious awards in Nigeria, Africa, Hollywood, and the world at large. But what I would love the most is to continue to put out works that entertains, educates and brings joy and happiness to my fans. I have too many actors I love and would want to work with. If I start to name all of them, we won’t finish today. Big up to all our iconic and legendary actors.
So proud of Nollywood
I’m super proud of Nollywood and how far we’ve come. The industry has grown immensely. I have a dream that one day, in the not-so-far future, a purely Nollywood film will win the best picture at the Oscars. Amen! I would also say streaming has opened Nollywood to a wider audience, and in turn, exploded our reach. Take, for instance, ‘My Village People’ just came out on Netflix worldwide and the outcome has been very positive.
First, this is a new source of income for the filmmakers and by extension, everyone involved in the project. Also, the film is seen across the world, which means our talents and skills are exposed to millions.
This can translate to a lot of good things like more jobs in Nollywood and other parts of the world.
The various streaming platforms allow us to tell our African stories our way and offer us creative freedom.
Growing up was fun
I was very imaginative as a child, and still is. I grew up in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. As a child, I had so many dreams. I wanted to be a pilot, singer, writer, actor, aeronautic engineer, and Vet doctor. I ended up studying Animal Science and Technology at FUTO. I’d like to think I’m living out some of my childhood dreams.
My greatest asset is my talent and I have God to thank for that but I think it’s important to spend time training, even if one possesses raw talent. Proper training helps actors to harness their talents and therefore, opens more opportunities. As they say, luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Also, I’m very tenacious and committed to self-improvement. What I bring is the ability to become any character. I am working on ‘’Killed’, my directorial debut. I also have some amazing projects coming out this year, including ‘The Olive Season 2’, ‘Km17’, and ‘Trepidation’. I’m directing my first film this August, publishing my book soon, and acting. I’m always acting.
Dealing with negative feedbacks
If the feedback is constructive, I take it as a learning opportunity and see what I can do to improve in that area – and this isn’t only for film but for all areas of my life. If, however, someone is just trolling or being hateful, I sidestep that, lol! That said, in the end, you can’t please everyone. Even Jesus had haters. If I know I’ve done my best given the circumstances, I can live with that.