Thespian Mosunmola Oduoye, after taking a break from Nollywood, returns with her first cinema project titled ‘Different Strokes’. The film boasts some of the best-known faces including Mercy Johnson Okojie, Shaffy Bello, Jim Iyke, Adedimeji Lateef, Jide Kosoko, among others. Renowned for her remarkable storylines, Mosun Oduoye tells Ferdinand Ekechukwu about the movie while giving a peek into her career, and life as wife of a politician
Are you back into the movie industry? There were some reports that you quit acting following your marriage some time ago. Is it true?
Well, I never left… I never left I just took a break. I did not quit acting.
While on break from acting did you miss anything?
Of course I did. When you have passion for something and you take a break from doing such thing of course you will miss it. I missed being amongst my colleagues, the gist, the flow, the play, everything we do while on location.
You have a new movie coming out soon. What is it all about?
The movie is about four ladies in marriage; their travails, their pains, and how they plan or aim to achieve their goals in their different marriages. It’s an eye- opening storyline that even singles will learn from. But it talks more about family, relationship and marriage, love, betrayal and all that.
Is it a true life-story kind of experience?
Not everything. But there’s a bit of true-life in the storyline. It’s titled “Different Strokes”.
You also acted in the movie, what role did you play? Tell us about your character…
I played the character Jesudunni, an housewife who left her career, left virtually everything to be there for the family; husband, for the kids but was never appreciated.
This is your first cinema movie…where there challenges you encountered in the course of shooting?
The movie was shot last year March. There were no challenges as such. Grace and mercy spoke for me which I can say. The cast and crew were very wonderful and supportive. Even when we had a challenge with a particular location, we couldn’t access the location, the owner of the building was like we have done enough we should leave and we have not yet finished, they didn’t mind they stayed. They even put a call through to the owner of the building to speak on my behalf to plead with the owner of the house to allow us use it. Mercy spoke for me, grace spoke for me. There were no challenges. And we shot for like three weeks. Distributed by FilmOne Entertainment and will be available in cinemas nationwide from March 17th, 2023.
And you had Biodun Stephen as the director, what was it like working with her? I guess this is the first-time.
Yeah this is the first time. But I have seen most of her work. I actually chose her. I told my line producer that’s the person because I have seen her works; I see that she’s very good at what she does. So, I said she’s the one I want. She’s everybody’s director.
What’s a typical day like for you as the wife of a politician and a movie practitioner?
I’m living my normal life as best as possible. There’s no big deal I’m not involved in politics my husband is a politician, but I’m not involved in politics. I don’t do the politics run with him.
If you weren’t into acting/movie production what other career choice would you have favoured?
Well I have three other things that I could have done; I could have been a professional dancer, I could have been a banker, I could have own a school or orphanage.
Can you take us through a bit of your journey into the movie industry?
As a child, I have always admired seeing people on screen; you know then there was no easy access to movies like that. We were using VHS so once in a while when we are allowed to watch or you go to your neighbour’s house that has VHS or stuff like that and you watch I appreciate and admired them. I know how to mimic peoples’ voices like that. So, when I was small my dad whenever they want entertainment and there’s no light and stuff like that, they will call me to the middle and say I should start mimicking. There was this particular woman Iya Niwe… ah I can mimic her for life. I went to college of education; first when I got into college, I joined the school theatre troupe where we do stage performances, life shows and all that that was how it truly started. So, when I finished from college, I joined a movie practitioner group owned by Dimeji Ijaduade, they call him Dimeji popularly. And I trained under him for like three years that was in 2005. That was how it started.
So how would you describe your journey so far?
Well in the beginning it was rough; it wasn’t smooth. It’s not like now once you have money you want to produce you just come and you start producing. Then you have to train! They train like you underwent for vocational training (speaks in Yoruba) that you even do graduation, you know. They will give you list of things to bring all those elders will pray for you, you will kneel down. That’s the proper way we did it then. The beginning was so rough…when you go to location you don’t get paid as an apprentice and you have to be there. Even if they don’t give you any role, you have to be there to watch and learn. So, it was not an easy-peasy stuff back then.
We leant theatre art in very, I wouldn’t say hard, but strict. But once they discover the talent in you and they know you know what you are doing, they pick you up they start using you; they start with three scenes, five scenes and then from there. Even back then before you leave where you are training to go act for another group you have to take permission from your boss. More like a vocation then. But we thank God, we grew and we grew.
Recall some of the movies you featured in, and how many you produced?
Featured in? I cannot count. But the once I produced I can count because I’m not a regular producer. People know me for my stories. So ,when I produce I go all out. I don’t just produce for production sake or to make money. I want to pass a message across.
What do you consider the greatest influence in your life?
Well, the word of God influences me a lot. Nobody can influence me. I do what I want to do. That’s why I don’t have a lot of friends. You can’t influence me but what I read from the word of God influences me a lot.