Adeseha Wuraola: Balancing Dual Roles in Movie Production Requires Time Management, Understanding Your Tasks

Adeseha Wuraola Becky popularly known as Adediwura BlarkGold is an actress, filmmaker, and storyteller renowned for her performances in Yoruba films. She holds a degree in English from Lagos State University, which has undoubtedly enriched her artistic abilities. Adeseha’s acting career began in 2008, and she has since appeared in a wide range of Yoruba and Nollywood productions, showcasing her talent and versatility. In addition to her success in the entertainment industry, she is committed to making a positive impact on society.

Through her foundation, Adeseha demonstrates her passion for social causes and her desire to uplift and support vulnerable individuals within the community. She took Tosin Clegg, exclusively through her new project, balancing acting as well as producing, her passion for impacting widows and a lot more. Excerpts:

Can you tell us about your latest movie project, Atiko and what inspired the story or theme of this film?

ATIKO is a film produced by Biodun Stephen and my humble self, Adeseha Wuraola Becky. Aside from being the story creator, I also acted a significant role in the film. I have written the story since 2008 which is about 16 years ago. I revisit the story every year, and I keep nurturing it, hoping that one day I would have a platform to tell the story. When I met with Biodun Stephen, I shared the story, and she quickly embraced, rebranded, and breathed life into it. Hence, the birth of ATIKO as a movie. It is a drama film that delves into the unwavering determination, resilience, and strength of two struggling mothers who, against all odds, refused to give up on their children. The inspiration behind the film came from my personal experiences with loss, poverty, and grief, and I wanted to explore the theme of finding hope and strength in the darkest moments. On May 2, 2024, the exclusive premiere of film was held at the Nollywoodweek Film Festival in Paris, and it was the opening film at Cinema L’arlequin Paris, France. The French people connected with the film so well and it was an incredible experience and it sparked meaningful conversations.

Were there challenges you encountered while working on this movie, either creatively or logistically and how did you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges I faced while shooting ATIKO was undergoing a physical transformation to fit my role, which included gaining weight to accurately portray my character. After production, I am still battling with trimming down or getting back to shape luckily, I am getting there gradually. Additionally, I had to learn and master a dialect from a different state, which was a linguistic and cultural hurdle I had to overcome to deliver an authentic performance. Speaking the language of a particular region was tough because I had to twist my tongue so the diction could sound as OYO dialect. All thanks to the director who provided a dialogue director to coach us before and during the production. Another challenge for me was that months after production, I couldn’t get rid of the Oyo dialect from my tongue. However, the dialect wasn’t totally a challenge but an achievement for me because any film production in Oyo dialect now, I am good to go.

Can you share any details about other projects you currently have in the works or are planning to pursue in the near future?

Currently, I am actively working on several exciting projects that showcase my passion for storytelling and my commitment to exploring diverse themes and genres. Some of these projects include; The Surviving Widows Documentary which is a poignant exploration of the lives of widows from different walks of life, delving into their struggles, triumphs, and resilience. Now you see me is another project which is a thought-provoking drama that follows the journey of a young woman as she navigates the complexities of friendship, love and life in late 40’s. Another is Antidote “Ero” which is a haunting and intimate portrayal of the unspoken emotions and secrets that bind families together and the power of silence to both harm and heal. I have a lot of other projects we are working on as these projects are in various stages of development. I am eager to bring them to life with the same dedication and creative energy that I brought to “ATIKO”.

As a producer and actress, how do you balance these dual roles? Do you find one aspect more challenging or rewarding than the other?

As a producer and actress, balancing these dual roles requires careful time management, prioritisation, and a deep understanding of the demands of each role.  It can be challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. As a producer, I’m responsible for overseeing the entire production process, from development to post-production, which requires a lot of organisational and logistical work. As an actress, I need to immerse myself in the character and bring the story to life, which requires a different kind of creative energy. To balance these roles, I prioritise my tasks and focus on one aspect at a time. During production, I’m fully in producer mode, making sure everything runs smoothly and on schedule. When I’m acting, I try to let go of my producer hat and fully inhabit the character. While both roles have their own challenges, I find that producing is more challenging for me because it requires a lot of problem-solving and decision-making. Acting, on the other hand, is more rewarding because I get to bring a character to life and connect with audiences on a deeper level. Ultimately, I love both roles and feel fortunate to be able to pursue my passions in different ways. It’s a balancing act, but it’s one that I’m grateful for every day.

Your documentary on widows sounds intriguing. What inspired you to delve into this topic, and what message do you hope to convey through this documentary?

My documentary, “The Surviving Widows” was inspired by the countless stories of strength that I’ve encountered among widows from diverse backgrounds. I was moved by the ways in which they have faced unimaginable loss, yet continue to rise above the ashes, often with remarkable courage and determination. Through this documentary, I hope to convey the message that widows are not just victims of circumstance but survivors who deserve to be heard, seen, and empowered. I aim to shine a light on the often-invisible struggles they face, from social stigma to economic marginalisation, and celebrate their triumphs and contributions to their communities. Ultimately, I hope this documentary will inspire audiences to rethink their assumptions about widowhood and to recognise the value and dignity of these remarkable women. By sharing their stories, I hope to create a ripple effect of empathy, understanding, and support that will resonate far beyond the screen.

Is there a personal connection or experience that motivated you to explore the stories of widows through film?

Exploring the stories of widows through film is a deeply personal and emotional journey for me. As the founder of ‘Giving Is Fun Initiative,’ an NGO I established in 2015, I’ve had the privilege of working with numerous widows and their families. But what drives my passion for this project is my mother’s own experience as a widow. Growing up, I witnessed my mother’s struggles and triumphs as she navigated the challenges of widowhood. I saw firsthand the emotional toll of losing a loved one, the financial struggles, and the social stigma that often follows. But I also saw her incredible strength and determination to rebuild her life and provide for her children. My mother’s journey has been a constant source of inspiration for me, and I believe that her story is just one of many that deserves to be told. Through The Surviving Widows’ documentary, I hope to honour my mother’s experience and amplify the voices of countless other widows who have faced similar challenges. I hope to create a film that not only raises awareness but also inspires empathy, understanding, and support for these remarkable women.

How do you approach getting into character and understanding their motivations?

As an actress, before delving into a role, I immerse myself in research and preparation. I read and re-read the script, analysing the character’s dialogue, actions, and interactions. I also explore the character’s backstory, history, and cultural context to gain a deeper understanding of their motivations and behaviours. I also use a variety of techniques like creating a character profile; I write down the character’s traits, habits, and quirks to help me stay focused and consistent. I imagine the character’s life before the story begins, including their relationships, experiences, and pivotal moments that shaped them. I experiment with body language, posture, and vocal tone to find the character’s unique physical and vocal presence. I rehearse scenes with fellow actors and improvise moments to discover new aspects of the character and develop a sense of spontaneity. I tap into my own experiences and emotions to find authentic connections with the character’s feelings and motivations. By combining these approaches, I aim to create a rich character that resonates with audiences.

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