I WANT TO MARRY AND HAVE CHILDREN NEXT YEAR WHEN I’M 30 – Actress Amanda Ebeye
Nollywood actress, model and Etisalat ambassador, Amanda Ebeye, is not doing badly. The International Studies and Diplomacy graduate of the Benson Idahosa University, in a chat with YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine’s, on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, intimated us about some of her best kept secrets and plans…
How did this all begin?
I started as a model with Apple House Modelling Agency. I did Unity Bank, UBA, Panadol, Calypso and a whole lot of other ads. From there, I started going for auditions at the National Theatre for movies and that was how I got my first role in Weeping Tiger.
What was your parents’ reaction when they knew you wanted to start acting?
My father was not supportive, but my mother was very supportive, because she knew I had been craving to go into acting when I was in school and she had been advising that I should finish my degree before I should think of acting and that was exactly what I did. When I finished, I told my mum that now that I have finished my degree, I want to go into acting and she gave the go ahead. But my father didn’t support it until he started seeing my jobs. That was when he naturally accepted me.
Some say your childhood was a roller-coaster while others say it was full of challenges and traumatic. What is the true story?
The true story about my childhood was that it was full of fun. But if others say I called it traumatic, maybe that was because I came from a separated home and a polygamous home. My parents were separated. But aside that, my parents provided everything that I needed as a child and my mother tried her best. I went to one of the best schools and I was well taken care of by my parents despite the fact that they separated when I was 9 years old.
What actually caused your parents’ separation?
It’s just one of those regular things in Africa. My father got married to my mother as the first wife, separated and moved on to marry someone else and just like it happens in an African setting. Although I was just 9 years old when it happened, now I’m 29 years. So, I really don’t know much about it all. All I know is that my mum was out of the marriage because there was a lot of wahala and fighting. So, when my mum left, she never remarried. She already had three of us as her children and I’m the eldest.
You model and act, which of the two do you prefer? Which one gives you the greatest joy?
Of course, it’s acting. Modeling is fun, but acting is a passion. It is what will make your modeling thick, give your modeling strength. If you are a model, you are a model, but being a model and an actor is a plus to your acting career and not just as a model because then people will know that you are talented and known; not just as a smiling model on billboards alone. When you combine both, people can now relate the smiling face and the person on the screen. People don’t just say hello, fine girl alone, they relate with your talent as well and that is what makes acting to stand out.
How were you able to secure your Etisalat deal?
I went for the audition with so many other actresses and I was chosen.
How does it make you feel?
It makes me feel very good. I was happy, elated as well and trust me, I was really happy for everything that has happened to me few years into my career.
How do you know a good actress?
She is someone that knows her onions, someone that is able to understand a character that she is given and also goes the extra mile for a role. Someone who is able to interpret to the satisfaction of the audience, convince the audience and someone who is not fake, but able to drag you into her world. You should be able to learn from her, correct yourself from her acting as well.
What do you look at before you accept a script?
Right now, before I pick up a script, I look at the content. What is the mileage? How far the story can push me, how interesting it is, how challenging it is going to be for me. Is it a script that would require that I sit down and go over and over again? Recently, I got a script that I would have to be a poet, so I had to go online in search of poems to use. That is the kind of script I’m looking for. The ones that would make me think, go extra mile, that I would have to do a research on and not the usual boy friend and girl friend script, because it is over flogged. You wear your wig, look beautiful all the time with make up. It’s over flogged. We have seen all that, so what else? Like in Hollywood, you can see a character go fat or skinny for a movie. Like what I did in Agwonma. I had to add weight because those that know me very well knew that as at 2014, I was very skinny, but I’ve added weight because the director said I was too slim for the role, so I had to add weight. Those are the kind of roles I want, not just a normal one.
How do you define a challenging role?
I was able to play one not too long ago. I played the role of a twin and it was very challenging because it was an epic movie titled Agwonma, the unbreakable egg. Agwonma in Iboland means good name. So, I played a twin’s role. One was a goddess and a bad princess who happened to be a fish and a snake. So, depicting those two characters was very challenging and that is what a good actress should always yearn for.
Part of the reasons you gave for dumping Clinic Matters for Bella’s Place was money. Do you think acting should be all about money?
Acting for me is not all about money and everybody knows that. It has all been about passion and not money. But sometimes you need to think about the money because you can’t continue to feed people and not feed yourself. You can’t continue to make a program a success whereas you have nothing to show for it. So, I thank God for Clinic Matters, but when Bella’s Place came, I was faced with a challenge of whether to do Clinic Matters and be paid peanuts or do Bella’s Place and be able to pay my rent. So, I had to choose the wisest option.
What is the worst thing you ever heard about yourself?
A magazine said I was dating some producer that I do not know and that the man was married and that he abandoned his family because of me with other crazy statement. I don’t want to mention the name of the magazine, but till today, I don’t like them because they were bold enough to write that I was dating a man that I don’t even know without calling me to ask me if it was true or not. They went ahead to publish it because they wanted to defame my character. So, that is the worst I ever heard.
What don’t you like about your career?
Nothing. I love everything about my career.
What of the fact that you are negatively exposed?
The press would always talk. If they don’t talk, then they are not the press. In Nigeria, they are even good because we don’t have paparazzi chasing us from our homes. Nigerian press is nice, they are very lenient with celebrities, so we are safe.
What role can’t you play for money?
There’s no role I can’t play. Not even the role; I think it has to do with the script. If I don’t like the script, I may reject the role because if you ask me to play a prostitute for example, naturally, I may not like to be a prostitute in a movie, but if you tell me you have to be a prostitute and I read the script and it is a fantastic job, then I would play the role. So, I have no problem with any role, but maybe I might have a problem with the script. So, there is no role I can’t play.
By April 2016, you will be 30 years old. What are your plans at 30?
Well, by then I should be married at least, to put an end to the question of who is the man? By then you will know him. So, I should be married and maybe I should have a kid, produce a movie or series and my career should have sky rocketed a lot higher.
Do you have any special plan for your 30th birthday?
For now, I don’t have anything in mind, but I think you just gave me an idea now. Maybe I will start thinking about what I can do. Maybe I can even fix the date for my wedding.
What are some of your unfulfilled dreams?
Nothing really. Maybe just having my own estate and owning an orphanage to take care of motherless babies. Those are some of my unfulfilled dreams for now.
You once said that you don’t believe in divorce. Is that part of the reason you are yet to marry?
Yes! I always say that because I don’t believe in rushing into marriage and it is because I also don’t believe in divorce.
But in most cases, among celebrities, their husbands always pull the first trigger, what are you going to do about that?
That is why you have to be careful and not just marry anyhow or anyone that will pull the divorce trigger.
How will you know?
You will now before it comes and that is why every woman needs to be prayerful. No matter how much the love propositions and rosy days, you still need to go back to your God in prayer and if you don’t go back, you are not a woman. Every woman needs to have a prayer life because that is the only thing that can guide you and that is what most people do not understand. They just live based on grace and forget God who should be their pilot and helper. I don’t believe in dreams, see one man and you say that is your husband. No way! But I believe in God guiding you to make the right choice and if you marry the right person, let him or her be your friend. Don’t marry a rich man that has 10 or 20 homes in Ajah and another in Lekki, you will not have a say because you were not there when they were building them. Marry whom God has designed for you and that is what I believe in.
Who is your kind of man?
Most importantly, he must be God fearing, a caring man, nice man and a giving man. I like a cute man, but not that you have to be drop dead like Brad Pitt. But he can be cute enough. Be of good height, because I don’t like short men and that is all for me.
NB: First published March 2015
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