1. 76 – is different … impactful – what personally drew you to take part in the project?
First the story being set in in 1976 was a big draw. I had never really done a period piece and I felt this would be a fantastic opportunity. 76 was a significant period in Nigeria’s history Secondly, the director Izu ojukwu is a filmmaker I greatly admire and I felt that if anyone could do justice to the story it would be him. I had worked with him before and I knew how much passion he has for making films.
2. What were your memories if any…or what did you know about this turbulent time in Nigeria’s history?
I have no first hand memories as I was a toddler. Anything I knew before working on 76 were just bits and pieces of information from family. I am not even so sure it was a part of history lessons in high school. Being cast for 76 gave me an opportunity to totally immerse in the history of that time.
3. What were the challenges you faced shooting the movie, also on the other side….. the best experiences you had filmng?
We had several challenges and I sometimes cringe when I remember some of them. We were away for 6 months and believe me being away for that long was a huge challenge. Even though we were camped in a hotel, we shot very long hours in the army barracks and the conditions were not so favorable there. We shot overnight sometimes and many of us got ill. Thank God I did not fall ill because I made sure I took my vitamins daily. We also had many logistics issues which were quite frustrating to my process as an actor but I had to find ways to overcome them. By the time we were done, I was completely drained and had nothing more to give.
Despite the challenges, we bonded very well both cast and crew. We found simple ways to stay happy and motivated. I was pregnant in the film so I had to add weight. I had fun eating lots of local dishes trying to pile on the pounds.
4. How do you feel the eleements of love and Heritage are covered in the film?
Considering the fact that the events in film happened only a few years after the Nigerian civil war, any love story had to be told within the context of the time. It was a taboo to date outside your tribe then not to talk of being Igbo and dating a man from the North who was also in the army and who may or may not have fought in the Biafran war. My character Suzie was also pregnant and unmarried so her relationship was a source of great disgrace to her family. I believe Izu treated these issues with a lot of sensitivity.
5. How do you feel about Love and Heritage in your own life?
I don’t think that things are that bad these days. I will date a man because I am attracted to him not because of his heritage.
6. Why should people see this movie?
It is a compelling story. I don’t think there is any such film that tells the story of the Nigerian Soldier in this manner. Many of us are indifferent to the sacrifices our military men and their families make in this part of the world. This film is a great start to changing that.
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Go exclusively behind the Scenes of 76 – The Movie : https://vimeo.com/172818771
Interview By Gordon Radley :
Senior Global News & Social Affairs Editor
Hollywood London : http://www.radleycorp.com