The industry still needs a lot of reform-Adeniyi Johnson


Adeniyi Johnson is a Nigerian actor and compere whose acting prowess has surely paved way for him since he joined the creative industry some years ago; For him, concentrating on his job and putting his best foot forward always means so much to him more than anything at the moment. The crossover actor in this chat with OMONIYI ALLI spoke about his career on why he will reject a role, project, assessment of the industry amongst others.

Looking at your acting career over the years, you have been ticking all the boxes and making yourself available for the big jobs.

Did you see any of these coming when you started as an actor?

The truth is that I have always seen the bigger picture in my head. I knew how I wanted my career to pan out and I have consistently worked on my flaws to give my best to any good job that comes my way. Having said that, I saw success coming because as a man or somebody who wants to keep growing in life, you should understand the philosophy that no one starts small and wants to remain small forever. At every stage of growth, there will be challenges, strong enough to pull you down. But you must never remain down should you fall at any point. I guess that was what worked and still works for me.

You are one of the few Yoruba-speaking movie actors that get called up for jobs from the English- speaking movie producers.

How do you see the two sides?

They are both acting anyways but one has a wider reach due to the language and the other is kind of restricted because of language barrier. Also, I don’t see it in any special way because the fact remains that both sides are lovely and they present almost a similar experience for me. Each comes with its sweetness, pleasure and pains. That’s the way I see it.

It is believed they pay well because they have the biggest market and financiers in top places. Is this true?
The fact that the language cut across gives them leverage and makes their market bigger and when you sell well u pay well. It is not a hidden fact that Yoruba movie is restricted due to language barrier. But I love my job and I am always ready to give my best anytime the opportunity to tell a story presents itself, whether in English or Yoruba-speaking movies.

Looking back at the journey, will you say acting has been profitable to you?

Of course, for something that puts food on my table at all times, I can ride my own car and pay my bills; most definitely it has really been profitable and getting fulfilled as well.

If not acting, what else would you have ventured into?

Definitely, Football and music because I love playing drums; it will interest you to know that my friends often time call me drummer boy because I sometimes play the drum in the church during service.

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It’s the second quarter of the year, how has the year been for you so far?

Firstly, I will give God all the praise and adoration for how far he has brought me as an actor of note. And, of course, I will describe the experience as awesome and great. I would not have come this far without the grace of God and the support of my fans. I don’t take these things for granted because they mean so much to me.

I appreciate the growth and the success stories that people are associating with. It shows I have done quite well. I am not resting on whatever oars that I have got; I just want to keep going. So, talking about the experience, I will say I am truly enjoying the experience even though it has been a bitter-sweet experience but in all I am thankful.

Any regret?

Not at all, God has been on the throne and things are falling in place for me.

As a professional, what do you think is classified as a good script?

A good script as we all know is one which must have a good plot, a concert central idea which is the theme and the major which is the storyline. A good and in-depth storyline is what is concerned a good script as this will help create a glue with the audience via the several techniques employed which includes suspense, thriller amongst others.

What would make you reject a role?

The weakness in a story/script will sometimes make me reject one because once a storyline is loose; it will be difficult for the audience who are the consumers to understand and appreciate the efforts of the actors involved. Also, I will reject roles if it promotes nudity because my culture frowns at it and I will definitely not be a part of it.

If you are to write a story about yourself, what will be the title and why?

I will title the story ‘Anu’ which means Grace because despite all my shortcomings and challenges of the past, only one thing has kept me going this far which is grace and that is what I have been enjoying and favourable doors have been opening for me at all times.

Do you have dream roles, if yes share with us?

Of course, I am yet to play my entire desired role even though I have played a couple of roles but believe me sincerely I look forward to playing the role of a Deaf & Dumb man or a Blind Man.

What does style mean to you?

Style means Simplicity and comfortability to me because I am of this school of thought that you don’t have to break the bank to look good. Keep it simple always and have at the back of your mind that the way you dress is the way you will be addressed.

What won’t you be caught dead wearing?

Definitely Earrings except in movies; don’t get me wrong I don’t detest those that put it on; it’s just not my style.

What is your assessment of the movie industry generally?

I can boastfully say that the industry before I joined and now has been a revolving one; they have been a lot of improvements in terms of the quality of movies we roll out, the industry still needs lots of reforms but it is also noteworthy that we have upped our game in the kind of equipment that we use in shooting our movies; for me, we can only get better over time

If you are to advise the younger version of yourself what will you tell him?

Just few words to the younger version of me which is to work hard, pray harder and stay focused; above all don’t get involved in crime.

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