Nigeria: AMVCA Nomination For “Excess Luggage” Isn’t A Surprise To Me – IK Ogbonna

As of 30th of June, Nollywood actor IK Ogbonna was nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy for his role in Damijo Efe Young’s “Excess Luggage,” marking it his second AMVCA nomination.
During an interview, the actor talked about his nomination, which he says wasn’t exactly a surprise to him.

He also talked about being stereotyped in the industry, being ‘one of the worst Nollywood actorss’ at a time, and choosing “The Washerman” over a London set film which would have paid him more money.

Read interview below:

On not being surprised by his AMVCA nomination
I won’t say I was surprised, because from the movie set, all the actors involved – Mike Ezuruonye to Queen Nwokoye, to even Mercy Aigbe and Nino who came to visit us on set – kept saying, ‘you’re going to get a nomination for this performance.

And I was on the thread. I wasn’t sure if it would happen. I went on to win a few awards: African Film Festival Best Supporting actor and World music and Independent Film Festival in America, with the same movie.

So, I have won a few awards with this particular project, and seeing the AMVCA coming through and still nominating me is just another form of encouragement for me and my craft.

On breaking stereotypes
I think the mind works in a very powerful way. When you focus your mind on a particular thing, you start attracting those things your way.

I was stereotyped to be the gigolo and fine boy actor [and] I wanted to desperately break out of that stereotype. I created the story for “Excess Luggage,” and I didn’t know what character I would be playing while creating it.

I was probably going to play the role Denrele Edun played, but the director insisted that I played that particular character. So I was like, ‘okay, let’s make it happen.’

The first time I got nominated, I played the normal fine boy character, and that was 2014. In 2015, I got nominated again for another fine boy character, and the following year, I got nominated for a different character I played in a movie called “Stop,” where I was an Ebola patient from the ghetto.

And now this. It’s all thank to God and everyone who believes in me.

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On being called one of the worst actors in Nollywood
I just came back from Enugu before I went to Liberia for my first epic film with Nadia Buari, and no one thought I could pull it [the epic film] off. But I got on set and a director that believed in me did the right costuming and makeup, and then boom!

It’s a refreshing feel. I have been in the industry for four to five year now and I don’t want to do the same thing back to back.

I still get those type of roles – the movie I am working on with Mercy Johnson is actually a ‘fine boy role,’ but I also get called for those different roles because now, people can see my versatility. And that’s my joy.

When I started acting, I was regarded as one of the worst actors in the industry and people didn’t believe in me that much, but I am one person that always believes that I can do anything.

So anything I start, I must get to the apex of it. So I had to go and do my research. I researched different websites and YouTube pages for acting classes. And today, I am nominated for virtually every award you have out there.

It’s refreshing to see that as I put in more work, it’s being recognised.

On going for more challenging roles
I like challenges, the bigger the challenge, the more smile I have on my face. I get all kinds of scripts.

Like “The Washerman” film, I was supposed to be shooting in London that same period – the pay was bigger, but it was the same kind of [old] role – and Etinosa calls me and says, ‘IK, I want you to be on this particular project.’

I remember I got back from Atlanta that night, and I was on her set the next day.

So I was supposed to go from Atlanta to London for that project, which would probably have been, in the eyes of the world, a bigger project, but, I went for a nicer story that would portray me in a different light.

IK Ogbonna would next be seen in the upcoming comedy film, “The Washerman,” which is set to be released this August.


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