Star of Holy Prostitute, Ken Eric Ugo, an indigene of Anambra State and a graduate of Theatre Arts from NnamdiAzikwe University, in this interview with The Oracle Today’s DOUGLAS OMOYOOMA, talks about his journey to stardom,challenges and, of course, his kind of woman.
Was it always your dream to become an entertainer?
Yes, I was a very good entertainer when I was a kid. I used to be drawn to anything artistic. I could go to where there was a live band playing and just sit and watch. I knew right from when I was at a tender age that I passionately loved entertainment because I had this strong passion for the arts. However, talking about being where I am today, I will say that I never dreamt about it. I come from a very liberal family. My parents didn’t have a problem with what we wanted to be; all they care about is get a good education, be disciplined and do not dent the family name.
Did anyone try to discourage you as a green horns?
Yes, but the discouragement I had was never from my family or close friends. My family has been supportive. However, it was coming from colleagues who taught that there were so many people in the industry hence my chances were pretty slim but I am not a quitter; I have never given up on anything because I am frustrated except I lose interest.
What were your challenges as an up-and-coming actor?
Challenges will always be there but the ability to surmount determines how far you can go in this business because definitely, there are so many people who has the same interest as you, who want to act, who probably have got better talent than you. Basically, what has led me through have been persistence, perseverance, patience and determination and of course, prayers.
When you watch your movies, do you feel that there are some areas you would have done better sometimes?
I used to find it very awkward watching my films I must confess. It was strange but at some point I told myself that if I needed to improve, then I must watch my movies. Once in a while, I try to watch to see where I can improve on and I think it is very necessary for every artist.
Beyond what we see on TV, who is the real Ken Eric?
Ken is the guy next door. This is just me, no plus, and no minus. I am a simply guy who grew up like every other child. I was born in the North, in Kano State precisely and I had my early education there before coming down to the east for my higher education. And then I did my youth service in Kaduna after which I ventured into the movie industry.
What has stardom denied you?
First of all, you must know that the advantages of stardom outweigh the disadvantage but then, you don’t have your privacy any more so sometimes, you can’t be who you want to be. But then, the most painful part is that you get to lose a lot a friends; people you can call real friends because those are the people who knew you when you were nobody.
I am talking about people you grew up with and hung out with you and then all of a sudden, you become this person they see on screen and them you get busy and the gap between you and them widens because there are demands of the job weighing on you and though you try as much as possible to explain but some do not seem to understand. So, it is painful because I value and I cherish friendship; without friends I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Looking at all the movies you have done so far, which is the most challenging?
Every film I have ever done is challenging; every single one of them. I am the kind of actor that considers every role I play challenging because of the training I have. No single character makes a movie. Even the least role is very important without which the movie is incomplete. What I do is that I try to immense myself into the character and I observe.
What is the craziest thing a female fan has ever done to you?
I have had incidents though I do not want to exaggerate or take it for granted but I know I’ve had embarrassing moments with fans, on the streets, at the mall, in the cinema, so many places. I have seen people scream my name; hug me from behind and a lot. Some fans told me that all she ever wanted to do was to set her eyes on me. And the day she saw me, she did something funny (laughter).
How do you handle your female fans?
Oh very well. I have very good relationship with them. I adore my female fans because they have really shown me tremendous support and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They like me for who I am even though some try to cross the line which is natural.
Are you still single or married?
I actually don’t want to discuss my private life.
But your female fans deserve to know in order to keep their eye off you…
I am actually not telling anybody, keep your eye off me or on me, I won’t discuss my privacy.
Which actors influenced your acting career?
I look up to RMD, Ramsey Nouah, Sam Dede, Desmond Eliot and John Nzeama who particularly influenced my acting greatly.
What is your advice to up-and-coming actors and actresses?
Be good and work on yourself. You need contacts, you need to attend auditions, you need to do movies but what you need most is work on yourself to be a good actor and every other thing will fall into place. If need be get training, make sure you are a good actor so that whenever the opportunity comes, you do not flop. Have patience, you will have a lot rejection, discouragement but make sure you don’t give up.
What is your ideal woman?
My ideal woman? Beauty is fine but I look mostly at the heart and intelligence. I love intelligent bold and sexy women; I have never been with any woman who isn’t intelligent. Once you are intelligent, you have me.