Tope Tedela was quite busy in 2015.
The Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA), Best of Nollywood (BON) and Golden Icons Academy Awards (GIAMA) winner’s biggest smashes of last year were arguably Niyi Akinmolayan‘s Out of Luck and A Soldier’s Story.
Tope, a University of Lagos (UNILAG) graduate is not short of talent. You might attempt to argue whether he should actually have become “bigger” than he is right now, but that is subjective.
TNS‘ Ruth Adebowale recently had a brief chat with the actor. He talked about how prepares for roles, his dream role, was he has in the offing for 2016 and more.
As an award winning actor, can you share with us some of the special processes you engage in when preparing for roles?
When playing a role, the idea is to create a living, breathing being. As an actor you meet these characters at a particular point in their lives so you want to create a biography for the character and really dig into what makes the character tick. I want to know the tiniest details as much as time for preparation permits and so on. For some roles, you have to pick up certain skills.
All in all, preparing for a role is a process of exploration and the subject matter can’t be exhausted in a single article.
What is your big dream role as a fast rising actor?
I play a role today and I think “this is one of the most challenging roles I’ve played” but I get another role and I say the same thing. I’m open to exploring the depths of my being in portraying any role and would rather not hold myself down by limiting myself to some dream role. Every new role is a fresh challenge and I want to always do better.
What speaks to you from your role in Out of Luck as Dapo?
Dapo stands as the epitome of the average man on the street who is just trying to fight his personal demons as he tries to navigate his way through this crazy world. Dapo shows that there is that innate ability in the human to get oneself out of dire situations and then forge a better way and life for oneself.
(I’m curious) If not an actor what profession would you choose to occupy?
I would probably be a musician, a writer or presenter and I have had experience in these endeavours at various points in my life. Acting just stole me away and I’m so glad it did.
Is there any special project from you we should look out for in 2016?
Oh yes! I have a couple projects coming which are really dear to my heart.
There’s the comedy Surulere directed by Mildred Okwo; Retreat and Jamestown directed by Victor Sanchez Aghahowa; there’s an epic also coming called Obaairi directed by Femi Adisa, an action thriller directed by Charles Uwagbai called Drive.
There are a couple more projects in the works which shall be revealed as the year unravels.