‘I learnt a lot things from the movie’ – Denrele Edun
How easy was it to get into character considering the eccentricity?
I think it was extremely easy I am not going to deny but where I had a lot of work to do was the first day of shoot that I feel and slit my eyebrow, I had to act for the next three days and then I was in so much pain.
I had nonstop migraine. My head was aching and I had to be very careful not to contort my face too much so the wound will not split open and start bleeding again. The fall came at the wrong time.
What was the experience like on set?
It was brilliant because it was like a high school reunion, family reunion. I met Brian at the Warri Fashion Week and Brian is Kenyan and I told him Brian read this script, come and feature in this movie. And Lillian, Monalisa, all of us came together to do the movie and you know how it is when you are working in the right atmosphere and you are in a comfortable environment with everyone that is ready to get the job done. So it was family oriented and brilliant all the way.
Immediately after the fall, was there a moment you thought about that’s the end of the movie?
I think the producer was a bit worried because they must have said this is his first scene, and this is happening, that he won’t be able to act in the film and how are we going to replace him. Then we were rehearsing and you know when I say the show must go on and every was panicking around me. But I did not panic, if you even watch the video, I was smiling but I was truly bleeding, just to make sure the executive producer, Dr Maymunah did not freak out as well.
So, I just told them, don’t worry, we will shoot this movie. The producer wanted to strike set and say end of movie. But I said no, we will get it done. At the end of the day, production has no excuses. The show must go on. As a true artist, as a theatre practitioner the show must go on.
Tell us a bit about your role in the movie?
When I saw the script and I saw Denrele, I had to ask myself if I am Denrele that will play the normal person as Denrele. I like the script and I like the fact that I was taking pepper soup to ginger because I like pepper soup.
Before I get on stage, I will either take catfish pepper soup or goat meat pepper soup because pepper gingers me. So, I was like fantastic and the character shed light on what a lot of entertainers do these days. Let’s face it, a lot of us take things that our body cannot carry just to ginger our performance because if we don’t take these substances, our deliverables and our performance will be very average and the organizers will be disappointed and the pay will not be complete.
Also, it is not about the performance, a lot of entertainers take these things back to back in order to knock out of depression or knock out of the headache they are going through or how the industry is throwing madness at them. But for me, I don’t drink and I don’t smoke. So, I do not know how it feels to be high because I am on a natural high. In this movie, I think I try to convey that experience of highness before you get on stage.
I know a lot of people when they are high, they say a lot of things, so, it happens a lot.
On another note, do you see people interpreting Denrele the pepper soup actor and Denrele the individual?
It is normal, they will do it, everybody who watches this movie will think I have been drinking and smoking but at the end of the day, it is your conscience when you go back home. Like me when I get home, I have a peaceful mind, I have tranquility and I am not thinking of someone I am owing or I am calling a dealer to bring me SK. But I have friends who do such and I also order for my friends just to make them comfortable. But with this production, I have decided not to call all such again and encourage such.
Would you say acting in Pepper Soup has changed your perspective about life generally?
Yes, it has. The scripting was brilliant and it would not have come out a better time and again it taught me some personal lessons like falling down and getting the job done. I applaud myself for that.
‘We should be careful of everything’ – Layole Oyatogun
How easy it was acting in this movie?
I started my career with broadcasting before I started acting, so it was easy breezy because I had to play myself, I had to play Layole Oyatogun, the TV presenter. I was meant to interview the lead character, Denrele, so it was easy for me.
What was your experience like on set?
It was wonderful, especially when you get to work with people like Grace Edwin Okon, who was the director. Denrele has been my friend for a long time, Lillian Afegbai, Lisa Omorodion, they are great actors. These people do such a wonderful job and they make it easy for you to interpret your character. So I enjoyed every moment of been on set.
When Denrele had that fall, what came to your mind?
The thing is, I was not on set on that day but I had a call where they told me, I was like my goodness, this is horrible. But they called me later and said Denrele did not agree because to be a professional, you have to do anything under any type of pressure. So, I heard he was still going to continue acting, I was like wow!
Denrele is a professional to the core, I admire his competence. I admire the fact that he decided to continue to the end, I really applaud him for that.
What is your take about the movie Pepper Soup?
A lot of people have been asking me what pepper soup is all about, but to me, it is a movie that enlightens people, educates people and basically teaches about the ills of the society. You have to be careful where you eat, you have to be careful where you drink and this is a true life story because the executive producer is a doctor and the patient was brought to her, who had started behaving funny.
So, I tell people, it is not only people who walk naked or half naked on the road are crazy, when someone around you starts acting funny then you will know that something is wrong. So, they investigated and found out that there was a joint where he was taking pepper soup and the woman was putting drugs in the pepper soup to get people addicted and to keep coming back.
I am hoping that every Nigerian will be careful where they eat, where they drink, private parties where they can spike your drinks and all that. Because we only have one life to live so be careful what you take in.