-Speaks on why he’s constantly kissing in movies
Jibola Dabor has definitely paid his dues in the make-believe world. The Owo, Ondo born actor came down to Nigeria from the United Kindgom years back to pursue his career ad he has excelled. ENCOMIUM Weekly had a telephone interview with him on Thursday, June 30, 2011, about his success story and of course, why he takes kissing roles a lot.
What is so special about acting that you chose to make it a life long career?
I think the most important part is passion. Whatever you do that makes you happy is your passion. When you go away from your passion, life becomes boring. I chose acting because my life has been all about acting. What I love to do most is the stage. It is not only about that, I am a writer and a director but acting is my life. I don’t have to look at the fact the acting is lucrative or not. When we started the theatre, we didn’t get anything from it, but I continued.
How long do you intend to stay in Nollywood?
Acting is my life, I will live and die acting.
For you to be where you are today, what would you say were the circumstances that shaped your life?
Everybody know that what shapes lie most is experience. I think what has shaped me over the year was my tour of the world, mixing with various cultures. There were the things that shaped my lifestyle and what I do.
Would you say you made any painful sacrifice to be where you are ready?
Of course, I have paid the price. When we started the theatre, we were not paid, people laughed at us, they said we were lazy. Those studying law or medicine thought we were not serious. But now we have lawyers and bankers who have left their jobs for the theatre. We have worked hard but we have also shown the world that whatever you choose to do, you can become big there. I have paid my dues and even over paid. There was a time that I couldn’t afford N10.00 for my rent. I was going hungry, I was not eating because there was n money to eat. You were turned away by girls you liked because you were not working in the bank. Nasty experiences like that.
When you consider all these sacrifices and where you are today, would you say it has been rewarding?
Oh yes, I don’t know if it’s rewarding but fulfilling because I understand if we say rewarding, we are talking about money. We are nowhere near our colleagues in the Western world. When we talk about rewarding, we are not making money but of course, I am fulfilled because I have become a household name. I can travel from East to West, North to South. A lot of people watch your work and appreciate it. I think that is rewarding and …
Do you think good actors are born or made?
I believe actors are born, but if somebody helps you explore that talent that is when you become made. But if you don’t have the talent at all, nobody can make you, nobody can teach you. You need to have the skills naturally, then it can be sharpened through tutelage.
What role are you most comfortable with?
I am comfortable with any role. If you watch me movies, I have played a poor man, a king, a married man, an Alhaji, a gigolo. I am comfortable with any role I can play any character.
What are the factors you put into consideration before accepting a script?
I think I take the message very serious because the world of an actor is like a gospel, people that are watching will believe what you tell them. I don’t want to pass the wrong message. It is like reading a book. Especially children, they easily believe what they see. So, I consider the message, what I want to pass across. I also consider the culture, the importance of any message is okay by me, I can take it. There was a movie I was to act as a warlord, I didn’t really like that character but because of the message, I accepted the movie. That is the kind of actor that I am.
You like taking up kissing roles, why?
I will say yes and no. Yes, in the sense that I am a man who loves a lot. However, you have to know that I did not cast myself in these roles. The producers, directors or even the casting director cast people who they believe can play a particular role netter. By my status, I no longer go for audition, they invite me. After writing a story and going through it, the producers will look for someone who can play the role. So, I will be invited. I don’t go there to say I want to act a role. That is not how it works. Somebody will cast the role, it doesn’t mean that is what I like to do, it is a role I was given to play.
It seems most producers call you for kissing role?
What their reason is, I don’t know (laughs).
But do you enjoy such roles?
I do, I do.
I enjoy other roles too. Nothing comes out of it. If I enjoy those roles, it is because of he interaction with the people on set. There are sometimes that your spirit does not go well with those you want to kiss.
In situations like that, when you spirit does not go with someone you want to kiss, would you drop the role?
As an actor, what I do is such situation is to become the character and stop being myself. It is me who doesn’t go with that person but the character is different from me, so, I have to become the character. In real life, some ladies that I have kissed on set are people who I wouldn’t have moved close to, not to talk of kissing them. Not because they are not beautiful but because they don’t interest me. But as an actor, I have to become such character.
Do you get sexually excited when acting love scenes?
(Laughs) Maybe it happens t some people but let me tell you a scenario why it is impossible to get sexually excited. In that room where you are trying to kiss, there are a lot of people there. There is somebody holding a microphone above your head so that they can hear your voices, there are about four lights there with you, you have the cameraman there, the director, the continuity guy with the tracker board. They are all there watching. So, you can’t get excited it is even very difficult to get sexually excited. There are so many people there. So it is not possible.
Are you in a relationship?
Yes, I am in a wonderful relationship with a woman I love very much. But I don’t want to talk about it now. Right now, we are taking it a step at a time. I am preparing for my first daughter’s wedding very soon.
So, you are considering another shot at marriage?
Yes, I am. Hopefully, next year. I was considering this year before but I want my daughter to enjoy hers.
How long have you been together?
Over a year now, we met in Nigeria here.
Why is it difficult to reconcile with your ex-wife?
Why the issue of reconciliation when she has married another husband over two years now. But we are still good friends. She is still the mother of my son, she is a wonderful lady, whatever happened between us was divine. She is in love with her husband and they are doing great. We spoke not too long ago, she is with her husband in the U.S.
In 2009, you said you wanted to shoot a movie but it didn’t see the light of the day. Some people alleged that your ex spearheaded it, that when you broke up with her, the movie was stalled?
That is not true. There was a movie we did together, after going our separate ways, there was another movie I started working on. By the grace of God, it will be out very soon. I am in my hometown (Ondo) working on it. It will be out very son. I and Binta Mogaji produced Jumbo together. I was the executive producer, Ayo was the producer. Amofin, my movie will soon be out.
What religion do you profess?
I was born a Christian but I love the tradition of my people. I love traditional religion, we still believe we serve the same God.
People alleged that you are a typical Babalawo?
(Laughs) I wished I had enough knowledge to be a babalawo. It takes a lot to be a babalawo. It is not like going to a seminary to learn. It is about our oral tradition, you must be able to develop yourself to that level. I take spirituality very serious. I had a great great uncle who was a babalawo. I don’t detest being a babalawo but I am not qualified to be one. It is just that I respect the tradition of our people. I still pray to Jesus Christ our Lord. This morning, I woke up, knelt down and prayed to Jesus Christ our Lord.
You don’t feature in Yoruba movies like before, why?
I still feature in Yoruba movies, it is just that I am busy now with English movies. English movie producers notify us on time ahead of time, so it is more difficult for Yoruba movie producers to get me.
Most of your love scenes are done alongside Tonto Dike, why?
Those things you watch in movie is a kind of fraud Nigerians producers to to actors. All the movies I have done with Tonto Dike shouldn’t be more than one of two movies. When producers get on set, we shoot a lot of scenes and they tell us it is Part 1, 2, 3, 4. Later you will start seeing another movie with the same scene we acted and they will give it different scenes?
So, why do producers pair the two of you in love scenes?
That is for our producers to answer. But all producers will look for the best person to play their role. A lot of people come for auditioning; they will pick the best persons for the role. It is not my doing.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, July 05, 2011