Interviews

Lead actor in Invasion 1897, Mike Omoregbee, Ovonramwen speaks

MIKE Omoregbee

MIKE Omoregbee played the lead, Oba Ovonramwen in the historical film, Invasion 1897.  His debut in Nollywood, the Benin, Edo based actor shares his experience on set of the just-concluded international movie project.  He also unveiled his family…

Invasion 1897 poster

Invasion 1897 poster

You should be joyous as Invasion 1897 finally sees the light of the day?

Yes, I am indeed.  There is something interesting when you are shooting a movie, you just do your part, trusting the camera men will do their beats.  Sometimes, you have this doubt, if they are really getting you.  So, when I saw the trailer today at Silverbird, I was convinced it was a nice job. I was really thrilled.

And all the stunts, how did you do all that?

I have always been a production person even when it wasn’t financially rewarding. While I was in the university, we did a lot of acting.  It was more like stage.  We are used to it, late nights, rehearsals, long time acting.  But I must say this is the first time I would be acting for film.  And I needed to learn something.  I think I still need to learn something.

What are your most exciting moments on set?

There are a couple of them. One was the scene with the late Flavian Okogie.  There was a scene we acted together where I was doubting his sincerity.  I particularly loved that scene.  He was a wonderful actor.  When you are acting with professionals of that standard, it fires you.  And of course, the popular scene, I said, ‘I’m spirit, I’m spirit.  Spirits don’t need protection.’

How much of Ovonramwen as an Edo man or student of history do you really know?

A lot.  I read his history in and out.  In fact, in 1988, I did my degree work on Ola Rotimi’s Ovonramwen Nogbaisi.  I even went to see the late Professor of Drama.  I went to the custodians of the history of the Benins to find out things about the legend.  So, before I took up the lead role, I had a whole lot of background information about the historical figure.

Are you prepared for the fame playing the lead in Invasion would give you?

I’m prepared for this. I have always been in the front role of many endeavours I embark upon, but not at this scale.

Let’s get to meet you more personally.

I’m Mike Omoregbee.  I am married to Edna.

How long have you been married?

Na women dey remember that one o.  We got married in 1997.

How many kids have you got?

Just one, we are working on more.

What do you cherish most about family life?

The family.  The fact you have a place to go back after a difficult day’s work.  It is here you have people who love you very deeply just the way you are.

Where are you based? Are you planning to relocate to Lagos?

No, I’m not. If I will ever relocate to any town, it wouldn’t be Lagos.  Don’t ask me why please (laughs).

How would you describe the director of Invasion 1897, Lancelot Imasuen and the entire cast and crew?

The cast and crew were simply wonderful.  Lancelot is the governor.  He did a lot in the film.  I had a great time working with him.  He is also growing.  We shouldn’t rule that out.  I know that his best is yet to come.

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