FAST rising actress, Funke Etti, is growing in leaps and in bounds in the industry. The hard working young role interpreter who has featured in over 80 flicks opened up to ENCOMIUM Weekly recently on her rumoured romance with Odunlade Adekola and Sam Egbegbe. Plus the new man in her life.
What has been happening to you lately?
We give glory to God, He has been good to me and so wonderful.
Can you remember how you came into the movie industry?
I came into the industry through one of my aunts that works at the Censors Board and another sister who is a marketer at Idumota, Lagos. Acting has been something I have always wanted to do, because I was into modelling before I finally came into the movie scene. That was about eight years ago.
How many movies have you featured in so far?
I have featured in about 80 to 100 movies.
Amongst them, how many did you produce yourself?
I only started producing my films last year. I produced Kikelomo Oluso and Kunle Omidini.
So, which of the 80 films can you still remember?
I can still remember Okun Idi, which I did with Funke Akindele, Toyin Aimakhu, Jide Kosoko and many other actors. I can also remember Gomina Ojo Kan 1 & 2. That was used to mark the birthday of the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2009.
Which one will you say was the most challenging?
I will say Gomina Ojo Kan and Ekun Meta. As for Gomina Ojo Kan, I had triplets in the movie, but I interpreted the role perfectly. Even when I saw the movie, I was surprised. I couldn’t believe it was me that acted that role. In Ekun Meta, I acted the role of a blind lady. Even the editor of the film was wondering if I was once blind.
Which film actually shot you to limelight?
Okun Idi. I played the role of a village girl that was brought to Lagos to mingle with some girls in school. And when I got there, I met Funke Akindele and Toyin Aimakhu who took me to a herbal doctor, who did some charms for us inside the waist bead and we used it to seduce men and if they fell victim, we dispossessed them of their money and lived like big babes.
How do you manage the fame that comes with acting?
We are coping. If you have the fear of God, you will know how to control yourself and never allow fame to overshadow you. You have to maintain it with wisdom.
What has been the major challenge over the years?
Lots of challenges. Some people usually say if you don’t sleep around with the producers, you won’t get anywhere. For me, I don’t believe in that. It is what you want to do that you will do. Even if the producer or marketer sleeps with you, if you are not good, you are not good. But when you are good, people will look for you.
Has there been a time you were harassed sexually?
Sexual harassment does not exist in the movie industry alone, it is everywhere. But what I know is that anything you do, just do it well.
Have you had any encounter with any producer before?
No, I have never. It’s not as if I am pretending or I am keeping it to myself, it has never happened. It’s not as if I am a saint, but it’s a fact that nobody in the industry has had anything to do with me.
What is the most annoying thing a fan has done to you?
Sometimes, I can’t even say it, but when I tell people, they would be like waoh! I have one message on my phone that reads: ‘Funke, will you give me just one chance to have you.’ And I have tried calling the number, the person won’t pick the call. Some people tell me, can you just allow me to touch your big breast. I don’t see why people should take one for granted in the course of appreciating you. One day, a guy rushed me and started kissing all parts of my body for no reason. And at the end of it all, he said he appreciates the way I act my movies.
How have you been coping?
By God’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding, we’ve been coping.
What’s your relationship with the other actresses?
I don’t have any problem with anyone. We are all sisters.
What is the relationship between you and Odunlade Adekola?
There is no serious relationship between us. Odun is just like a brother and a colleague. I always use him in most of my movies because I believe he gives me what I want. So, there is nothing special.
But that is the reason people are alleging that you guys are in a romantic relationship?
Don’t take this thing too far, what I mean is that Odun Adekola is a very good actor and all the allegations are just rumours. So, if I feature Femi Adebayo in my film, they will still say the same thing. I am not going out with him.
Who is that person you are dating in the industry?
Because by-gone is by-gone, I have only dated one person in the industry, but don’t even bother to ask me his name because I won’t tell you.
What about outside of the industry?
Of course, I have. But I can’t mention the person’s name, even though we are no more together and again, I am engaged now. I watch the way I talk and my behaviour.
What is the truth about your much celebrated romance with Seun Egbegbe?
Seun is a nice person, I can go out with him and later decide that I am no longer going out with him. It’s a personal issue. Again, I don’t want to bring my past into my present.
So, who is the lucky guy that you are engaged to now?
His name is Olami. That’s all I can say for now, I will keep you posted as things unfold.
So, how soon are you guys walking down the aisle?
Very, very soon by the grace of God.
What movie are you working on right now because we learnt you are on location?
I am working on my new movie, Kunle Onidiri. It is coming out soon. I know people will talk again because I have Odun Adekola in the film. My fans should expect something more in this new film coming out soon.
Where do we hope to see you in the next five years?
I want to be in my husband’s house, with my children flocking around me, by God’s grace.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, February 1, 2011