DEMI BANWOWake me up lovelies!!!Tell me it’s June already, how time flies!! Hope it’s not too late to wish you guys happy new month.Welcome to Entertainment stars where we celebrate exceptional people in the entertainment industry. Everyone in Nollywood wishes to be in Hollywood but our entertainment star this month left Hollywood to find Nollywood; I’m sure you can’t wait to hear this gist as Otekunrin Oluwatomi of Laveronica magazine chats with the super mega Star Actor Demi Banwo in an exclusive interview.Don’t miss reading this, you will love it. LVM: There are so many questions we want to ask but the top on our list is your Hollywood to Nollywood, Tell us your journey into finding Nollywood?. DEMI: (Smiles) Tomi, welcome and it’s my pleasure being here on Laveronica magazine. Hmmmm my Hollywood to Nollywood story is kind of funny but emotional as well. It’s a long story but, I will shorten it. I have always known I will be an actor since I was 4 years old. I remember I was in US (North Carolina), after my 1st degree, I auditioned for ‘Glee’ and the feedback was great and, I reached out to my friend Dayo Okinne, I was sure I will be in LA but I have to inform my dad that I was going to LA, inform him I was going to LA To start acting, I called him and he didn’t say anything, he called back and blasted me for like 10mins. All thanks to my mum, she called to encourage me, she told me that my dad just wanted me to have a plan before going to LA. I actually had a plan to come renew my student visa and so I parked for just two weeks and it became 8years,(smiles). lo and behold it wasn’t possible. I felt stocked in Nigeria, so later I figured out the next plan which was NYSC, fortunately, got a placement at Smooth FM and I was retained, worked for three years as a presenter and producer. At a point I focused on wedding photography which was very lucrative, I made a lot of money.

LVM: (Cut – in) So why did you leave photography?

DEMI: I was getting roles and it was all about the money for photography, work was much and at a point, I had to choose between acting and wedding photography despite the fact that wedding photography sustained me for years, but; I already know I will pick acting because I have known that acting is part of my life since when I was 4. It wasn’t an easy thing for me to do as well considering my giant strides at that time that wedding photography isn’t a big deal like now.LVM: When you packed for just two weeks to Nigeria then and your two weeks extended to 8yrs. How did you handle that life-threatening situation?DEMI: I love that phrase” life threatening”. It was a moment I can’t forget in my life I thought I was stocked in Nigeria but it was a blessing in disguise. I took 24hrs to think about everything and after some time, I moved on and continue with life. It’s been a roller coaster kind of experience but here we are still pushing. It’s not funny, I thought I was losing my mind but I came out strong.LVM: How did actor “Demi” turned producer? Demi: Trust me producing was a future plan for me not something I want to do now but life happens sometimes for good. I shy away from the business side of Nollywood but now, I’m beginning to see the reality myself. You all should watch out for a block buster movie coming out soonest.

LVM: What was it like then, after MSC in film, TV and musical theatre, getting to Nigeria and Navigating your way in Nollywood? DEM: It wasn’t easy but I continue to press on I remember before I went to film school , I already featured in Gidi up, an Ndani series, Hotel Majestic and some other. When I got back, I got a REDTV series called inspector K where the character needs to speak pidgin, fresh from London, I have to take some time to work on my pidgin and I did. I also work as a producer then.LVM: You’ve been in Nollywood for some years now, what are your reservations about the industry?. DEMI: It’s a growing and thriving industry, I’m happy I’m part of it. I love everything about Nollywood; our story telling method, look at the much talked about Netflix original series “Blood sister”, the cast did an amazing job. There are so many buzz about the series because of the fact that they pay more attention to details. I have reservation about costume. I love when a movie show rich costumes, I fight sometimes with customiers when they say I should bring my clothes, I tell them that there is a magic that comes with an actor wearing costume but when I wear my dress I’ m still “Demi” not the character. Also sometime some actors who don’t have much followers on social media don’t get most role despite the fact that they are great actor, they might just not be a social media freak but, producers want an actor with 5 million followers on IG. Now as a producer I understand but we must find a balance, we should not just make some social media sensations actors because some of them are not. I think we do more of marketing strategy than casting in nollywood most times. But in all Nollywood is a big deal and we are making a lot of progress though there is room for improvement. We have some casting directors (though not common here in Nollywood) who are trying to bring about new actors who are good but haven’t been given a chance to prove themselves. I think some of the audience are getting tired of same faces, There is a need for these fresh talents to be given a chance .

LVM: What is your most challenging role up until now?Dem: Most of all the roles are challenging, I will not get a character I don’t like, as a trained actor you should be able to play any role. It’s not easy playing who you are not but it’s easy playing who are the character is and make it believable. That’s the work of an actor. I’m very passionate about my work though not all about money but I’m an advocate of the fact that creatives should be adequately remunerated. We need money too, people should watch us play good roles, we must live a good life as well.

LVM: What is your parent’s take now that you have become a full time actor especially your dad?

DEMI: Fortunately, my dad is one of my diehard fan now even an investor, he wants to know about Nollywood especially the business part of it. My mom is late, she was very supportive. My dad is now of my cheerleader.

LVM: Apart from Nollywood, what else do you do?DEMI: (Smiles) off record I’m a baker, I sell nice bread, you should order one, you will love it. LVM: Sure you are not giving up on your Hollywood dreams

DEMI: Definitely not, fingers crossed, you guys should watch out LVM: Will you consider wedding photography one of these days?DEMI: Good question, people still ask when I’m going to pick up my camera, will be doing one for my friend later in the year so if you see me at the event taking pictures just Holla at your boy (smiles) Tomi, to be frank, it’s not easy doing photography with acting but will do this for a friend soon.DEMI What kind of woman tickles your fancy?

DEMI: (smile) Have we gotten to that? I like independent, intelligent and smart woman who has her life and not that everything about her life should evolve around me alone.LVM: So what is the eligible bachelor Demi still doing on the single street roaming freely?

DEMI: (laughs-out-loud) I’m married to Jesus! Seriously it will happen in His time, for now let me focus on my craft and get better.

LVM: What do you want to tell your fansDEMI: (Smile) oh! I have fans, okay my darling fans, keep supporting your boy. Keep up the support, I love you guys and I want to thank La Veronica magazine for this feature and I appreciate you Tomi for coming all the way.

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