Nollywood star, Rykardo Agbor from Ikom, Cross River State is a cinematic force to embrace. He told IFECHI OKOH, how one can bridge the Yoruba and English movie sectors successfully for VERIFIED NEWS NGR.
How did your romance with the theatre start and what efforts made it faster and better?
My romance with the industry started as far back as 1992 when Leo Merenini took me to Fidelis Duker’s office for an audition of ‘Visa to Hell’. That time, there was no GSM. So, getting information as it is today wasn’t easy. Hence I strongly believe that my foray was divinely arranged through my friend, whom I was coming back with from a modeling audition.
Did your involvement with modeling give you the expected push when you went into acting?
It didn’t give me any kind of push, except that as a model, I was better equipped as to what to wear and how to wear it, thereby communicating effectively. The only slight relationship between modeling and acting lies in the fact that both showcase different platforms to make me the cynosure of all eyes.
What were your initial challenges as an actor?
My major challenge was my parents because they thought acting was for loafers. However, I had to excuse them so as to enlighten them that acting wasn’t demeaning as they thought. I had to do this to change their misleading mind. I was very frank in course of my enlightenment. I told them that I had gone to school and came out as expected. As a result, they should be happy over that and even pray for my chosen profession. Today, acting is no longer as they thought because I have been able to prove successfully that acting is not for loafers after all. They have as a result, taken back their initial wrong belief and are happy with me as a successful actor. Today, I am happy about my choice and they (parents) are proud of me. I can tell you right away that they now think otherwise about acting.
May we know if what you read in school is relevant to what you are doing?
Oh yes! It is very much because I read Mass Communication. What we are doing in movies is simply mass communicating; although, it is to a different demography. That is some members of the audience could include lawyers, doctors and politicians. Firstly it has really helped me to deliver my lines clearly thereby communicating effectively as a role interpreter who actually knows his onions. Secondly, my majoring in broadcasting has also facilitated my getting more roles and better pay as a professional that I am. What I am doing is to educate, inform and entertain the mass audience through my role as an actor in movies.
Do you think you will flow well if you leave acting for broadcasting?
Yes, I will if I leave the theater today because I trained formally as a broadcaster and I thank God that I can speak well as a tutored mass communicator.
You are quite at home at both the English and Yoruba genres of Nollywood?
All I can say is that I am lucky to have been born in Lagos and raised here too, so it is easy for me to speak Yoruba well till date. The same goes for the English language because I went to a school where English was taught with all commitment. Although success comes spiritually, it must be backed up with hard work. Majority of the success people are talking here have to do more with special grace of God. I want to use my case as a cross over actor to demonstrate this. There is no doubt that there are many crossover actors like me, but I may have been given more roles and better pay than others. This is not by my making but by God’s special grace. Aside from this clause, one must learn to be street wise, that is grabbing and applying some mannerisms popularly with the people. With this well-reflected in your acting you are bound to be the darling of the producers and directors.
Does Yoruba movie sector pay as much as the English?
Not quite! However, one’s artistic ability plays very important role in either the Yoruba or English movies. I must confess here that most people hardly know that apart from English, I speak Yoruba and that I do it appreciably.
Let us go a bit personal. Can we know your secret heartache?
Hmm…. I would say for now that I have no heartache; I might have had some that may have to do with things that I can’t help, for instance I am yet to get certain things or positions which I think is not out of my reach with many exposure and social standing however, I must confess that I don’t really think much about such things because I am one of those who believe in the will of God which nobody can change. That is the simple truth of this matter.
How do you feel if the opposite sex appreciates you?
I feel great because women are the thermometers to gauge one’s appreciation or otherwise.