If we are to describe Ijeoma Grace Agu in three words, they would be audacious, gutsy and down-to-earth. If you have any doubts, reading this interview or watching any movie she featured in will clear them. She is a prolific actor, producer and director with a long list of films to her credit including Misfit (2013), Love In A Time Of Kekes (2018), The Ghost And The House Of Truth (2019), and of recent 10 Songs For Charity (2021) and Swallow (2021). She understands the role every time and always delivers brilliantly.
We first interviewed Ijeoma Grace Agu in the November 2014 issue of our magazine, just after she scooped the “Most Promising Actress” Award at the 2014 Best Of Nollywood Awards. Seven years down the line, she is still passionately pursuing acting like she just got started. Ms Agu recently won the “Best Actress” Award at the 2021 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF). Get to know this screen diva some more in the interview below. Enjoy and feel free to leave a comment!
Please share a bit about your background, when you were born, education, family?
Born in Anambra State. Grew up in Benin and Lagos. Had my primary and secondary school in Benin at Franej International School. Studied Applied Biochemistry at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
When was the first time you realised you wanted to be an actor?
At age 14, seeing my friend on screen. There and then I ran to her house asked how she got to be on screen. Registered at the local theatre and went on to perform a couple of works by Femi Osofisan, Williams Shakespeare. There was no going back from that.
Is there a particular movie you believe brought you to the limelight?
Hood Rush and Misfit.
What other creative works do you do asides from acting? And If not acting, what else would you consider as a full-time job?
Just Acting. Nothing but acting.
In your opinion, is the current Nollywood the best it can be? What do you think Nollywood should do more of and what should it do less of?
Nollywood can be better in terms of structure and skillset.
What notable challenges have you experienced as a Nollywood actor?
Sourcing for the right material. Working with like minds.
What is that achievement you look forward to achieving that will serve as the pinnacle of your acting career?
None. I just want to be a working actor. For every individual my work and art touches, that’s enough for me.
Which role has been your most challenging to date?
Swallow, how was it like being Rose?
Rose was feisty and real. It was fun playing her.
Tell us about your experience filming 10 Songs For Charity.
It was hard as we had to film in winter. I don’t like cold. Asides that, it was a great experience as an actor.
Winning at the 2021 AFRIFF Globe Awards, did you expect it? How did you feel on winning?
I didn’t expect to win. Had forgotten there was a Best Actress category. Winning felt good. Nominated alongside people I admired and respected was the icing – Kehinde Bankole, Goodness Emmanuel, Belinda Yanga.
What’s one piece of advice you will give to upcoming actors and those who look to you as a role model?
I am not a role model. I chart my own course and walk my own path, like we all should. If you want a career in acting, start with an awareness of self. After that get some training. There is a method to the madness.