Femi Brainard, a regular face on a number of TV series and a cross-over actor, has been described as one of the scandal-free actors in Nollywood. The artiste recently quit bachelorhood when he took his heartthrob, Uche Nwokocha as wife. In this interview with DUPE AYINLA-OLASUKANMI, Brainard talks about life as a married man and how they both manage their time, among other issues.
APART from your pet project, what other thing do you have at hand at the moment?
Apart from my project, I also dabble into events running and management
Would it be right to say that you have been cutting down on movies lately?
I’ve not been cutting down on movies. I must admit, I do more of soaps because it’s longer lasting.
Could it be that being married is keeping you away from acting?
Marriage is not taking me away from acting. It’s my first love
How would you describe your present status, compared to when you were single?
My present status is more serene as opposed to when I wasn’t married. I see life differently now.
Tell us, what attracted you to your wife?
The major attraction to my wife was and still is her zeal in wanting to help others and her calm mien.
As a public figure married to a public figure too, how do you manage your time together?
As a public figure, family comes first. You go out to hustle but make sure you come home. The day you start allowing your hustle to take first place in your life, then your home becomes a house.
How long have you known each other?
We’ve been together for a long while.
When did you make up your mind to settle down?
I finally made up my mind to tie the knot when I noticed that I was empty without her.
A number of actors and actresses are known to have ventured into producing and directing; do you also have interest in this area?
Actors make good producers and directors because they started from scratch. I’ll eventually become one
Now that you are married, how do you ward off your female admirers, especially those who tend to be aggressive?
To my female fans I say a big thank you but I never allow them get in my way.
Have you been to a public function with your wife and you had to deal with a female fan who makes advances at you?
God has been kind to me and I do my best possible to carry people along.
What do you consider as a good script?
A good script has to teach good morals and have a ting of social thrust
How do you manage, married to a lady from another tribe?
I fail to see the proverbial tribe barrier. We all have our different culture though. This presupposes that both parties respect that, list or no list
When you are not busy moving from one set to another, what do you do?
When I’m not shooting, I’m at home.
Who would you say are your mentors in the industry?
My mentor is Olu Jacobs.
What was it like working with Hollywood stars that came in for Doctor Bello?
Working with Isaiah Washington and our home grown celebs was like working with any other person; great as always.
Having featured in the movie, what do you think about cancer, the theme on which the movie is centered?
I honestly think there is a cure for cancer and other life threatening diseases, but Man is yet to patent it.
What would you say to aspiring talents looking forward to making a stand in the industry?
They should look to loving what they do before jumping into it. It can be a rough road. They shouldn’t go looking for fame only.
What are some of the awards you have won as an actor?
I have received quite a number of awards. Some of them include Best Actor, English African Award, UK 2011 and Merit Award for Best Actor on Educational Development by Upper Hands Consult 2009.
What can you remember about you childhood?
I loved cowboys and guns as a kid. Back then, I used to make gun holsters with cardboard papers, clip it to my belt and stick my toy gun in it.
If given the chance, what would you change about yourself?
I would change my mood swings. I can be annoyingly quiet at times.
What would you have done, if you were not into acting?
I would love to have been a farmer. I love planting and seeing things grow. But Ayo Adesanya said no, that I should try my hands on acting. It was her who took me to Uncle Tunji Bamishigbin and that was it. Professionally, I started acting in 1997.
How would you describe your relationship with Ayo Adesanya?
She is a friend, colleague and family. We met like about 14years ago and thought I would fare better in entertainment. That was how it began. My first scene ever was with Funsho Adeolu, which didn’t go down well because I was scared when I saw the camera. It wasn’t funny. I rehearsed my lines with Funso Adeolu and Jide Alibi then. They took me through the ropes, told me it was easy. I had gotten my lines, only for me to see the camera, hear the word “action” and everything I had read grew wings. Uncle T was so mad at me. I got home that day feeling dejected because I had let everybody down. Little did I know about editing, only for me to see myself on screen that same day in the rested soap opera, Palace. I liked it and made up my mind to shape up or ship out. I felt it was something I could do with the support of my parents.
What was it like shooting the movie Love is not Enough?
It was fun being on that set. The story is actually about the character of Ken played by my humble self. He finds his true love in Adesuwa, but is still hunted by his ex-girlfriend, Patra. Patra jilted Ken because he couldn’t foot her expensive lifestyle. But out of the blues, she wants him back. A battle then ensues. I believe viewers will learn from the movie because the first thing I learnt was and is to be contented with what you have. If God creates the chance for more, then go ahead and have some more. Otherwise, what you have at hand should be enough for you.
Which would you say brought you to limelight, movie or soaps?
It wasn’t a film that brought me to the limelight. It was the rested soap opera Palace produced by Tunji Bamishigbin, followed by Tajudeen Adepetu’s Everyday People. My first film was Contractors 1&2 produced by Messrs Tunji and Ralph.
How would you describe your career so far?
It has been wonderful, with a bit of ups and downs. Life is not a bed of roses. Gone are the days when opportunities came in droves. Now, you have to create the opportunities via friends and loved ones. But it’s been fun. The beauty of being an actor is that you get to play the role of so many people, hence, the versatility of actors worldwide. It’s more interesting when you are on a set with like minds. It makes the job go faster; like minds being old and new actors.
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