Why actors should put the status bar aside – Ade Tiger
A Nollywood actor, Titilope Kuti, played the role of Ade Tiger in the popular King of Boys – The Return of the King, a seven-episode Netflix film directed by Kemi Adetiba. In this interview, Kuti talked about what makes him unique as an actor and what the industry should be like.
Yese have been in the film industry for a few years now; have you ever enjoyed the kind of public attention you get with king of boys?
No. The closest was my telecommunications endorsement deal back when I was modeling.
You interpreted your role in King of Boys so easily that one wonders if you encountered any difficulties during production. Did you encounter any challenges?
There were a lot of challenges. Anyone who dares the impossible must also be ready to take on impossible challenges. But every hurdle was worth jumping because we all had the right perspective of what shooting King of Boys properly would do for the Nollywood industry as a whole.
What attracted you to the role?
Kemi Adetiba’s boldness in attempting to make a film with such a level of linguistic representation and our indigenous cultural values represented a break from the norm.
The entertainment industry is full of competition, what do you do to stay unique as an actor?
I try to be as original as possible with any character I’m assigned to play. I take my time and I work to immerse myself in the character. And I think of the industry as a whole and what my contribution will add to its progress through each project.
What are some of the difficulties one can encounter in the film industry?
Getting opportunities can be difficult. Sometimes it can take years, but you should never stop preparing. Typing can also be a challenge, as can face-casting, as most big faces are considered for roles first, a situation that limits opportunities to discover new talent.
When you started acting, how did you feel working alongside Nollywood stars?
It felt good, but the truth is that I think the actors should put aside the status bar and link properly, because that will always reflect on the delivery. King of Boys is a successful project. All actors – big or small – were on neutral ground. The bond was incredible. And that helped the project a lot.
Who is your role model in the industry and why?
I have watched many people’s careers over the years, both at home and abroad, and admired their articulation, talent and consistency. In Nigeria I have Shola Sobowale, Akin Lewis, Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD), while overseas I have Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington and Jamie Foxx. I love how they reflected true passion, hard work and consistency.
Do you still model?
Yes. However, I can’t mention my most recent endorsement as they haven’t made an announcement yet, but it’s with a very popular drink brand.
What are the challenges associated with modelling?
Modeling in Nigeria is not at its best at the moment as it is characterized by low pay, disorganized audition structure and other issues. Therefore, to leave a mark, you need to add value to yourself in other areas of visual media, such as acting, social media influence, etc. The days when you could make a living from modeling in Nigeria are over. Now you have to be dynamic, penetrate the industry from different angles to get good modeling deals; which are mostly endorsements these days.
How do you react when you receive a negative opinion on a service?
I take it from an opinion point of view. I listen to what they say, filtering out the negative or how it was said. And I try to develop in all areas that need improvement.
How do you handle the admiration of female fans?
It is positive energy; When you give people an experience with your performance, they will definitely celebrate you in different ways. If you understand where the emotion comes from, it will give way to tolerance and patience. So I treat them with appreciation too, patience and a deeper perspective of understanding.
What’s the most outrageous message you’ve received from a fan?
Are you gay?
Are there things you would like to do besides play?
It’s philanthropy, which I already do; also, discovery, military, which might be too late.
What would you have done differently if you had had the opportunity to join the army? For philanthropy, what are your targets?
The army is a life in the service of humanity. I have always been a service oriented person, always with the greater good in mind. My philanthropy is primarily about leaving a mark on the world and helping others develop their capacity to grow. Many things are related to my career.
When exactly did you start playing and what challenges did you encounter? What would you like to change or improve in the industry if you had the chance?
I started acting in 2005, with TV commercials as my first platform, but my first screen role or film was in 2010 when I filmed a series called “Emerald”.
Industry challenges remain constant, including face-casting, which limits the chances of discovering new talent. I will improve it if I have the opportunity; auditions, structure and typography will also hopefully improve.
What would you suggest to future actors and artists?
I will encourage them to know why they are in the business, to find a real passion for what they do, to keep learning and growing, to let go of pride and to do what is necessary by passing auditions, subscribing to master series, finding mentors, watching and shadowing them. They should also show up every day, even when they fail and things don’t work out. They should try as much as possible to look beyond financial gains and popularity, but understand that they carry the weight of an entire industry on their shoulders with all the performance opportunities.
Where do you see your career in the next five years?
I continue to grow and learn, to work to prepare myself for the next opportunity that the universe presents to me to mark my career. So while I can’t say where I’ll be in five years, I can exceed my expectations.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on new projects, both personal and commissioned, but I won’t let the cat out of the bag.