Tell us about yourself and what you do for a living?
And: My name is Sophie Alakija, I’m a wife and mother. I act for a living.
ON YOUR PERSONALITY
Tell us a bit about your childhood and growing up in Lagos.
My childhood was fun because I have a lot of siblings so we had activities most of the time, didn’t have a lot of friends so it was just us against the world. Growing up in Lagos was quite an experience, almost everyone on the street yelling ‘oyinbo’ as we walked by which was pretty embarrassing but I got over it as I got older.
We know you can dance and act, what other talents or skill do you poses?
I don’t dance so much anymore so it’s just acting basically. I really enjoy cooking but wouldn’t consider it a talent.
Describe your personality, how would your friends describe you?
Honestly, I’m still finding myself. What I can say so far is I have an amazing sense of humor and those that really know me see me as sweet, humble,fun loving, crazy, weird.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would that be?
Absolutely nothing. I wouldn’t be who I am if I changed a thing.
Did you ever dream of being of being an actor?
I always dreamt of being an actor and so I would watch award shows like the Oscars and Golden Globes and day dream about accepting one and giving a speech someday.
Tell us about some of the challenges you gone through to get to this point in life?
Some of the challenges I’ve gone through are being turned down and outrightly rejected. Sometimes because of my race I’m denied roles because I’m not ‘Nigerian enough’
What was your most frustrating moment in life and how did you overcome it?
Trying to prove myself to people. I overcame that by realizing all I had to do was put more effort into my work and letting that speak for itself.
ON YOUR CAREER
You’re fast becoming a household name in the movie industry.
Kindly mention some of the movies you’ve starred in.
I’ve starred in Silverspoon, A time to heal, In our Trap, August visitor, Ordinary people, Happy birthday dad, Drawing Strength and a couple more.
What has been your biggest role in a movie and how challenging was it for you?
I’ve done quite a number of lead roles which were big for me but I’ll have to hand the most challenging to Drawing Strength. It was challenging because I had to leave my family and travel out of the state and I was pregnant at the time as well.
How difficult is acting and how much effort do you put into portraying a role?
For me acting isn’t all that difficult because I love what I do. I put everything into making sure I give life to a character because people are getting a message through me and I have to make it as relatable as possible.
What sacrifices have you made to foster your career?
Things like leaving my family to go film, putting some delicate things on hold just to make sure a production isn’t held back. Very late nights, very early mornings… Quite a number of sacrifices have been made really.
In view of your successes so far, what ‘bitter truth’ would you give to aspiring actors?
Nothing comes easy. Instagram and the likes shouldn’t deceive you into believing it’s always flashy, You have to put work into becoming the best you can be at your craft. Practice, Work hard, pray hard.
Would you list passion as a necessity in becoming a successful movie star?
Please give reasons.
I would definitely list passion as a necessity. From my experience and in my opinion, without passion there really isn’t much to offer as an actor. You have to feel it to be it.
How’s celebrity life?
Celebrity is another realm entirely, especially being in the social media age. It’s fun but most times one has to be careful as not to be misinterpreted. For me, what I enjoy most is when my art is appreciated.
Do you ever feel pressured when on stage with the industry’s BIG names?
So far I haven’t been on stage but I’m sure when the time comes I’ll have the most fun with it rather than be pressured.
You’ve indeed come a long way in getting to where you are today, how would summarize the experience?
The experience has been a lot different from what I imagined but I would say it’s been amazing.
What’s the one thing your fans do NOT know about you?
I’m a weirdo!
Besides the well anticipated TV series ‘SCANDAL’ and the movie ‘GETTING OVER HIM’ – what should your teaming fans expect from you in the new year?
Drawing strength will be out and I really can’t wait for everyone to see it because it was such a wonderful experience filming this particular movie. I’d like to believe I have some supporters out there so please stay tuned because the new year is going to be filled with a whole lot of surprises and I can’t wait to share it with you guys.
ON FAMILY/ Relationships
What’s your take on Marriage?
For me marriage has been an amazing experience. I married my best friend and it’s the best decision I’ve made so far.
What comes first, your career or your family? How do you prioritize?
Family always comes first for me. It’s family first, then my career comes right after.
Has being a celebrity affected your family life or relationships in anyway?
It hasn’t because thankfully I have an amazing husband that keeps me level headed and other family members holding me down as well.
How do juggle being a mum and an actress, does it come with challenges?
Being a mom and an actress definitely comes with challenges. Sometimes I go days without seeing my son which is difficult but thankfully I have family members that help out while I’m away.
Do you sometimes wish you were not famous?
I don’t think I’ve gotten there yet. Lol
ON Lighter Note
What has been your most embarrassing moment as an actress?
Well, a very embarrassing moment for me was on set of a movie. We were filming a scene where I had to be in bed making a call and I was wearing a night gown underneath a duvet. The sound guy had issues with the mic and the makeup artist trying to assist him lifted up the duvet without any questions and there I was with the night gown rolled up and just my underwear starring at them both in the face. In all honesty I snapped and was in a mood but I snapped right out after a couple of minutes. I felt like sinking into bed.
If you could eliminate one odour, what would that be?
If I could eliminate one odour in the world it would be mouth odour
If you could only save one thing in your handbag, what would that be?
What would I find in your refrigerator?
If you had the ability to change the situation in Nigeria today, what would you do?
I would definitely put the right things in place (whatever it might be) so as for a lot less people to be hungry and homeless and also to have constant light and better roads.
Copyright FRUIT TREE MAGAZINE Dec. 2017