Lilian Bach: I have no regrets


She’s tall, beautiful; her skin glows even in the dark. And she’s got the kind of figure every man would die for.  A former model, beauty queen and now a successful Nollywood actress, she commands attention everywhere she goes. Little wonder she was easily chosen to be the face of a popular toilet soap.

Welcome to the world of half Polish and half Nigerian born Lilian Bach.

Where do we categorize you: Nigerian or foreigner?

I’m partly Nigerian and partly Polish. My dad was from Poland, while my mother hails from Isala-Eko in central Lagos. I started off as a model before I veered into acting. I have been in the movie industry since 1997. But I actually started modelling in 1989. I’m not married at the moment.

How did you become the Face of Delta Soap?

I became the Face of Delta in 2000, and I reigned for two years before another Delta Face took over from me.

Is that what brought you to the limelight?

Not really because that was just a modelling job. I believe I have always been in the limelight. It’s just that modelling didn’t give me much publicity when I started out. But like I said, I got into the acting profession in 1997 and then, I guess, I didn’t have enough experience.

The first two jobs I did were not rewarding at all, as one of the producers absconded with my fee. The second job was not encouraging to me, resulting in my taking a break for some time. When I came back, I did movies like, Married to a Witch, From Grace to Grass. And these movies, I would say, brought me into the limelight in the acting profession.

You appear to be a shy person. Are you shy when you want to face the camera?

I’m like the late king of pop music, Michael Jackson. Michael was a very shy person but when it came to his work, he was no longer the shy guy we used to know. Outside of acting, I’m a very shy person. When I’m working or acting, I try as much as possible to do away with shyness to enable me to interpret my role brilliantly, otherwise I would not be seen as a good actress.

How’s your father?

My father is late now.

What’s your relationship with his family in Poland?

I don’t know much about my dad’s family. They speak Polish and if there’s need for me to communicate with them, I usually engage an interpreter. I don’t speak or understand the language. But I speak Yoruba fluently.

Where did you grow up – here in Nigeria or in Poland?

I grew up here in Nigeria. When my father was alive, he was always on transfer from one state to another. We have lived virtually in all the major cities of the country – Port-Harcourt, Ibadan, Abeokuta….

How was it growing up?

It was very interesting. I was very close to my dad. And I learnt a lot of things from him. That’s why I found myself doing a whole lot of things; drawing and designing things. My dad was a mechanical engineer by training, but he could do a whole lot of things for himself. Somehow, because I was very close to him, I found myself doing a lot of things too. I can draw, design and so on.

At what age did you lose your father?

I lost my father at the age of 10.

What did he die of?

He died of a stroke.

What’s your impression with the way Nigerian movies celebrate ritualism, prostitution and blood?

You will be disappointed to hear that I don’t really watch many of our local movies because each time I watch the movies I feel discouraged.

It’s surprising to hear that you don’t watch the movies you are part of making.

Yes. But this is the only way I think I can make a change. I now own a production outfit. I think, I can instigate a change in the industry through producing my own movies that would be of some standard, devoid of any shortcomings. I’m about to start very soon.

How much are you worth in Nollywood?

To be honest with you, we are not making any money in the industry. We are only in this profession for the love of it, hoping that actors/actresses will one day do a job and live on the fee earned from that job for the rest of the year.

What’s your love life like?

I’m in a relationship and I am happy. I’m not going to say more than that.

Is it a personal decision not to get married?

I have to look before I leap. I don’t want to have this record of divorce in marriage. Let me put it that way. It’s not as if I have not had some bitter experiences along the line, but it’s easier to break off a relationship than a marriage.

How many men have you disappointed, and how many of them have disappointed you?

I have actually disappointed a lot of men. But I believe these men I disappointed were not good men. It’s not in my character to disappoint people, especially the opposite sex. And again, it’s better for me to end a bad relationship rather than hanging on to it and regretting. I have no regrets whatsoever.

You play a lot of bad girl roles. What is the difference between make-believe and reality?

I guess I’m a good girl. I don’t have any dealings with bad people. ( adapted)

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