*What she will do if her husband is not good enough in bed *What refusing a director sex cost her
Fast-rising Nollywood actress, Queeneth Agbor, courageously took the bull by the horn when she relocated all the way from Calabar to Lagos to pursue her dream career, acting. Riding on the crest of divine grace and providence, the sensual actress has since been on the rise in the Nigerian movie industry. In this chat with Showtime Celebrity, the sultry actress, who visited Vanguard’s office in Kirikiri unravels a lot of interesting secrets about her childhood, career, sex, love and life.
What was it like coming from Calabar to Lagos? It wasn’t that easy for me at first, you know Calabar is a small and calm city compared to Lagos, which is a busy city characterised by a lot of hustle and bustle; traffic everywhere, too many people. It wasn’t easy but with time I had to acclimatise and settled into the system because I came to Lagos for nothing else but to pursue my dream and so I had to settle in real fast. It’s been God all the way, it’s been fine, I thank God for everything. I didn’t have accommodation challenge because I had a cousin that was living in Lagos so I stayed with her for a while before I got my own apartment. My cousin was there for me, she assisted me in acclimatising with the Lagos life.
How would you describe your career so far? Wow! If I’m to describe my career in one word, I would say ‘great’, because it’s been God’s grace all through. I didn’t just start acting after relocating from Calabar, I had to enroll in an acting school because I had the passion for acting but I didn’t have a background in theatre arts. I had never been in front of the cameras or where a movie was being shot, so I had to enroll in an acting school for three months after which I was chosen for a lead role at the first audition I went for. It was actually a short movie, so that really gave me the courage that I was on the right track, though there were occasional challenges along the way. There was a time I was picked for a sub-lead role alongside Tonto Dikeh, after being given the script I was later dropped for someone else just because I refused to have sex with the director.
I told him I couldn’t do it, even for the role, because I didn’t choose acting as a career to do things like that. Before I started acting, I had already heard a lot about the industry, but I decided that I wasn’t going to stoop so low as to have sex with a producer or director for a movie role, after going to an acting school to acquire the needed skill for the job. I didn’t come all the way from Calabar to Lagos for that, so because I refused I was asked to drop the script. I refused not because the guy was ugly; it was about what I wanted, if I began sleeping around for a movie role, how many times would I have to do that and how many people would I have to sleep with? I just couldn’t do it
Having sex is actually not a bad thing, but having it in that context means people won’t value you for you, this is a career that you don’t use sex to climb the ladder of success. It’s a different thing entirely if you ask me out on a normal day and I like you, that’s quite different. But when I have sex with you for a movie role, it means I’ve lost my value, I’ve lost all the respect I’m supposed to get from you or any other person.
The thing is, the moment you have sex with one person for a movie role, it will be difficult to stop. You may have to continue having sex for all your jobs and you will lose focus. It’s okay if you have sex with your boyfriend, but not just anybody, because you should have your self-worth as a lady. After this episode, I posted something on Facebook about my experience, within a short while, a marketer I’ve never met before contacted me, sent me the script for a job, without even knowing me from Adam, and that was it. I didn’t have to sleep with him or do anything naughty. I went to Asaba to do the job; I worked with this man without him making a single pass at me.
How would you describe sexual harassment? It’s normal thing for a guy to want to have sex with a girl, but at a point where you want me to pick between two options all because you want to have sex with me, like I go for a job interview and you want to have sex with me before I can be employed, that’s sexual harassment. Why put me in such precarious situation because you’re in the position to give me something I really need? That is sexual harassment, pure harassment. Of course, it’s not bad to admire a girl, because as a girl if no one admires you in a day then you have to go back to your village and wash your head. I have never slept with a director or producer for a job. Funny enough, a year after, that same producer whom I refused to sleep with later called me for a series of jobs. In fact, he recommended me for several other jobs without asking for sex or even making a pass at me.
At what point in your career did you feel you were on the right track? Remember I said earlier that I was given a major role at my first audition. But when I actually began to feel I was on the right track was when I was called up for another job after being dropped by one producer because I refused to have sex with him. I felt so bad after that experience, but when I was called for another job shortly after, I said to myself “this is God at work”. When the film came out, my picture was on the jacket and poster, I was so happy because I felt like I was getting there. People began to call me from Calabar saying they saw me on the poster and jackets of a new movie, I was very excited. At that point, I believed there was no turning back because I felt I was on the right track. All these happened in 2013, between that time and now, I’ve played lead roles in several good movies, such as Hooked, alongside Francis Duru and some Ghanaian actors, where I had to speak with the Ghanaian accent, and many others.
Which movie would you say was the most challenging, and why? I’ve not played a movie role that gave me so much challenge; in fact I’m still looking for that movie role that will break me. Though the movie I just finished shooting was a little bit challenging because I played a dual role, I was a double (twin) in the movie, the two characters had two different personalities and attributes. So it was not so easy switching between two characters, it was a bit difficult but not challenging because I’m still looking for a movie role that will be really challenging for me. Yes, every movie role has its challenges, don’t get me wrong. There was a movie in which I had to cry, like cry really deep, it was difficult for me to stop crying on set because I found myself immersed in the character I was playing. Even after the movie shoot I was still feeling the character’s pains, so I just kept crying. That wasn’t the only time I felt so attached to a role I played. For every role I play, I try as much as possible to place myself in the shoes of the character; this would help me to act out the role as I’m supposed to. Movie is make-belief, so you have to assume the nature and character of the role you’re playing.
In Nollywood, how do you get into a character to be able to play the role effectively? If I’m given a script to act as a doctor, all I’ve to do is pick a particular doctor and study him; he may not even know I’m watching him. I can just pay him occasional visits in the hospital and study his daily routine, mannerisms and other things, that way I’ll be able to have a better perspective what I need to act the role effectively. As an actor, you watch people a lot, there’s something called memory box, if I see a madman on the street I study him and store it in my memory box because it would come in handy anytime and when you don’t even expect.
What made you believe you had the talent to act? As a child, I was always mischievous; I could be whatever I wanted to be. As a growing child, if you sent me on an errand and I didn’t want to go, I could feign sickness right on the spot, like serious sickness that you would believe it. Immediately you ask me to go and sleep you’ll see me laughing and playing almost right away. I acted my way to adulthood, if I didn’t want to go to school or do something, I knew how to act my way out if it, and so I was known to be a drama queen.
How do you feel when you are given a role where you have to kiss? Always remember that acting is make-believe, I can kiss you now and feel nothing. As far as its action on set I can kiss anybody, there’s nothing attached after the director says “cut”. And if after you come to me and say hello I can slap you. There’s no attachment to the kiss, it’s just the job, it’s a script. I’ve had to kiss a guy I hated, from the first time I saw him on set I hated him, but I had to kiss him during the movie shoot, it’s my job and I had to do it.
Have you ever experienced chemistry on set? No. But it happens though, kissing one actor or the other has always been the same for me. I’ve not seen that actor that I shared chemistry with on set, maybe it’s my mind. It’s possible to have a crush on a big actor and then when you see him on set it’s gone, you begin to see him as a colleague and not a crush. There are times when I’ve had to kiss so deep on set, but I’ve never given any guy that power over me to make me develop chemistry with him on set.
Can you go nude on set? No, I can go under the bed sheet but not nude. Even for 10 million dollars I wouldn’t go nude on set (laughs).
You once said you will never date an Igbo guy again because your ex-boyfriend slapped you when he saw you kissing on set and he was Igbo. Kindly shed more light on this I have nothing against Igbo guys. Not dating an Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba guy is a personal decision. I have gotten a lot of threats since the statement was made, so I wouldn’t want to talk about it. After I said this, a lot of people asked me what is with Igbo guys that I hate? The truth is, Igbo guys are domineering, and they have the tendency to be violent. They have this crude mentality of women being totally submissive to a man, the slave-like submission and I hate it.
If you have the opportunity to choose a tribe to marry, which tribe would it be? When I start thinking of marriage I will give that a consideration. I have as well heard things about Yoruba guys that they are philanderers. At the appointed time, that is, when God says it is time, I will choose, but for now, I can’t say. On a second thought, I think I want to transfer my gene elsewhere. Mind you, I have dated a Fulani guy before (laughs).
What would you do if after marriage you discover you husband is not good in bed? I’ll cut corners. Even God will understand but I will still love him. It’s not like I’m mean, it’s just understandable that sex is important in marriage.
What is your take on sex before marriage? The truth is the bible forbids it, but I need to know what’s in the package before I get into it. Not to discover after marriage that the package is not good. That’s why some girls cheat. Imagine on the first night together after marriage and you are on the bed waiting for the action but he knows practically nothing, you then find yourself saying “Jesus! How did I get myself into this?” Two month later you are looking for the next available option, a hawk to catch as an escape route. If you had tasted the package you won’t fall such a victim. That is why I feel you have to taste it even if it’s once (laughs), Just a taste at least. I can’t cheat when in love though.
Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/07/take-dating-igbo-yoruba-hausa-guys-queeneth-agbor/