Princess Chineke, a former beauty queen-turned-actress is like a girl next door; cool and charming. The fair complexioned actress is one of the emerging hot faces to behold in Nollywood at the moment. She’s currently living out her dreams as she grooms models in her agency, Beacon Models. She will stop at nothing to tell you that she has a passion doing what she’s doing. In this encounter, she tells Showtime Celebrity that there is nothing wrong with kissing and smooching while on movie set.
My great grandfathers had the same surname. And to be honest with you, the name has opened doors for me. I went for a job some time ago and after the interview session, the judges wanted to know my surname and I mentioned Chineke. Immediately, the job was given to me. In fact, one of the judges told me that they gave me the job because of my surname.
My years of sojourn in the industry
I have not been regular even though I came into the industry in 2003. I left instantly and returned in 2005, when I did my first soap opera titled Tarima. I was more into modeling then, and thought that acting was the same thing as modelling.
Following the horrible experience I had as a starter in the industry. I didn’t want to make a career in acting because I had the fear that it wouldn’t be rewarding. But my fear was immediately dispelled when I did my first job and got a part- payment of N18,000. As a student then, it wasn’t a bad business But then, my mum at a point insisted that I must graduate first and foremost from the university first before pursuing my dream.
So, I had to focus on my studies until I graduated in 2006. In 2007, while I was waiting for my call up letter to proceed to the National Youth Service, I accompanied a friend to a movie location, where I was instantly hijacked and given a role to play in that movie.
My face adorned the poster and I didn’t see it as a big deal. I had done some modeling jobs in the past that showcased my face on billboards. But when I later discovered that it was a good beginning, I went for more roles. I did broadcasting in FRCN Training School, and I also did some business management courses after which I went to the New York Film Academy.
During that period, I travelled to the United Kingdom and Germany for film seminars. At the end, I realised I wanted to pitch my tent in the entertainment industry. And that was the more reason I attended the Film Academy between 2009 and early 2010. I didn’t return to the industry until last year.
Long time to hit stardom
Like I said earlier, I came into the industry in 2003. But I had a problem along the line with a producer who featured me in his movie and declined to pay my professional fees thereafter. I do not want to mention names. I asked him for my money and he became violent.
The best way I knew I could handle the situation then was to stop acting to concentrate on my modeling career. No matter how committed one could be to something if he or she meets a brick wall, the defense is natural; retreat and walk away.
Going to the New York Academy
A mentor in the industry advised me to go back to the classroom if I must be a good actress. I adhered to the advice and returned to the classroom to further my sharpen my acting skills.
As a young actress,the challenges are enormous. One would do a work without being paid anything. Sometimes, the producers would make empty promises that they would not fulfill. You can only endure if you are in the industry for the passion and not what you will make from it The producers will never be unkind to the established actors and actresses, the way they have been to the emerging stars. We shall all get there. And that’s where the big bucks roll in.
Yes! I was Miss UNIBEN during my undergraduate days at the University of Benin. I was also a runner- up during my youth service. In the mean time, I run a modeling agency, Beacon Models. It has not been easy but we can do it. Beacon Models took off in October last year. It’s been wonderful because setting up a modeling agency is not really about the money but the passion.
Last year, I had a clash of job interest where I was in a movie set and at the same time was expected to keep a date for a modeling job in another location. You can imagine what happened at the end. So, instead of modeling, I now groom young ones.
Kissing on set
It’s a make-believe as long as it lasts. Yes, it has to be real, but I wouldn’t go naked for any price. There is nothing wrong with kissing and smooching on set.
Movies I have done
I have featured in many movies and soap operas such as Ladies Cult, Tarima, Papa Ajasco, Bola’s Place, Echoes, Heroes and Zeroes, Rebound (shot in USA), Cut in the Middle,Where the Heart Lies, Courtesy of Vengeance, and Prize of Stardom. Also, my recent movies include; I did Last Flight to Abuja, Lady Gaga, Greatest Betrayal, Price of Stardom, and Adure, among others. I think Adure was challenging.
My kind of roles
I love to play roles that stand me out; a role that is challenging and uncommon. A role that will unveil my talent to the world. I also love motivating roles which I think I played in last flight to Abuja.
My driving force
My driving force is the fulfillment I derive from what I’m doing for a living. I earn more income in modelling than in acting, but what is keeping me going in the industry is that feeling of fulfillment I derive at the end of every movie production. I love acting, I love watching myself on TV.
Getting support from my parents
Funny enough, my parents are in support of my acting career. They love what I am doing for a living. I kept my own part of the bargain by getting my B sc. before launching out. They sponsored my trip abroad to seek for more knowledge in acting.
Singing as part of me
I have always been a singer, I do gospel music. But at the moment, I want to concentrate on my acting career until I am able to add music to it.
As an upcoming act, have you had any experience mixing with the famous faces?
I don’t think the famous actresses are snobbish. I just think if you meet them on set when they are trying to concentrate, they would not really listen to you because of the work at hand. I have had such experience with Omotola, we were on a set together and she was minding her business, obviously trying to concentrate. But when we met again at the hotel we both stayed, she was friendly to me.