INTERVIEW WITH ACTOR CHIMEZIE IMO

Saturday, December 08, 2018

 Hey beautiful people,  how are you all doing? 
It's almost Christmas!!! Sending my best compliments of the season to each and every single one of you guys reading this.

This new interview is about triple threat Actor, Dancer and Singer Chimezie Imo, I first got blown away by him when I watched a monologue video he posted on Instagram about toxic masculinity and ever since every single body of work of his has just left me speechless. 
He is credited with nothing less than twenty movies in less than five years in the Nigerian movie industry and his spectacular ability to transform and give himself completely to a character is nothing short of amazing and I can't wait for you all to read about this brilliant and inspirational mind. 
Do Have a lovely read guys.

DVF: Welcome to the DvfStyleCollective, please tell me about yourself and background?

Chimezie: Thanks for having me. I am Brian Emmanuel Chimezie Imoh, i'm twenty six (26) years old and was born on the seventh of January 1992.
I am an actor and an entertainer, a graduate of Btech Applied Ecology from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi, Nigeria.
A food lover who dislikes negativity, toxic friendships and relationships but most of all I love peace of mind and I believe every one deserves a second chance.

DVF: Tell me about your childhood, what was growing up like for you and what are your fondest childhood memories?

Chimezie: Childhood was good for me, I was born in and spent most of my childhood in Apapa area of Lagos which is mostly known as one of the ghetto's in Lagos. 

I was born into a Christian, God fearing family and Attended Karo nursery and primary school, Gss Gwarinpa and Gsss pyakasa abuja.
Growing up I had very few friends because my parents were lovers of being indoors and wanted us (their kids) to be that way too and that was how my siblings and I grew up.

We hardly went to parties and if we just had to attend certain parties, I remember that our mum would make sure we eat to our satisfaction at home first before leaving for the party. 
She didn't want us looking forward to the food parties so much that we'd end up begging for it or trying to get it by whatever means necessary which generally is what kids do (laughs) .
So she really didn't want us to do that in public at all.

DVF: As a kid or growing up, do you recall what your first vivid and memorable exposure to entertainment was?

Chimezie: Yes that was in church.... the drama group of my church had a drama presentation and they were short of a cast and I approached them to please fill in and because it was an emergency they accepted and without rehearsals with them I was able to pull off the role,  that was my first real eye opening experience and I was six years old at the time. 


I remember seeing that a few people in the congregation were brought to tears when I acting and that was when the realization dawned on me that "this is it" this is what I would love to do with my life..... act, perform, reach out and touch people through this way

DVF: What was your parents /family's reaction to that?

Chimezie : They liked my performance and cheered me on and it was a bit of a surprise because never knew that I could act until that point but they all just thought it was a hobby, so they weren't bothered


DVF : What about when they realized that this wasn't just a hobby or a phase for you and it was something that you had developed passion for?

Chimezie : They weren't cool with the idea, my mum wanted me to be a medical doctor or at least  something in the medical field. So we had a serious talk about it and lots of fights also but they all support me now


DVF : Glad it's all worked out now. So after the church play, what came next.... What were the steps you took towards chasing this new found passion for acting?

Chimezie: After the church play I joined the church drama group,  did more plays with them and then I began to pray about it all for God's direction and then I went for what I wanted.  I attended auditions and made sure I left a good impression


DVF: What was your first audition like, tell me about that experience ?

Chimezie : It was exciting and scary for me especially because I was doing it at such a young age but have to say that generally like any other actor out there I have been turned down a couple of times and lost roles for different reasons like my height, not being buff and muscular enough but my first ever audition I did get the job

DVF: Really?...  That's really nice

Chimezie : Yeah, thanks. I was in Abuja and heard about an audition for a TV series called Learning Curves",  

I heard about it on the radio and decided to go for it,  I went and days later I got a a call that I had gotten the part.
My character was my exact opposite.  So I really had fun getting into that character

DVF : That being your first professional job as an actor, what lessons did you learn from it and what part of the experience did you take on with you that helped prepare and enhance your skills?

Chimezie : I learnt a lot , being my first on screen Job I learnt that being a stage actor is different from being an on screen actor,  I learnt to tone down expressions, learnt about voice modulation and blocking and a whole lot of other stuff


DVF : So during this process of becoming, who did you look up to as mentors in the movie industry?


Chimezie : Well to me a mentor is someone who I can approach and talk to, I didn't have that then. 

So I Just followed up on the work of some people who I loved their work but I have always looked up to, admired and been inspired by the likes of Eddie Murphy, Kimberly Ellis, Leonardo Dicaprio, Richard Mofe Damijo and Majid Michel.

DVF : That's a really good list of people, what was it like watching yourself on the TV for the first time?

Chimezie : Nerve wrecking , I am my biggest critic, I find it difficult and I cringe when I watch myself?

DVF : Your first major come back into the movie industry after Learning Curves was when you participated in the Next Movie Star reality TV competition, tell me about that whole experience?

Chimezie : That was about five years ago, funny how time flies. It was a very special experience for me because I actually didn't want to go for it, I didn't have the confidence or belief in myself as an actor but a friend of mine who's always believed in my talent bought me the auditions form and convinced me to go for it. 

I eventually went for the Abuja auditions and I ended up as the first runner up and that really gave me the closure and validation that I needed to believe in myself

Prior to doing the competition I was doubtful about my talent as an actor and was basically not certain that I was good enough so it really  made me believe a lot more in my self and I'll always be thankful for that.

DVF : How were you able to balance your studies and chasing your passion for acting despite the stressful and chaotic status of it all?

Chimezie : I had just gotten admission to the University , So mixing both wasn't easy. It was very conflicting, travelling from Bauchi to Lagos for auditions often was no joke at all . 

A lot of times I would spend almost all of my savings on travelling for auditions and I honestly don't even know how, but I did it (smiles)

DVF : So tell me about your first major job after the next movie star show?

Chimezie : First major project would be a sitcom called  90 Gogoro, It was a Comedy series and it was beautiful and fun. It aired across the country and it's still airing on some TV stations across Nigeria

DVF : How many movies and TV series have you have been in thus far?

Chimezie : They're really not that much, I do not have a clear count but the TV shows should be around five or six so far, I need to refer to my CV for exact details  

DVF : What has been your favorite character to play so far?

Chimezie : I enjoy every character that I have been blessed enough to play but my favorite would be Kezie in a series called Origin because playing that role allowed me to show a range of different emotions.


DVF : Okay so moving on what's been the toughest character you've had to play and why did you you find it to be a challenge?

Chimezie : I would have to say non, but not because there hasn't been characters that were tough to play but because I love a good challenge and so I look forward to playing challenging roles

DVF : What role would be a dream come true for you to play?

Chimezie : A leading role along side Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep and Viola Davis, a role with either of them would be a dream come true for sure   

DVF : That'll be quite amazing, anything is possible so I don't doubt the possibility of that. I'm keeping faith for that one

Chimezie : Thanks Bro


DVF : So which genre of movies are your favorite kinds to do?

Chimezie : I actually like them all but people say my strongest point is when I do thrillers,  but I believe that I can do them all

DVF : Of all the characters you've played and the stories you've been able to tell and share with the audience... which story have you felt the most connection or pride towards?

Chimezie : "Nimbe" a teenager who as a result of parental neglect found solace in hard drugs. I was really happy that I got to shed a light on an issue that sadly a lot of Nigerian youths are victims of and can relate to

DVF : How did you prepare to play that role?

Chimezie : I watched a lot of movies and read a lot of online articles that give in depth information about drug addiction and it's effects

DVF : Tell me about your role in the movie Shelter and why it was important for you to portray that role to the best of your abilities?

Chimezie : Well.... playing that role was very important for me because of the message behind it.
Bullying and domestic violence, which children and young adults experience and are often scared to talk about

DVF : What was it like for you when you began to work with major Nollywood actors, did you ever feel intimidated?

CHIMEZIE ON SET WITH STAN NZE
CHIMEZIE ON SET WITH TIMINI EGBUSON

CHIMEZIE WITH AMVCA WINNER BLOSSOM CHUKWUJEKWU

CHIMEZIE IMO ON THE MOVIE SET OF THE CURE WITH BIMBO AKINTOLA

Chimezie : I was never intimidated, I sometimes had moments when I got star struck but I was always chilled about the whole thing and enjoyed the process and just focused on the fact that we were all there to work

DVF: Let's talk a little bit about your style, tell me about it?

Chimezie: I love fashion in general but I dress according to my mood and everything that I wear has to be stylish, simplistic and comfortable 

DVF: Through your Instagram it's clear to see that your actively into fitness, so tell me a little bit about your fitness journey?

Chimezie: Yeah, I work out as often as I can but I do not have like a line up of fitness routines that I do, as an actor I think it's of importance to be fit. I do not do much weight lifting, I only do just enough to keep my body in the right shape

DVF: You're one of the prominent cast of MTV Shuga's latest season and it's a really popular series, how proud are you of being part of that show?



Chimezie: I'm very proud and happy of not only being on the show but also of being part of the message that it sends to the Youths. I have always been a fan of the show from it's very first season and I remember seeing an advert for auditions to join the show and I attended and I was excited to get the role of Shina and I still am 

DVF: Your character is a high school teenager, what has the experience of playing that character been like for you with this particular character as opposed to others because you have played a teenager in at least three other movies right?

Chimezie: It's been a smooth and fun experience, it's not been that much of a challenge to channel my teenage days because I've now played a high school teenager in about three movies already like you mentioned. 
I am a method actor and I take every role that I play really seriously and put in as much effort as possible to make the characters that I play realistic and believable. 

To bring a character to life, I become a plain canvas, I have learnt to give my mind, body, voice and every inch of me faithfully to the character and at that period in time Chimezie doesn't exist anymore but the character comes to life in full flesh
So for this time around I have had to make my voice softer on set to have that teenage boy voice and also what I do in general for this character is just take my mind back to what it felt like being in high school and even though I wasn't much of a being a rebellious teenager I knew and watched others who were so I just try to channel them to be able to really play Shina and the production team on Shuga do such an amazing job with the sets and costumes and that really has helped just make it even easier for everything to fall in place

DVF : What are your hopes and dreams for your future in the movie industry in general?

Chimezie : I'm hopeful that i'll become a house hold name around the world and inspire young and old people with my craft and obviously also make a lot of money too (smiles)

DVF : Would you consider producing, writing or directing movies someday or are you good with just the acting side of things?

Chimezie : I definitely would consider doing some behind the scenes work pretty soon, writing, producing and directing.
I would love to have professional training for those though

DVF : What kind of stories would you like to tell through movies?

Chimezie : I want to tell stories that literally affects any and everyone, stories that inspires and changes negative people to positive mindset-ted people and sometimes stories that might not make a lot of sense but is comedic and entertains

DVF : If you were placed in a position of power to handle things in Nollywood, what major aspects of it that you feel it's really lacking behind in that you'd like to implement a major change in?

Chimezie : Nollywood is evolving, though the issue of piracy is key and needs to be tackled so filmmakers can reap the benefits of their labor which in turn allows actors to get paid well and encourages the production of more good movies to be put out there without fear of incurring losses  

DVF : That's absolutely true, quickly before the last question please tell me two random fact about you?


Chimezie: My dad taught me how to cook 

DVF: Wow, truly random, I would have never guessed that. 

Chimezie: Yeah, he did. Taught me and my siblings and he showed us by example how women were truly meant to be treated in the home and made us to understand early on that they weren't just meant for the kitchen or to be housewives

DVF: I absolutely love that

Chimezie: Thanks, final fact is that I am actually a really good dancer and singer. I have always loved to sing and dance, music is huge part of me also and it's also been as present as my stage/ drama acting days but not many people know that side of me

DVF: Yeah I saw that you recently posted a video of yourself singing on Instagram and a lot of people were really surprised as well as pleased, you sounded really good by the way

Chimezie: Thanks, as time goes by i'll certainly reveal the many layers of mine

DVF: I can't wait... sadly we've come to the end of the interview but before we go, i'd like to know what would you like your legacy to be?

Chimezie : I would love to not only be remembered as an actor but as a human who was true to his craft and
inspired and helped a lot of people 


DVF: That's wonderful, you for sure have already began to make an impact. Thank you so much for your time and doing this time

Chimezie: You're welcome brother.



CONNECT WITH CHIMEZIE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

FOR INSTAGRAM CLICK HERE

FOR FACEBOOK CLICK HERE

FOR TWITTER CLICK HERE

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1 comments

  1. Very nice and interesting interview. You are giving very good questions and it keeps me read on and on. Didn’t you think about doing podcasts with interviews?

    ReplyDelete

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