‘No up and coming actress should leave room for sexual harassment’

COULD we meet you? My name is Princess Linda Adedeji from Ado-Ekiti in Ekiti State. I am an actress, producer and businesswoman. I am the second child out of a family of five (three girls and two boys). I grew up with my family in Ekiti-State. I am happily married to Prince Aderemi and I am blessed with a lovely son.

Apart from acting, what other things are you into?

I have a unisex salon which is not just for celebrities because my prices are affordable and I also manage a paint store for my husband.

How long have you been on the scene?

I joined the movie industry in 2004 and I quit acting for a while in 2006. I later went back into acting in 2010, but all together, I have been on the scene for nine years give or take.

How many movies have you featured in?

I have featured in over 50 movies and I have produced three so far. The first film I produced was Igbekun-Abo in 2005; the second was Alejo in 2006. The third one is Oyinkansola which was released in January, 2013.

Which film shot you into the limelight?

That’s the movie titled Orogun-Metta produced by Faliwerepe. I featured in it with Baba Suwe, it was lovely and funny. After that movie, producers and directors started offering me roles. The movie titled Okanran also projected me to an extent; the movie was produced by Segun Agbelusi.

Is there any reason why you chose to feature in Yoruba films instead English movies?

When I first developed interest in acting, I met Empress Ijamah, I told her about my interest and she introduced me to her brother who is a producer and director. He gave me a role to play in the movie titled Hostel Girls and I interpreted it very well, but at a certain point, I developed more passion and interest in Yoruba film.

How did you join the industry?

I was working with a company after my OND when I met a friend of mine called Ajoke who had featured in a handful of movies at the time. I told her about my interest in Yoruba films but she said she’s not based in Lagos and I should come to Ibadan for rehearsals after registration, which would be difficult for me. She understood my plight and took me to Faliwerepe to register under her caucus which I did and she started taking me to locations. She introduced me to many producers and directors. That was how my acting career started.

Do you agree that the Yoruba movie industry is polluted?

Yes, the movie industry is polluted generally; it’s not peculiar to Yoruba industry alone. I must tell you the truth, when I first started acting, the harassment was too much from directors and producers. Like I said earlier, I started with Faliwerepe, I featured in most of all her films, but whenever I wanted to feature in other films produced by the opposite sex; it’s always a problem, I have gone to a location where I was given a major role and after the rehearsal, the producer came to me and said I should co-operate before he would give me the role, I did not understand him at first not until he said it in a lay man’s language, I was so sad. I got mad and blasted him by raining curses and abuses on him. I left the location immediately. Later on, I decided to start producing my own film and be my own boss instead of using my precious body to get roles, my talent is inbuilt, so why should someone have a taste of my body before giving me a role. I started producing my own movies to help upcoming actresses like myself especially.

In the light of this, do you have any advice for young actresses?

Well, my message to them is that they should be focused on what they want. No upcoming actress should allow herself to be molested by any producer or director just to get a role. I am not saying all the producers are bad; there are some good ones who are ready to feature you once you can interpret your role very well. They should be patient and prayerful; with God all things are possible.

What’s your educational background like?

I had my primary and secondary education in Ekiti State; I also had my OND at Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti before I joined the movie industry. I stopped acting in 2006 to further my education at Lagos State University and to God be the glory; I have a B.Sc in Industrial Relation and Personnel Management.

How do you relax when you are not busy on set?

I like to relax with my family most especially with my husband and son, my husband has been my backbone. I got married to the best man in the world. I met him after I veered off the scene to further my education and I was not having any intention to go back to film industry because of the stress but he encouraged me to go back since all I do in the house is to act for him and watch movies. I went back in 2010, and there has been no more sexual harassment maybe because they know that I am now married but I give God the glory that everything is working fine for me now.

Who among your colleagues are you more comfortable with?

They are all my friends because we are one family, but I am closer to Iyabo Ojo, Funke Akindele, Moji Olaiya, Mistura Asunramu and some others.

Of all the films you have produced, which one is the most challenging?

Oyinkansola was very challenging because it was a three-cast movie. I wanted to do something strange, new and interesting and I thank God that I achieved it with the movie. It is a film you will like to watch over and over again.

You are a beautiful woman how do you cope with male suitors?

They keep coming, you know men with their wahala. But once I tell them my marital status, they either back out or become platonic friends.

Why do you think most actress have male personal assistants?

I can only speak for myself; I have a male PA because I am comfortable with him than having a female PA. He’s more active and he’s much easier for me to deal and relate with. That’s my opinion and I can’t speak for others.

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