Unknown to many, Nollywood actress Susan Peters’ sense of humour transcends the movies. Although she pulled a surprise wedding on her fans in October last year, she says that nothing has changed about her.
In this interview with OVWE MEDEME, the thespian talks about life as a married actress, her goals for 2016 and expectations from the incumbent government among other issues.
How has life as a married woman been?
It is a different thing entirely. The things I used to do as a single lady, I can’t do them anymore.
What are some of those things you no longer do?
Just the normal things you want to do as a single lady, you can’t do it because people will talk. People will say she’s married. So I tend to be cautious when I do anything at all.
What has marriage changed about you?
Nothing! I’m just adding weight. I don’t understand (Laughs).
Why have you been adding weight? Has it entered?
Huh? Why are you asking? What’s your own? You will see it when it gets bigger, so wait.
As an actress, what do you think should change about Nollywood?
Honestly, I will give Nollywood credit because even before I joined the industry, we looked up to actors that started it. Now, as the days go by, we keep growing. We are no longer in it for the money but for the recognition. You feel delighted when your movie is nominated and you actually win an award. And even if you don’t win, the fact that you get nominated, it’s a win for me.
So I give Nollywood credit. There are still some lapses. We need not to cut corners so that we can actually achieve. If you have a low budget movie and you know you don’t have enough money to shoot it, then don’t shoot it instead of taking people on set and putting them into slavery. That’s what I think. People should actually get their budget properly done and then they get their movie done because we as workers should get paid. Even the bible says that a labourer should get paid for wages. It’s in the bible.
Are you saying some producers owe you?
No, they do not owe me but there are lots of stories about people who go on set and they don’t get paid or they have to do some other things to get on the job. That’s totally wrong. Those are the areas I think should be checked.
Does your new status influence the kind of roles you take now?
Not really. I’m an actress. My husband met me in the job so he should support the job. It doesn’t change me doing what I used to do. The only thing is, there are some other things I would not do the way I used to when I was a single lady. That’s it. But every other thing about my job still stays as it is. I take the same roles I take before.
Would you act nude?
I have never acted nude. That has been a no no for me, even before I got married. That’s not even it. I’ve never acted nude and I’ve never been in support of acting nude. Of course you could take off some clothes but not to the extent of going totally nude. It is not in our culture to go nude. If I try that, my mother in the village would react. She will say the people in the village have followed me to the town. So it’s not in our culture.
People think, for you, humour is all acting…
That means you don’t know who Susan Peters really is. I’ve got a sense of humour. You don’t know that.
But don’t people take you for granted?
When you play too much, of course they will. But I’m a happy person, I’m a people person but I could be very blunt. Don’t step on my toes because I could sting like a scorpion.
What would someone do to be considered as stepping on your toes?
Actually there is a whole lot. In this day and time, if you want to go by what people do, you will just keep hitting your head on the wall every day. You just need to learn to overlook some things. Because even in the house, you have people who will get on your nerves not to talk of outsiders. You just have to learn to let go. That’s it.
In Sound of Poverty, you acted as a less privileged. What message were you trying to send across?
The message in that movie actually is for people not to look down on others because somebody who is poor today could be rich tomorrow. And if you have friends among your peers who are not well to do, you should always carry them along and don’t stab them in the back. It is a message about friendship and how it should be cherished.
What are you working on now?
I’m actually working on two projects right now. I’m doing a job with Rock Studios and one with Emem Isong.
What would you say about the issue of piracy?
In fact, that issue is a disease that we have to be looking for the cure every year, or every minute or every second. It’s something that can’t be cured. That’s the truth. Even Hollywood has pirates. It’s just that our own just don’t want us to make money when we produce our films.
What do you think should be done about the menace?
I think there’s a whole lot in the portal at the moment because now we can take our movies to the cinemas, which is a way not to get them to get CDs on time. So when it gets to the cinemas and it goes online, and then it takes a while before it comes on DVD, you must have made a bit of your money.
But as time goes on, I think they will find other remedies to fight piracy because it’s just like stealing. For somebody who steals, it would take the grace of God for that person to actually stop stealing. For us, it’s really affecting us. Because of them, we can’t really put our movies out in the market properly. We have to put them out in bits.
What does 2016 hold for you?
2016 started slow. The Buhari economics is affecting everybody and we are hoping that the change has come to stay and it will get better. We are in the third month of the year, so we still have a long way to go. We are hoping that as time goes on, things would turn around for good.
Specifically, what are some of the things you would want the government to focus on?
They should hasten up all the promises they’ve given the people because they promised change. I know the government is doing its best but they should try harder.
It appears Nollywood is more celebrated in other countries than in Nigeria. What do you think should be done?
I think we need to do more of awareness for our own. Those days, we didn’t use to watch TV series but nowadays, they are coming up and we are into it. The two jobs I’m working on are TV series. Losing Control is a TV series, Husbands of Lagos too. And they are very interesting. There are other people too producing TV series, so if we have lots of content coming out, people will want to watch. It is because we don’t have much doing in that regard that people watch Telemundo and stuff like that. – Culled from The Nation.