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I Can Never Act Nude…Biodun Okeowo

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Curvy actress and CEO Vicasho productions, Biodun Okeowo, more popularly known as Omo-Butty from her role in the movie, ‘Omo Butty’, is one of the most-sought after actresses in the movie industry, having featured in over 50 movies with a total of eight films to her credit as a movie producer. The multi-talented actress who recently added a beauty store to her chain of businesses, bares her mind on a myriad of issues in this interview.

What have you been up to these days?I just opened a new store and I am currently planning to go on location for a new movie.
You run a wine shop already. Handling two separate stores can be quite tasking. How do you intend to juggle both?
The 
opening of Victoria Beauty Store will not in any way affect my other business because they are in separate localities and I have employed the services of the best hands to man the affairs of the business.  I am a hardworking woman and I know how to combine running the affairs of two companies.
During the opening of the beauty store, There was a large influx of celebrities who stormed the opening of your beauty store, compared to when your colleagues had their own store opening. What do you think is the reason for this?Well I don’t know because I get commended by friends that I am very humble and I mingle well with people even though I am not the party type. I remember that immediately after the show, I saw on a colleague’s BBM update, that, “We all turned up for the loving, humble and friendly Biodun Okeowo.” I was amazed. Sincerely I cannot commend myself because when you are good, you don’t get to know but immediately you are bad, it becomes the talk of the town.  I was surprised that even the people I did not invite all turned up for the event. I will just say in conclusion that it is the love they all have for me that made them to come out in large numbers.
What were some of the hiccups you encountered while setting up the business?There were lots of challenges because as small as it is , I spent millions of naira to set up. I actually got the space since 2014 and I just got it opened six months after due to wanting to get the best design that I want. Also the unavailability of the goods I ordered for delayed the opening.
Why the name Victoria Beauty Stores?My other name is Victoria and I didn’t think it would sound nice to have the same name of my wine store for the beauty store as well. Being a beauty store, I just added beauty to it.
Since the release of your movies, Omo Butty and Ore, not much has been heard from the stable of Vicasho productions. What project are you currently working on?I am actually working on a new movie with the working title ‘Instagram Babe’. The shooting of the movie would have begun but I went back to do my home-work so that I don’t disappoint my fans and do a wishy-washy job. If you have noticed, I started re-branding my works with my movie, Ife Shieere and I want to continue in that trend. I am still drafting the script and I hope to come out with a bang since I am not an everyday producer, I produce once in a year and that have been working for me so well.
What makes Biodun Okeowo thick?First, acting wise, I digest my script well before hitting any set and anytime I am on set, I interpret the role as if it is really happening to me in real life. For instance if I am in a movie set and I am expected to play the role of a heart- broken lady, I will put myself in the shoes of a young girl and go into deep thoughts of what I have equally experienced and I just deliver at the end of the day. Although I cannot play every roles because my fans will always tell me that Biodun stop playing the role of a gangster which I did well to the best of my understanding in Tolani Oshirin where I was cocking guns but immediately I played the role of a rich man’s daughter, the tone changed. However I don’t want to be stereotyped to a particular role all the time.
What is your unique selling point?My stature and my looks. You know I am curvy and I have got ‘mad’ hips. I take out time to make sure I keep in shape so I don’t eat unnecessarily and I imbibe the culture of sleeping well. I am curvy and I want to maintain that stature. It will amaze you to know that I am now size 14 and I am still working to get to size 12
Can you act nude?You won’t ask me to act a sex role and expect me to do it but there are two ways to it because I can actually make you believe that I am acting a sex scene meanwhile I am not because it is actually make believe. But if a producer wants me act a believable sex scene, I will never do that for any amount of money. My kids are growing up. How do you expect me to feel when my children see a movie with a full nude picture of their mother? It is really bad besides I have people who look up to me as their role models.
How do your children react when they watch some of your movies?Honestly, they laugh at me most especially my boy, he will be like, “Look at you forming as if you can actually cock a gun for real when we know it is toy gun” and I will just laugh along with them. But the funniest aspect is that when they see me play a role where I am an abusive mother, they will nod their head and say that they are sure I will do that perfectly since I harrass them a times.
How do you handle the responsibilities of been an actress, producer and a business woman?God has been so good to me and my parents support is immeasurable most especially my mother. As an actress, whenever I am on set, I don’t forget my various businesses totally, but I like to concentrate so that I can deliver well. You know as an actress, your potentials are best seen in your role deliveries, so most of the time, on set I forget the name Biodun Okeowo, my children, where I am coming from and get into character. It is tasking to handle all of them together but God has been seeing me through.
Which will you describe most challenging, being an actress or a movie producer?I will definitely say being a movie producer because you shoulder the responsibility of so many things ranging from your artistes, to their welfare, accommodation, safety and other things. Nothing must go wrong with them, you just have to pamper them. You budget for their fees and some un-foreseen situations. On the other hand as an actress, you become the babies on set because the producer will want to make sure that you are comfortable at all time, you are just like a mini God and you enjoy all through the production.
What are some of the hitches you have encountered while on a movie location?There are so many but the most regular one is the issue of area boys. They just storm your set and tell you that if you don’t pay them, they will disrupt your set and since you don’t want to drag matters with them, you obey them. Then also the issue of ambience is one thing that elongates our shootings, you discover that when the director say action, an aircraft might just be passing by, motor bikes may just decide to press their horn at that time and all that. On the issue of location, they are some places that you don’t just go to and shoot due to their protocols. You cannot shoot an airport scene without a permit from the necessary authorities or in any government establishment. We do our bit by writing letters to the necessary authorities but they don’t respond.
Do actors and producers pay for every location used?While some give us free, others will be of the opinion that we make money from our movies so we must pay them before using their facilities. Sometimes we go as far as giving them credit at the end of the movie. One of our duties as movie  producers is to keep intact every facility given to us so that we give them a reason to allow us use their houses again.

Do you reject scripts as well?First, a good script must be able to connect with the audience and before I go for a job, I request to see the script because as a professional actress, you should be able to determine what you want and what not. If peradventure I get a script that is not up to my standard or the message is not clear enough, I don’t just call them directly to say I cannot act their movies rather there are ways to do it tactfully. You inform the producer politely that you will not be available.
Any plans of delving into the English speaking sector of the movie industry?If am called for any of job, I will definitely honour it. The English speaking sector of the movie industry are warming up to us very well now. It is a good development I must say but what actually discouraged me from that sector was during one of their auditioning that I attended, immediately the producer noticed I was from the Yoruba sector, he gave me an attitude. I have seen some of my colleagues like Foluke Daramola, Funke Akindele, Ayo Adesanya and Ireti Osayemi to mention but a few, who started from the English speaking set and are now either back to the Yoruba speaking movie sets or shuttling both.
What is your take on piracy in the movie industry?You see just like my colleague, Mercy Aigbe stated in an interview that piracy is really killing us, I must say it is the real fact. The situation has not turned to a case of monkey dey work, baboon dey chop. The issue of piracy I must categorically say affects everybody on set, starting from the cast, the producer, the director, the make-up person, the soundman and the rest. We have been chanting songs, staging protests yet the pirates don’t intend stopping anytime soon. That is the more reason why you see most of us venturing into other businesses so that we have something to fall back on. A particular movie marketer is still owing me a million naira but he his hiding under the umbrella of piracy is affecting him too
Are you strong enough to challenge sellers of pirated copies on the street?Of course I am because recently when I was driving around Sabo area of the state and I noticed the pirated copies of Kunle Afolayan’s October 1st movie. I questioned the guy selling the CD and he told me he bought it from the popular Alaba Market and that it is original and sells for N500. I grabbed his hand and before I could pull-up, he tore the hand of my shirt and ran-off.
What would you have done if you had caught him?I will arrest him but the sad aspect of it is that even when you take him to the police station, with just a little amount, he will bail himself and still continue the trade because there is no stipulated punishment for pirates when nabbed and this is where the government must come to our aide because we cannot do it all alone.
Will you give total support to your children if they indicate their interest in the make believe world?Seriously I will not allow them take up acting as a career, maybe for the boy yes but for my daughter, I will not allow her for personal reasons.
What should your fans expect from you in the nearest future?They should expect the best from me because my best is yet to come and usually what I do is to allow God my creator to rock my boat for me.
Credits: Dailytimes
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