SYLVYA OLUCHY: I CAN GO NUDE IN A MOVIE AS LONG AS IT’S TASTEFULLY DONE

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 Sylvya Oluchy, as she is called, is a nollywood actress with great confidence and poise, she has the attitude that depicts she knows what she wants from her career and is not settling for less, she has won awards to attest to this fact. In this interview, she opens up on her journey in her career and what she is up to. A daring young Woman she is.

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BON:  You seem very down to earth unlike some of your colleagues, why have you chosen to be this way?

SYLVYA: I don’t know if am choosing, I guess this just who I am. When am before a camera, I can put on any personae, it’s like putting on a costume or changing your accent to do a role, but when am not working, I don’t see the point for me doing that. I just want to be me and live my life

BON: What will you accredit this attitude of yours to?

SYLVYA: I want to give it to my parent, let me say good upbringing and i know that all that external things in life are just external, like people see you outside and they are like hi! You are an Actress Can I be your friend, you don’t have to let that get into your head. What I tell myself every morning is never believe your own hype because that is the beginning of your own down fall. So like I said, I keep my work personae different from who I am.

BON: So, who is Sylvya Oluchy?

SYLVYA: (Laughs)

BON: Oluchy with a y?

SYLVYA: (laughs) Yeah oluchy with a y, to differentiate from the other popular oluchi. Am a theater art graduate. I started my university studies at Maddona University but I finished up at UNIZIK, am the youngest of six kids, my father is Dr. C.R. Ezeokafor and my mother is late, I was born and raised in Abuja after my youth service in 2011 I moved to Lagos to further my career because everyone kept telling me if you are going to make it, Lagos is the place to be, so I relocated.

BON:  So, have you been acting before you came to Lagos?

SYLVYA: o yes! I did a little bit of acting in Abuja which was actually where I did the role that I won my first award on BENT ARROWS, you can’t the consistency of work , like you do a movie like once in three months and you are not going to live on that, I had to relocate.

BON: Why did you choose acting, what inspired you, what triggered your interest because you really don’t look like someone who would like such thing. You look like “am in the office, let me just sign papers” (laughs)

SYLVYA: My mother chose acting for me, when i was much younger, i was a nerd in every sense of it, like i used to wear glasses like scientist (laughs). One thing about me is that I have different personae I can come back from school and tell my mum my teacher did this and did that, and she will tell me wow! You will make a good actress if you put your mind it. So, I grew up hearing that every day, so when it was time to enter the university everybody was thinking I will do some science course but my mum was like “try theater art, if you don’t like it you can always change” so I wrote JAMB, got the admission, after my first year I kind of fell in love with it. You know acting is the most powerful occupation in the world, it allows you to escape from yourself. When you are an actor, you almost feel like you are God in the sense that you can do anything with your character, you can make yourself laugh, cry, die, sneeze, cough. It’s very powerful, and you know as they say power corrupted, I mean it intoxicating and addictive, that’s the word I was looking for. I think when you just lose yourself in something that you enjoy, that’s the best feeling in the world. I got to enjoy it, I lost myself in it, and so I took it up as a career.
BON: You said acting intoxicates, is that why most actors get carried away?  Because when they start they are good, they have their head together but it gets to some point, they lose it. Is that what you are saying?

SYLVYA: What am saying is that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, you know? talking about this industry, it’s very funny because it gets to some point you almost start to believe you are more than human, the way people see you on the street and treat you, some people allow it to get to their head. So, like I always say never believe your own hype. That’s what causes it, because someone walks up to you and say oh you changed my life, you let those kind of comment get into you head, but those comments are not really for you, they are for the personae you played on screen. If you played a particular character, they are actually talking about that character, not you. I think where to draw the line is where some people fall short.

BON: You said your mum inspired you to act, unlike most Nigerian parents who might not. I remember telling my parent ill love to act and they were like no way! (laughs)How did your dad react to your choice of career?

SYLVYA: In my family, nobody has ever gone this route, most of my people do regular jobs, I don’t know what made my mother, but I think she saw something in me that I hadn’t seen in myself. Because when I was younger, I didn’t think I was pretty, you know I had glasses and a deep voice, but she was always telling me that. So, I don’t know maybe she saw something. My Father was not in support when she was telling me my father will say “stop telling her that” (laughs) because my father is a PHD doctor, a university professor; you know how they can be? (laughs) but now that he has seen a couple of my job he has come to like it because yeah! My Mother is no longer with them, so for him now, him supporting is like helping her dying wishes. If she hadn’t talked me into it, I thing I’ll be in some lab mixing something (laughs), but at the end of the day, am still a scientist at heart because my craving genre of movie is science fiction. So, I have found a way to marry my child hood love of science with my adult love of art in science fiction. We don’t do much of that in Nigeria, but am hoping we can branch into that genre because I love science fiction and fantasy, you know things that can take you out of this world.

BON : so if you are going to make a movie will it tend towards that?
SYLVYA : Definitely, I have a script written(laughs), so hopefully very soon I’ll produce it. It bothers on science fiction fantasy.
BON : So, how do you think that is going to be accepted because we are not used to such, we are used to ritual, witches and stuff (laughs)
SYLVYA : Yeah! Depending on how you twist it because even the witches and wizard story is still fantasy. Fine they exist, but they are out of this world, so it depends on the presentation, like when Disney present fairy god mother and stuff, is just like how we have Babalawos and stuff, because the thing about a story, is not necessarily the story but in the telling. Like I could tell a story of you and I went shopping and it would be comedy, another person could tell how we went shopping and rain fell on us, and it will be a horror movie. So everything is in the telling

BON: So, how does acting without your mum here to see feel to you, were you acting before she died?

SYLVYA: The funny thing is that I got to do my first movie not quit long before she passed on, so she got to see that one, it’s been ok, I have five elder siblings who are very supportive and my Dad is always there, though they are not here in lagos with me but it’s ok. I think the most important thing is to keep the memories alive and embody all what you have learnt from that person.

BON: How did you feel the way you won an award?

SYLVYA: That was Nollywood moves award. It was my first lead role, I never expected it because I was up against popular name, that they I just told my friends lets go and eat and have, am not going to win, we even got there late. So, when my category came up I was busy eating, when my name was announced by Osita Iheme, it was my friend that tapped me and said they just called you (laughs) the thing I like about awards is that, as an Actress the best thing that can happen to you is when the fans appreciates your work, and an award is your peers telling you that of this bunch, you are the best, it boost your ego, in case you want to give up along the way, you have your award hanging somewhere to motivate you.

BON: How was it relocating to Lagos because you have a lot of people to compete against, how was it for a young woman?

SYLVYA: It’s not really the competition that was the issue, it was finding my way around because I’ll call and I’ll be told to come to surulere, and I’ll be like asking please where is surulere (laughs) that was the biggest challenge, but now I’ve been around for a while so I know my way around. I don’t see competition as a problem but it is what makes u go home and rather than sleep off, you practice harder. If there wasn’t competition we will all be bad actors because nobody will go the extra mile, so I think it is very important to have a competitor in anything because if you do not , it means you are in a bad field and nobody want to drag back, it means it’s not very lucrative.

BON: Who is your Mentor, who do you look up to?

SYLVYA: Nolly or Holly?

BON: Let’s start with Nolly.
SYLVYA: I don’t have any role model because I like different people for different things, when it comes to like success, I’ll go for Omotola Jalade, if it comes to raw acting talent and creativity, I’ll go for Genevive and Bimbo Akintola, if it comes to swags and fashion, I’ll go for Rita Dominique and Dakore. So I like different thing, if I can mix them all together, perfect (laughs)

BON: I see you are not wearing any makeup, why is that?
SYLVYA: When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with makeup, if you told me to go outside to buy bread, I’ll apply makeup. When you are an Actress, you get tired of wearing makeup. If am on set, i may have to change my makeup like ten time, you know, you have people scrubbing your face, pulling your eye brows, it could get very tiring. So, when am not on set I just let my face be.

BON: What defines your sense of fashion?
SYLVYA: Ok, Am more of a feminine dresser, am more of a dress, skirt kind of person, even though am wearing a jump suit right now, but when am on the red carpet, I always have an afro-centric style because we tell our own story, we shouldn’t leave our own fashion and culture behind which we tend to do, everybody want to look sound, you know? Have the Brazilian hair, I have no problem with that, but at the same time, what is going to make us appeal to the international market is our uniqueness because if I want to watch an American movies, ill rather watch an American movies with Americans in it not Africans trying to look and sound American. So, I always try to bring that sense of Afro-centric with either my braids or Ankara cloths or just the jewelry, I try to always embody that a lot to my fashion sense.

BON: You said if you weren’t an Actress, you would be in a Lab, doing what exactly?
SYLVYA: If I wasn’t an Actress, I’ll either be one of two thing, I would probably be into advertisement because I think am really good at talking people into what they don’t need or like I said, I’ll be in a lab because my childhood dream was to be a scientist to invent things, I use to talk about Newton and Einstein even though I didn’t know who they were when I was a child, so maybe I’ll be creating a robots or something (laughs) but being an Actress, I still think am an inventor, even though am not inventing practical things, am inventing characters, and life lessons in the stories we tell. I think am doing the same thing, but like I said in different approach

BON: What do you look forward to in a script before you take up the role, are you one of those Actresses that will take up a script because of the money?

SYLVYA: You know at this stage of my career, I can’t be too choosy, although I still pick and choose the work I do, but basically for me I like a script that besides its entertainment, it has to be educative and informative, you know when you can make me laugh but at the same time they say “that’s true o” I don’t like entertainment just for entertainment sake, even if you look at the origin of entertainment, it started from religion, so there has always been a moral lesson in entertainment, when people come and tell u am just an entertainer, I really don’t get that because the origin of entertainment has always been to teach lesson, when am reading a story, a want it to have…it must be a moral lesson as in good or bad, but a lesson like work harder every day, you know a story that teaches something, but at the same time entertains you.

BON: What is the limit you can go in acting, can you go nude?

SYLVYA: I don’t have any boundaries because my body is my laptop. Others have their laptops and files, what I have is my body and voice, Even the concept of nudity, I don’t have any problems what so ever, but it has to make sense, if it enriches the story and is done tastefully, I mean sometimes you can see nudity been done for a good reason, like in the west, they could take off their clothes to protest. Like I said, I don’t have problem with nudity, I just want it to make sense

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BON: So, we shouldn’t be surprised to see you nude in a movie, for the right reason?

SYLVYA: Yeah! I mean am an Actress and ill do whatever it takes to convincingly portray a character. Like I said, as long as it is tastefully done and it goes with the concept of the story . For me, nudity depends on the Director, if I can trust my Director not to make me look scanky whore, why not?

BON: Where do you see yourself in the next five years in nollywood?
SYLVYA: Well, like all Actresses(laughs) hoping in the next five years to have done so many more movies, and really get recognition for my jobs on continental scale because nollywood is bigger than Nigeria, it’s the whole of Africa, and like any other Actress, I wouldn’t mind trying Hollywood it wouldn’t hurt to have international. My ultimate dream, my dream of all dreams on Nollywood because it’s not all about me now, is I really want to see a Nollywood were we have a Steven Spielberg say I need an African Actress in my movie or I need an African element in my movie, not like we all rushing to be members Nollywood but were we can build Nollywood to be on per with Hollywood. That is what am looking forward to.
BON: Do you think you will go into producing?
SYLVYA: Definitely, like I told you I already have my script written, so am just still working and gathering experience, but before I direct, I have to go to an academy because I like to do things well informed, I studied theater art but there is nothing like refreshing that knowledge once in a while, I can produce, but before I direct I’ll go to an academy to really specialize in directing and to make sure I know my onions properly.

BON: Who would you rather work with?

SYLVYA: Anybody, I don’t believe that a particular person will make a movie sell, it depends on the director and also it depends on how the Actor interprets the script. Two different actors interprets a script two different ways and it’s not necessarily wrong but it’s different approaches. In fact ill like to work with everybody if possible.

 

 

 

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