She is Vera B Pride (@vera_b_pride), a movie producer and an actress. She is a UK based Cameroonian.
Vera has featured in several Nollywood movies like Purity of heart, Why mary, Tears of the rich, Breach of Trust, Coming to London, Sister Sister, Mama Africa, My husband Must Stay, Wives of London and many more.
On this week’s TheOlojaBlog Spotlight, we had a heart-to-heart conversation with a woman crowned Queen of Comedy by the Cameroon community in the UK.
Were you an actor before you came into the UK?
Yes, but back then, I wasn’t popular. I was an extra in a movie I Spy, which starred the likes Eddie Murphy, Owen Wilson, Gary Cole and others.
What attracted you to acting?
The passion for it. As a young girl, I had this drive for anything drama, especially comedy. People always linked my actions to acting and I could clearly see that there was room for me if I took that bold step towards an acting career.
As a UK based actor, how has the journey so far been?
It has not been smooth, but I am not complaining. The truth is without all the criticism and negativity and enemies everywhere, there might never be any self-growth. So I belief haters, enemies are there to push you forward as you are forced to improve.
Would you give Nigeria based Nollywood actors the sole credit of the traffic being witnessed in UK Nollywood industry now?
I will say it is a two way traffic. We need the well-known Nollywood pioneers actors to showcase our talents and they also need UK based actors to expand worldwide. So it is 50-50.
What has been your greatest accomplishment as an actor?
Producing my movie ‘My Husband must stay’ last year. It was a great feeling.
Have you ever worked with a demanding director before?
All directors are demanding because they want perfection. They are the eye through the lenses, so of course they are pressured and they will pass that on to you. But once you can deliver your lines, then you are good.
What is your most challenging role yet?
Playing lead in my own production. It was challenging but beautiful because I was doing what I love to do.
What are the challenges still existing in the UK Nollywood industry?
The challenges are disunity, negative competition but I guess it is the same everywhere. Acting is a game of numbers and the more you are seen doing well, the better your pay gets and more jobs .So the competition is strong but it is a good thing if you look at it positively.
So far, how would you grade your progress in the industry?
I am moving forward without doubts. I have films with my name on them and as I mentioned earlier, I produced my own movie last year.
Of all the roles you have played in the past, which is your favourite.
My favourite roles happen to be the role I played in my own movie ‘My husband must stay’ when I fought with boss.
Who is your favourite actor, and why?
My favourite actor for now is Bolanle Ninalowa, why because I love his acting style and the way he talks.
What project are you working on now?
I am working on a new project at the moment to produce my second movie.
How do you view failures?
I will say we all view failures differently. My emotions never get in my line of work as I do always have a different mind-set towards work. But my failures regardless are always a learning opportunity for me.
When was your first role as an actress?
What is your biggest aspiration?
To be the best of my self and help others achieve the best in themselves.
What would you rather have or not have in your industry?
I pray for unity and less disunity. The spirit of creative craft not witchcraft.
Do you think a Nollywood film can get an Oscar nomination and go on to win it?
It is absolutely positive if we keep improving our contents and working towards it.
Have you ever acted on stage? If yes, how can you compare stage acting with film?
Nope never, but will love to experience it.
If you are giving £1Million today what will you do with it?
I will of course create a movie academy for the less privilege and groom some amazing talent
Will you accept a role that requires you to be nude?
It depends the lesson I am putting across. Nudeness is not always bad, it is the message that it carries that will be the ultimate.
What else do we need to know about you that is not yet covered in the questions above?
I am married with kids and my family means the world to me. Also I do a lot of charity work as my ultimate goal is to serve.