IT WAS A SHOCK WHEN I GOT CALLED FOR THE AUDITIONS – MARIA OKANRENDE SPEAKS ON ACTING ON THISDAY STYLE!
This week’s ThisDay Style cover sparkles with the cast of Shuga! The casts for award winning sex and relationship drama series, MTV Shuga graces this week’s ThisDay Style cover to raise the awareness on sexual health and HIV Aids in Africa.
In the monochrome inspired cover, Director, Biyi Bandele, Nigerian-Kenyan artiste and actor, Ifeanyi Emmanuel Ikubese also known as 9con, Ghanaian actress, Leonora Okine and Beat FM’s Maria Okanrende are wrapped in connecting white sheets with a single red string symbolizing the HIV/Aids campaign.
Beat FM OAP, Maria Okanrende shares her experience during the audition phase of the project. Excerpt from the interview below:
Maria – First of all, it was a damn shock! I was called for a private audition. Forget about landing a role as a lead actress, I was so excited at the prospects of just auditioning! I had about 2/3 days to prepare for the audition. On the actual day, the director Biyi Bandele was there. He liked my outfit (Jeans, t-shirt, snapback turned to the back) and thought that it was similar to the costume that Foye would wear in Shuga. I just did the lines as best as I could and here I am. I kind of pretended that Maria was Foye. Maybe that’s a secret to acting?! I don’t know, I’ll have to call up Angelina Jolie for some good advise.
Award winning director, Biyi Bandele also talks about promoting Nigeria in the international market as well as his reason for picking scriptwriter, Kemi Adesoye. Excerpts from the interview below:
Q – Having recently wrapped shooting Half of a Yellow Sun and now working on Shuga, is it safe to assume you will be working on more Nigerian projects as time goes on?
Biyi – Of course I will. I’m a Nigerian so any opportunity to be home is a blessing. Nigeria is a fun place to be. I have got quite a few projects that I am playing around with in Lagos and I will love to just keep putting Lagos, Especially Nigeria on the world map.
Q – You handpicked award winning scriptwriter, Kemi Adesoye to work with you on this project. Tell us about it.
Biyi – I saw Kunle Afolayan’s movie, “The Figurine” and loved it! It was written by Kemi and I made a mental note that this was the right person I wanted to collaborate with on something, but I didn’t know what about then. So when I met with MTV about Shuga, the first thing I said was I wanted a Nigerian writing team to work on it and that was absolutely important for me, the past series have been written by a South African team which was good but I felt if anyone was going to write about Lagos, it had to be the people who experience Lagos on a daily basis. Kemi lives in Lagos so we got in touch with her and fortunately for us, she was available and she put together a team of writers and here we are!
MTV Shuga season three will premiere on December 1st in Lagos.