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My quarrel with Tonto Dike –Chima Okoroji

By Lawrence Enyoghasu

Producer and director of Hooked, Chima Okoroji aka Nwa Chineke, has reminisced on his relationship with actress Tonto Dike, and how it has been sour between them since then.

Okoroji revealed this much in a recent chat with Entertainer on the eve of the release of his latest movie, ‘Breaking Call’ in Liberia

How do you endure the pain of movie production?

First is the passion, if there is passion there is always endurance. I don’t usually complain of my work because I know what it entails before delving into it.

How do you cope with female admirers?

First, you have to be focused and every other thing comes second. I don’t allow anything to distract me when I am working. There will be distraction from all sides but if managed well you will get the best from them

Which artiste have you crushed on in Nollywood?

That is a very difficult one. We are all like family on set. So, it is hard to have anything for them. The only person that has come to distract me on stage is Tonto Dike. It led to a misunderstanding with her but I stood my ground and didn’t cave in. We were taught that as a director, if you can’t keep emotion aside and gather your artiste; then you can’t be a director. We are all equal on set. When any talent goes beyond the space I give, I show them the kind of person I am.

What did you do to Tonto Dike?

I tried several times to caution her in a very soft way. As a director, you have to know how to pamper your artiste. If you don’t pamper them, they would not give you the best. It does not mean that pampering works all the time, some talents are stubborn and as such pride stops them from learning. Tonto thought nobody can talk to her, and as far as I am concerned in this industry, she is a kid to me.

It was said that once you sleep with a girl she gets role?

Definitely people will say all kinds of things but I don’t buy that. It may be happening, yes, but it is not for me. I believe that any girl who is very good, no director needs to sleep with her before getting roles. I go for the best. If I see that a girl is very good, I would want to have her on my set. On the long run, if I ask her out and she gives a negative reply, am I going to force her? What I am interested in is her interpreting the role well. Most times some of these girls are not good and they feel they can sell their bodies to get roles, and when they do that, the director will still go for the best. If any girl throws herself at me, I will welcome her and if I don’t have any role for her, then it is story. If an actress is beautiful, it is an advantage because she will be an asset for any director, but when she can’t deliver, she would just be wastage irrespective of how popular she later turns out to be. I will advice her to just learn how to act, no one is born with the talent, it can be learnt, the beautiful girl should go and learn how to act.

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