By Christian Agadibe

In this rare interview, fast rising actress, Maryann Ugwu went down memory lane and recalled how she stumbled into acting after accompanying a friend to a movie audition.

The talented script interpreter also shared her experience about dating and relationship, and narrated how she was saved from embarrassment on a flight. Please enjoy it. 


How did you get into acting and what was your first gig?

I never wanted to be an actor. I had a girlfriend who liked acting a lot. I went with her to a movie audition. We went all the way from Enugu to Asaba, and when we got there, I was called to audition but I told them I wasn’t an actor. But the director insisted, so I came up, did the audition and got picked. Sadly, the person I came with didn’t qualify. After that incident, I realised I had something to sow into the entertainment industry, and the rest is history.

What project or work would you consider as your most challenging and why?

I actually look forward to challenging roles, because they are motivating. I love challenging roles a lot. I remember when I played an imbecile, it was challenging because I had to bend and twist my body in the most uncomfortable manner. After that project, I had body pains for some days and it wasn’t funny at all. The second one was when I played a blind girl; the type that your eyes will be open and not the one you will shut your eyes to act blind. It wasn’t easy because I tried not to blink repeatedly, and at the same time avoid tears coming out of my eyes; it was challenging but I enjoyed every bit of it.  

Tell us what you like about the most challenging character you played in a movie?

I enjoyed playing an imbecile because it actually proved that I could be anything as far as movie making is concerned. I had to soak myself into that character to be able to interpret it wholeheartedly, and by the grace of God, I did justice to the character. And I look forward to more challenging roles like that.

Which of your movies best described who you are?

I have portrayed myself many times in a movie, but this particular film, Oche’s Secret best describes me. Oche, as seen in the movie, was a very kindhearted and emotional fellow who can be best addressed as a virtuous woman. I’m very emotional; there are some things I can’t even stand as a woman.

What major lessons have you learned as an actor?

I have learnt to give honour to whom honour is due. There’s hierarchy in every sphere of life. I believe in the laws of nature, if you respect your elders, you will definitely attain their age. You have to accord your senior colleagues their deserved respect and honour. Without perseverance, you can’t survive here. The industry is all about passion, you can easily survive all the hurdles you find on your way if you have passion for the job, else you will get tired along the line and back out.

What should your fans look forward to? Any exciting project coming up?

I have many projects coming up, exciting ones for that matter. I can assure they will keep seeing me on their screens. They have really shown how much they trust my prowess, so I won’t disappoint them.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on opening my own YouTube channel so I can post and promote my works there. I also plan on producing my own jobs. I can double as an actor and producer. I have been in the system, so I have learnt one or two things about producing. By the special grace of God, I would soon open my YouTube channel and shoot my own films too.

Apart from what we see on the screen, who is Maryann Ugwu?

Nigerians are very emotional, and they tend to judge you by the kind of movie you shoot. I know I portray mean characters a lot, but aside film, in reality, Maryann Ugwu is a very jovial human being. I enjoy being myself. Left for me, I want to laugh all day and play too.

How was your growing up?

I grew up in a family full of love. My dad was a great disciplinarian, so we were properly brought up. My dad can scold you this minute and the next minute he’s making you happy. In my family, it’s easy to detect when one is unhappy because we are united in love.

Which of the movies gave you the big break?

It’s Oche’s Secret. I got so many recognitions from the movie. I keep getting calls for jobs after I shot Oche’s Secret. The second one is Gifted where I played young Eucharia (Anunobi). The movie actually took me to the next level.

What kind of sexy endowment do you flaunt to prove you’re attractive?

I really don’t have to flaunt it because it’s so visible. God has blessed me with a beautiful face and body. I have pretty charming eyes and well-carved features.

Most men can hardly get their eyes off you. How do you cope considering the fact that most men would want to get down with you?

Men must seek after you as long as you are a woman; it’s natural. It’s really worrisome if you’re a woman and you step out without getting compliments from the opposite sex. Getting admiration is one thing, getting down is another thing, so the ball is in your court. Men can admire you. Of course, they should. Getting down with you is left for you to decide. 

The industry is highly competitive, how do you intend breaking into the A-list?

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Yes, you’re right, the competition in the industry is alarming. But talent is inevitable, it will help you standout. So, try and work on your craft, read educating articles, and improve on your talent. I do mirror rehearsals a lot and it helps me. You have to do something that will make you standout from the rest.

Marriages in Nollywood keep breaking up; as a soon-to-be married actress, what is your stand on divorce?

People divorce everyday. But because film people are pronounced individuals, theirs tend to always break the Internet. Not just actors, people divorce on a regular basis. I have always had this mindset that I want to marry and stay married. Marriage consists of two people that are willing to forgive each other repeatedly and promise not to let go. The only marriage permitted to break is one full of violence. When one’s life is being threatened, then separation is welcome.

Is marriage still far from you?

No, marriage is not far from me. I’m actually on the path of settling down. I have always admired a complete family. I can’t wait to wake up by the side of my better half every morning with morning kisses and surrounded by our beautiful kids. Marriage is a beautiful thing and I really want to have a taste of it soon.

Have you said no to a marriage proposal before and why?

Yes, I have. And that’s because of what I said earlier about marrying and staying married. I don’t fall in love with someone I can’t imagine a future with. The last guy I turned down his proposal was a manipulative individual.

I know marrying him will cost me a lot at the long run. Some mistakes are avoidable and I just dodged one. You don’t need to manage any man you want to marry. I know no one is perfect but marry someone you can tolerate and condone.

How would you safeguard your marriage? 

I can easily safeguard my marriage because my career, hubby and kids are paramount in my life. I can combine them; it’s all about planning. I’m actually a very private person.

Are there actors you look up to?

Yes, there are actors I look up to; those ones that survived without the help of social media – when talent was all you needed to scale through. I enjoyed watching them even as a child, the likes of Nkem Owoh and Patience Ozokwor. Nkem Owoh is effortlessly talented and creative; even if you watch his movie today and stumble on it 10 years later, it will still make you laugh. Patience Ozokwor is one who embodies and portrays her character, and you will feel it in your bones.

What does sex mean to you?

Sex means more to me than just making out. It’s a connection of the mind, soul and body. I don’t just have sex for the fun of it; it takes much more. I must be connected to you to even see you in that direction. It’s not a five minutes pleasure; it’s worth more for me. So, sex means a whole lot to me.

If you were to date anybody in the industry, who would that be?

I don’t mix business with pleasure. We have cute actors, lots of them but I don’t see anyone of them in that direction. I have never dated an actor and I don’t see the possibility of that. For now, there’s no actor I see in that regard. But nevertheless, anything can happen.

There are lots of women who cannot get their eyes off a sexy lady like you; do you also have women that woo you?

Like I said earlier, if you’re attractive, you will see lots of people that want to be connected with you. I get lots of DMs even from same sex, but I ignore them to avoid using abusive words on anyone. Some of them disguise as fans, but along the line they start deviating. I can’t stop them from wooing me, but I can always decline or say no.

What about those that want to go beyond being fans?

Some of my great friends actually came as fans; it’s all about maturity. I have both male and female fans that have graduated to being my good friends.

So, there’s no restriction whatsoever, if the person is worth it why not?

Are you in a relationship?

No, I’m currently single. It’s not like I don’t get admirers but for now, I’m single and searching. Until the right man comes along, let’s keep our fingers crossed.

What is the quality trait you desire in a man?

I am particular about kind people; a kind man will not intentionally hurt you or put you in harmful way, and he won’t mistreat you. No man is perfect, but while dealing with a kind man, he will try to be ideal for you, makeup for his wrong doings and try to be better!

How do you handle sexual urge especially now that you’re not in any relationship?

My job is tasking, engaging and highly demanding. I’m busy most of the time that I hardly think in that direction. Having sexual urge is natural, but your ability to control it is very important. So, I have developed a thick skin when it comes to sexual urge and thirst.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

This particular incident happened recently. My period came suddenly due to stress; I wasn’t expecting it so I didn’t pad up. I got stained on a flight and I didn’t even notice it. A good guy called my attention to it. I was embarrassed at first, but the gentleman walked directly behind me to at least shield me a bit. Some men are really sweet.