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INTERVIEW: Actor & Model, Stephen Damian Talks His “The Wedding Party” Experience, Effect of Covid-19 on Nollywood, Relocating From Cameroon to Nigeria, Participating in Mr. Nigeria, and More…

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INTERVIEW: Actor & Model, Stephen Damian Talks His “The Wedding Party” Experience, Effect of Covid-19 on Nollywood, Relocating From Cameroon to Nigeria, Participating in Mr. Nigeria, and More…

Today’s interview is with Stephen Damian a Nigerian actor and model, he is known for his roles in The Wedding Party (2016), Disguise (2018) and The Washerman (2018). In 2014, he was a top 10 finalist at the Mr. Nigeria competition. His debut film, for which he received rave reviews, was the 2014 film “Remember Me” produced by Uru Eke and directed by Izu Ojukwu.

Check out my interview with Stephen below:

Hey Stephen! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

Sure, My name is Stephen Damian, I’m a Nigerian actor and a model. 

Talk me through an average day in the life of you?   

My average day of life is quite simple before the Covid-19. I’d usually hit the gym in the morning  before going to the movie set, and basketball is one of my hobbies. So since Covid-19 has put everything on hold all I have been doing now. Is workout at home watch movies and continue to perfect my craft as an actor .

What institution(s) did you attend and what did you study?

And studied math-statistics/ computer science in federal university of Benin.

How were you discovered as a model?

Well my model career started after I contested for Mr. Nigeria 2014 where I made to the top 10.

How did you end up also falling in with acting and why?

Well I have always been passionate about act. And acting is when of those professions that gives you freedom to become someone or something else. My acting career started in the year 2016.

What was your first acting audition process like?

Honestly I was very nervous and I never got a call back. lol

Tell me how do you prepare yourself for your roles?

Well first of all I have to read the script thoroughly, then I’d go back to study the character that I’m playing. Do some research on the characters personality. That depends on the type of character. I’d also ask the director what he is expecting from the character that I’m playing, basically I have to loose myself so I can become someone or something else.

You were in one of the most successful movie “The Wedding Party” of all time in Nigerian movie history, Tell me about your role and what that whole experience was like for you, especially being part of an all-star cast?

Well I played a role of a grooms man. And the experience was great I learnt so much on that very set and I enjoyed my self as well. I proud to be part of a movie like that because I need the visibility that it gave me at that time.

You took part in the 2014 Mr. Nigeria contest, what was the experience like for you?

It great experience, I learnt so much from our day to day taxes. It boosted my confident at that time.

What made you decide to take part in the contest?

I participated in Mr. Nigeria because the number one Male pageant in the country and also a great platform  for any actor or a model to kick of there careers.

Tell me more about your love for modelling/acting and how you use it to communicate through the work that you do?

Well I have always been a lover of act which involves acting, modeling etc. but the most beautiful thing about acting and modeling is the ability to portray some else or something else and that gives me the power to influence my society positively.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever experienced being an actor? 

I stammered for a couple of days after playing a role of a stammerer in a movie.

What will you say are your 5 Dos and Don’t when it comes to acting?

Dos:

  1. Be humble 
  2. Be willing to learn
  3. Be available 
  4. Be consistent 
  5. Be ready to wait
  6. Be passionate about acting. 

Don’t: 

  1. Don’t put Money first 
  2. Don’t belittle the film crew
  3. Don’t read scripts to memorize read to understand 
  4. Don’t ever think you’re indispensable 
  5. Don’t be late.

Do you think we are taking our health and wellbeing seriously? 

Well I don’t we do, most Nigerians only care about there healthy when that are sick or start having illness symptoms,but it shouldn’t be like that.people should take there health seriously by observing a healthy lifestyle,by eating healthy exercising frequently and always going for checkups In case of any hidden sickness.

Talking about fitness, what ways do you keep fit?

Well I try as much as possible to eat healthy, also I workout out at list 4 times every week.

How would you describe the modelling industry in Nigeria, when it comes to encouraging new faces?

Well I think the industry is there for everyone, if you have the looks and talent you will definitely succeed, there’s opportunities for both old and new faces.

What do you consider the most common stereotype about the being an actor?

Well for me I’d say playing a player or a play boy in a movie…but I’m breaking out of it. Lol

Looking since you moved to Nigeria from Cameroon there as been massive transformation and improvements. What will you say as motivated/inspired you to stay dedicated to what you do?

My dreams and ambitions. 

Which brands, clients, photographers, actors, directors, models, etc, have you worked with?

Well I’ve worked with brand production companies like filming. It’s a very long list actually I have worked with production companies like Rokstudio, Sceneone, Rave TV and many more. I have worked with directors like Don Omope, Desmond Elliot, Kemi Adetiba, Izu Ojukwu, Tom Robison. Chris Eneaji, Simon Peacemaker and many more. I have worked veterans like Jide Kosoko, RMD, Amechi muonago, Rita Dominic, Ini Edo, Mercy Johnson and many more. 

What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?

Being nominated for an award. Though I didn’t win I still considered the nominations as a huge success because it means I’m doing something good.

Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet? 

I have some many actors that I want to work with but is on top of that list Genevieve Nnaji .

Tell us two things people don’t know about you?

  1. Most people don’t know that I speak Hausa. 
  2. Most people don’t know that I’m a rapper and a poet.

As an active influencer on social media. Do you think its important to be online and if so why?

Yes it is important to be online especially now that we’re in the social media age. People need to see how active you are most of the time producers contact your through you social media’s platform.

Growing up in Cameroon, but now based in Lagos, Nigeria. How is that working out for you?

Work is great. Best decision of my life 

I know you travel a lot for work and leisure, and recently to Dubai. How was the trip?

Trip was great. Had fun. Glad I did before the lockdown.

What will you say are your must visit travel destinations?

Dubai 

How would you describe your style?

Classic and simple. 

What style genre appeals to you the most?

Well to be honest if you know personally you’d know I’m always on my sport wears.  

Name your 5 must have accessories/essentials?

  1. Perfume 
  2. My smart watch
  3. Ear rings
  4. Wooden comb
  5. AirPod 

What is your favourite dish?

Rice and plantain.

What songs are currently on your playlist?

  1. Damn by Omalay
  2. Odogwu by Burna Boy
  3. Osogaeme by Phyno
  4. Chacha by Charass
  5. Again by Wande Cole

Apart from being a model, actor, what other projects are you currently working on?

I’m a businessman as well. 

Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?

Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do.

Any specific plans for the future? 

Well I planned on having my own production company, get married to the woman of my dream, have a family and keep perfecting my craft.

Any final words?

Stay true to yourself. And love yourself because nobody can ever love you like you.

Where can we follow you online and on social media?

Instagram:  Stephen Damian

Facebook: Stephen Damian

Twitter: @StephenDamian

Asuquo Eton founded talkmediaafrica.com, now one of the most visited TV, music, tech and features website, in 2011. He is also a social media analyst, media and entertainment consultant.

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