It was a surprise to many movie lovers when new actor, Tope Tedela, was announced winner of ‘Best Actor in a Drama’ for his role in low-budget drama, A Mile From Home; It was, however, more surprising when reports emanated that Tope was not paid for the award winning role.
In an exclusive chat with Connect Nigeria, the new star has denied the report claiming, “That’s not exactly true. In the business of film-making, it’s common practice for an actor to take on a gig without getting a salary in the hope of getting remuneration when the film gets distribution. That is the case here. I let go of pay upfront to get the film made.”
Mr. Tedela who is graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Lagos said he was surprised when he was announced winner. “I’m delighted, encouraged and challenged,” he said.
“I feel I’m on track and I plan to just keep working smarter and harder,” he added. Tedela hinted at projects he is working on and used the opportunity to inform fans of what they should expect from him.
“There are several projects In the works. Most recently I was part of the cast in the plays that showed at British Council’s 2nd Lagos Theatre Festival. In a few weeks and later in the year, Apostates, a drama directed by James Omokwe and In My Father’s House, a supernatural thriller helmed by Jimi Odumosu will soon be released respectively.” he added.
With the critically acclaimed AFMVCA award in his bag, the ‘A mile from Home’ star hopes to hit the global stage just like Kenya’s Lupita Nyong’O in the nearest future.
“For now, this is the only one I have won. I hope to continually do great work and work on a global stage.”
Tope who looks certain to be the toast of movie producers and marketers added that he would love to take up movie scripts that seek to address issues affecting young people. “I’m interested in mental health and I’m looking at how I could put some spotlight on issues of depression and related issues, especially as it affects young people,” he noted.
The Ekiti-born actor, who is the first child of his parents, began acting in 2006 when he appeared as Julian in the TV series, Edge of Paradise. He later acquired training at Film Factory in Lagos. He loves playing the guitar and feels at home in a pair of Converse All Stars.