Popular Nollywood actor, Kanayo O. Kanayo is a living legend in the Nigerian movie industry. He is one of those who helped shape the industry into the global entertainment powerhouse that it is today. In a recent interview “With Chude,” the movie star opened up on casting, stereotypes and flexibility including his well known “sacrifice” roles.
In the interview, Kanayo challenged the notion of typecasting prevalent in Nollywood. He noted that Hollywood legends like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are admired for their iconic roles.
However, “The Master” actor made it clear that Nigeria seems to have a unique perspective when it comes to casting unlike other movie industries that appreciate an actor’s versatility. Nigerians sometimes tend to focus solely on one memorable performance. This is unlike Kanayo who showed his versatility playing different roles despite being known as “Nnayi Sacrifice“.
When asked by the host if such roles make him uncomfortable, the veteran Nollywood actor said:
“No, the ‘sacrifice’ memes don’t make me feel uncomfortable, in fact, you’re a good follower of Christ. Because what I found out along the line is I have done ‘Lion Heart’, I did ‘Professor Johnbull’; just name it! ‘Upnorth’, and so on and they had nothing to do with going to do juju and all that stuff. Because the actor has to be flexible.
“If they try you in this role as a presenter, the next one they should give you a mechanic. How well you performed in that mechanic role should concern your audience.
“And I think it’s only in Nigeria – not even Africa – that this type of casting is an issue. If you look at Sylvester Stallone, he would always be the bad guy. Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger. That’s what it is. They don’t see it as typecast.
“They look at the flexibility of the actor in that role he’s playing and not about you did a hard guy here and there. That’s how Nigerians qualify you and that’s not good for those of us in the profession.
“So for their Oscars and so on, they look at you from the role you played and not whether it’s the same thing with the other role you played. There’s always flexibility in what an actor is for this role and what he’s playing for the next role.”
Kindly follow NollywoodCelebs for all the latest in entertainment including Nollywood celebrity gossip and news. Also, look out for our exclusive behind-the-scenes from your favourite Nigerian actors and actresses.