I’m reserving modelling for an exceptional brand -Kehinde Bankole

Kehinde Bankole

From contesting the 2003 Miss Commonwealth Nigeria to winning the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) for Best Actress in 2015, Kehinde Bankole, has definitely made a name for herself in Nollywood. Mass Communication graduate of the Olabisi Onabanjo University recently spoke to Bisola Bello about acting, modelling and getting what she wants.

What do you look out for in a script?

I look out for the first 30 minutes in a script. It is very important. The direction it is going to take and of course the values. Do I agree with one or two values in the movie, do I see myself in the story because sometimes you see a good story but you do not see yourself inside the story? Can I deliver the character or the role? Do I relate to it? Sometimes if you cannot relate to a story there is no need trying to act it. You might not be able to deliver.

How does it feel to go from acting in SuperStory to being AMVCA 2015 Best Actress?

It always feels great. Every time something good happens the feeling of excitement is fresh. There is no bigger victory in the two because I remember when I was in SuperStory at that moment, at my age, I felt very excited. You cannot even begin to imagine. Same thing goes for AMVCA; that particular night I won, I had that same feeling. So when something else exciting happens, I will feel the same way. Basically, I am just grateful to have success stories.

You travelled to the UK to film Beyond Blood, when was the first time you ever went out of the country to act?

That would be the London Globe to Globe Shakespeare Festival. The festival was celebrating 100 years, so they brought countries worldwide. We were representing Nigeria. It was in 2012. We had five plays throughout the festival. It was a very huge moment for me.

There is this notion that you have to know someone before you star in a Nollywood movie, what is your view on that?

Firstly, let me say, Nollywood is giving room to new people every day. And about that notion I think we should all remove it from our heads so we can move forward. If you say you have to know someone before you act, how many people can you know? You have to realise things will not be handed to you on a platter of gold. The most important thing is that you must know your own self first. So that when you see an opportunity that you can make use of, you key into that opportunity.

How did it feel like learning French for the movie Beyond Blood?

It was an eye opener. I wish I could speak French fluently. I really do. It does not actually sound like we think it does. When you are with someone that actually speaks French as a first language, every French you think you know will fly out of your mind immediately. There is a way they speak that is just so unique. It was hard but I enjoyed every bit of it.

You played a very emotional role in Beyond Blood; did you have to relate to a point in your life to get into character?

I think for every scene it was different. What I just did was that I tried to place myself in the place of someone actually experiencing the pain. And the truth is that you can only try. You can only tell someone who is HIV positive you know how he or she is feeling but you really do not. What I can do is just try and give back that expression on camera.

Do you ever feel underrated by producers and the movie industry in general?

I do not feel underrated; when the right stories come I take them.  Everything is a gradual process. I cannot have everything done under one year or two years. Even if it is two movies I get to feature in a year I am satisfied.

Do you still keep in touch with the Soul Sister crew from your SuperStory days?

Yes we do actually. I still talk to them.

You quit your modelling career for a while, why?

I would not say I quit it. I am just reserving myself for the exceptional brand that I will now represent, endorse and speak for. So that once I start it fully, people will accept it and it will definitely go viral. Simply put, I am reserving my modelling side for the next brand I will be presenting to the world.