I’m my biggest critic - BANKY W - The No.1 Infotainment blog


The No.1 Infotainment blog

The No.1 Infotainment blog

Sunday, 10 December 2017

I’m my biggest critic - BANKY W

Banky W
Earlier in the year, celebrated musician, actor and video director, Bankole Wellington, set the entertainment scene on fire when he announced his engagement to co-actor, Adesua Etomi. OVWE MEDEME caught up with him at the media screening of ‘The Wedding Party 2’ where he talks about career, marriage, business and other issues.
WHAT attracted you to the part two of The Wedding Party?
I think it wasn’t just about the part two, but it was about the whole process; to be able to rub shoulders with those I consider icons in filmmaking, the RMDs, Aunty Ireti, the Aunty Sholas, the Alibabas; people who are like icons in entertainment in Nigerian history, just the opportunity to stand next to them, to learn from them, and to try the little bit that I know. I just feel very grateful.
At that point you knew you wouldn’t be playing a lead role in this movie, how did you feel?
I don’t know how anybody else sees it, but I’ve always seen The Wedding Party franchise has an ensemble cast. You know like when you’re watching a Tyler Perry movie and you see that there is a lead role, but every character has an arch. They have a storyline of their own. And so, in part one, despite the fact that I play lead, there were a lot of other acts that also had their own storyline that came into a logical conclusion. I just felt like the part two is just shuffling of the pieces a bit and Duni and Dozie still have their own act to complete and at the end, there is a beautiful scene. At the end of it, you would see that they had that very special moment with aunty Shola’s character. And I think that was a very fitting conclusion to that story. I think I wasn’t disappointed that I was that role. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
How did you feel being in the labour room to witness the birth in the movie?
Well, Dozie’s character felt great. I usually like to watch a movie two or three times before I can tell you what my favourite part is or who my favourite character is. But that scene sticks out for me because if you notice, there were actually no lines there, but the emotion of the scene kind of came across. When you go to film school, one thing they tell you is ‘show, don’t tell’. So if you find yourself having to write every word of every scene, then you know that you’re no really doing it well. You have a good scene when you can sell it without any lines. The emotion and the beauty and the comedy in that scene totally shone through and I’m very proud to be a part of it.
‘The Wedding Party’ is your debut film where you play lead role. When the eventual work came out and you watched yourself, how did you feel about it?
First of all, anybody that has paid attention to my music video career over the years will know that I’ve had this love affair and flirtation with the moviemaking business, because most of my videos are short films. I don’t really do just performance. I tend to want to tell stories. If you think of the iconic videos in Bank W, the musician’s career, you’ll notice that I’ve always been a storyteller.
In fact, from my younger days, I’ve considered myself a writer first before even a singer or before an actor or anything else. So, in that sense, watching myself on screen really wasn’t that much of a stretch. It wasn’t that much of a surprise because I’ve been flirting with it for a long time. I will also say though that I consider myself, or at least I try to be my biggest critic. And that’s how I am about my music, that’s how I am about my businesses and everything I do. I feel like the day that you get satisfied with your performance and your job, is really just the beginning of the end because then you start to get complacent.
Did playing alongside your wife make it easier because it seems you were playing real life?
I don’t know. I think that if you watch the film, you will probably walk away thinking that I and my wife are believable actors. We sell the storyline as we want people to receive it. The hope is that you will not just enjoy seeing us in this but in any other filmmaking scenarios that you see us, whether we are together or not; that you will still have the same reaction, that it was very believable and that we did a good job.
Are you expecting that they will keep casting you and your wife in the same movies?
I think that we should be careful not to underestimate the intelligence of our audience. Because I think that moviemaking and filmmaking has moved in leaps and bounds. I think that when you make a statement like that, you’re kind of just assuming that the audience are not going to be able to process anything other than what they’ve seen and I don’t think that’s true. I think that despite the fact that movies like The Wedding Party, The Arbitration, and AY’s film are three different films with three different tones and three different styles, people still responded to them and I think that I hope to be a part of the crew of filmmakers that keep opening their minds to fantastic acts.
Don’t you think you’ll both be boxed in a corner?
Whether it’s a romantic comedy or anything else, I think that Nollywood is growing. I think that the industry has done fantastic things over the years and that we will continue to do fantastic things and the audience should continue to expect more from us.
Don’t assume that the audience is going to Pidgeon-hole any character at all into whatever they’ve seen because I think they are intelligent enough to accept quality act. The key really is can you do a good film? Can you tell a good story? Can you tell a believable story? Can you cast properly? Can you produce it properly? Can you find the funding so that it looks the way that it’s supposed to look and if you check up all of those boxes, in my experience, people will respond to it? They will buy it; whether it’s music, whether it’s movies or whether it’s fashion. I’m wearing a Mai Atafo suit right now. There was a time that you wouldn’t wear a suit made here, because you couldn’t find somebody to make a suit that you could find abroad.
But now, I don’t even shop for suits outside of the country. And I’m praying for the day that we will not look for any entertainment or any fashion or anything else outside of the country, because we have the talent to do that here. And I believe very strongly in Nigerian talent and African talent. That’s how I feel and I think that majority of Nigerians feel that way. If it’s good and it’s fantastic, they will support it and they will believe it and they will go with it.
Does your involvement in movie rub off in anyway in your music career?
Here’s what I think. Those that know me well know that I’m a very ambitious person. I’m ambitious to a fault. I literally think that I can do anything. I’m somebody that dreams very big and I will literally work my fingers to the bone.
So, I can tell you this, I have no plans to rob my music fans of my music career. That career is still going on. The songs in my album have done very well. In fact I’m still releasing Running After You with Nonso Amadi. I’m releasing What You Doing Tonight, I’m also releasing Love You Baby, produced by Cobhams. Those are three videos that I’m about to drop in the next two or three months. So yes, my music career has done well, but I want to do more. I want to do more music, I want to do more movies, and I want to do more TV. I want to do many more businesses that you’re not even aware of and by the Grace of God, I will do it in Jesus name.

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