Ademola Olonilua and Timileyin Akinkahunsi
Nollywood actor and model, Daniel Lloyd, has said he was typecast as a gigolo when he started his career. In a recent interview with Saturday Beats, he noted that he had to make a conscious decision to be versatile.
“One thing about Nigeria is that once you are good at playing a certain role, they tend to typecast you. It could be hard to leave that comfort zone to do something more daring but I am not in that league. I try to play different roles; for two years now I have been able to take up more challenging roles. I was typecast as a playboy and gigolo; they put me in a box. I want to be able to play diverse characters. I am still looking forward to that Hollywood appearance; I want to showcase my talent to the world.
“I recently did a movie where I was married to Empress Njamah; that was the role that made people thought I got married to her. It was such that people called me from all over the world to ask about it. It was just a movie but people took it out of context. If you google my name right now, that is the first story you will see about me. I posted a video a few days after the rumour went viral to clear the air that it was a movie; some people believed but others were still doubtful. There is not much you can do when their mind is already made up.
“When the news went viral, it was funny to me initially but later it was annoying. Even my uncle had to call me to confirm if the news was true. Timaya called me on the phone that same day (to confirm if it was true). He said he was sleeping when people called him, so he asked if it was real or fake. He laughed about it. Initially, it was a prank; it was more like going with the flow thinking everyone would know it’s a movie. In less than one hour, my phone battery ran out about three times. People that knew me were aware it was a movie.
“If I get married today, the world would know I am married. There was a lady I met at the airport, and she told me congratulations on my wedding; I had to tell her it was a movie. I still get such vibes,” he told Saturday Beats.
He further talked about some of the challenges he has been faced with as an actor.
“One challenging thing about being an actor is that people don’t always believe what you say because you have probably said it in a movie, even when you are being real about it. For instance, in a relationship, the girl might be thinking that since you kiss many girls in movies, why is hers special?
“People doubt my credibility; they doubt what I say to them because they think I am trying to put up an act. I have to put in extra effort to make them believe what I am saying is true. I had a girlfriend that didn’t believe what I said because she apparently heard a line like that in one of my movies. She called me up and said it was a well-rehearsed speech. I had to tell her it was a coincidence. It was not so cool because I had to put in extra effort to make things work,” he added.
As a graduate of civil engineering, Lloyd’s father expected him to step into his shoes but, he left him disappointed after he chose to stay in the entertainment industry. However, Lloyd said he was so happy when his father felt proud of him two years after he chose his career path.
“My dad was never in support (of acting). I studied civil engineering in school and he worked in Shell. It was a norm that once my dad was through with his work at Shell, he would put me in the line. When I was done with school, I left the house, I didn’t want to go back home to stay, I was in Port Harcourt and that was how it started for me. My dad was still making plans for me to get a position in Shell; I even took an exam there at some point. I wasn’t about that life, I didn’t practise civil engineering and my dad was furious about it.
“But two years later, he called me and acknowledged one of my interviews as a good one. He said next time I should talk more about him and my family. I have always loved acting; I used to act for free, not for the money. I didn’t care if there was money. I didn’t want to be a celebrity, I wanted more for myself. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be accepted initially; there were so many uncertainties but I took the bold step,” he said.
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