Delta State-born actress, Dolly Nwaduba shares her journey into the movie-making industry, her unforgettable heartbreak and plans to have a secret wedding at Las Vegas or Hawaii. Enjoy the interview.
Can you tell us briefly about yourself?
I’m Dolly Nwaduba, a writer, producer, and actor. I’m from Aniocha South in Delta State. I have been in the movie industry professionally for two years now. I came back to Nigeria in 2017 after my graduation from New York Film Academy and produced my first movie, Lights Out, and thus began my journey in Nollywood.
Was that your first experience? How was it like?
It was quite different from my experience in Hollywood because I had worked there for a year after graduation. Things are done differently here, so I had to learn a whole lot from that first movie I wrote and produced. Production in Nigeria is easier to achieve but at the same time more tedious to execute. It’s a bit complicated, really.
What were the challenges you faced?
First, for me, it was the casting. As a writer, I’m very particular about who plays every character in my stories. But I had to learn to cast actors who would not only fit my character description but also guarantee my money back. There’s also this ‘returnee problem’ I had because I went to a film school abroad. People just automatically assume that you are better than them, so they try to openly correct and sometimes even humiliate you, for not knowing how they ‘run things around here’. They forget you have a whole different experience from what they have. Some even challenged and accused me of going to waste money overseas when I could have just learned the ropes of movie production from under one of the prominent producers or directors for much less. It was crazy.
How did you pick your cast?
I usually have some particular actors in mind when I’m writing. So, when I’m ready to shoot, I’ll contact these actors, and if they’re available, we work together. If not, I’d find suitable replacements.
Do you have a new project now?
Oh yes, I’ve written and produced four movies since then. I’m currently working on the fifth. I just finished one a few weeks ago entitled, One Wish. It was directed by Tchidi Chikere and would be out by next month.
Can you tell us more about the movie?
It’s an unconventional love story that I wrote last year after a very bad breakup. I was really depressed and had lots of messed up thoughts in my head. For the fear of going to prison or worse, I had to refrain myself from going to the extreme. So, I did what every great writer would do. I poured out my thoughts on the pages of my book, and being blessed as an actor, I carried out my evil plot of kidnapping my ex on his wedding day without fear of actually going to jail for it. I got the best cast ensemble and the best director to tell this beautiful heartbreak story of mine.
Is it a true-life story?
One Wish is my actual love story. Well, except for the ending, which would shock everyone (laughs).
What led to the breakup?
Truthfully, I became a bitch. It was my very first time falling in love with someone other than myself, so it so consumed me that I became possessive to the point of obsession. I was constantly snooping around and nagging. He met someone else who started giving him the peace I used to give him when we first started dating. I’m not saying he didn’t have his own faults, he did. But I contributed the majority of what caused the breakup. I literally drove him nuts.
How did you feel seeing him move on?
I felt really bad. The girl was so hot! I used to stalk her Instagram page. She’s the perfect slay queen! Whereas I struggled to even put on powder on my face. I felt so bad.
What if he finds out about the movie, don’t you think he would know you are not over him yet?
I really don’t care what he thinks anymore. I’m so over him. But yeah, of course, he’ll know once he sees the movie or this interview.
So, who are your cast and is it a cinema movie?
I played Naomi, the heartbroken one. Frederick Leonard played Philip, my ex; Diana Okoh played my not-so-smart best friend, who’s ready to kill for me. While Lotachukwu played one of my best friends who happens to be my only voice of reason, the sensible one among the trio, and Ada Karl is also known as Ada Slim, played my no-nonsense elder sister, who would rain down hell on anyone for her naughty sister, who she sometimes avoids as well. And no, it’s not a cinema movie. I’m not ready to produce a cinema movie yet.
How do you get finance to push your projects?
I finance some of my movies and some by private investors. One Wish was executive produced by my friend and record label owner, Philip Samuel, the CEO of Make Sound From Minds Records. He’s someone who believes in me and wants to see me grow, as well as make money.
Are you now in a new relationship?
As much as I’m very open about my life, there are some things I still like to keep private. My relationship status is one of them.
What kind of man do you fancy as a husband?
All I want in my husband is high intelligence level, at least higher than mine. I also want kindness, generosity (he must spoil me with gifts) and tenacity. I don’t want a man who would easily give up on our marriage at the slightest turbulence. With me, it’s going to be for better or for worse.
Should we expect the wedding bells to ring anytime soon?
My wedding is going to be very quiet and secret! It’s going to be probably a Vegas or Hawaiian ceremony, just the two of us. So, no one would probably know until our anniversary. Oh dear! The things I want are sometimes so awkward. I hope he feels the same way too, make I no go enter one chance.
What were your parents’ reactions when you decided to go into entertainment?
My parents are very supportive of anything I decide to do. They let me make my own decisions and trust my judgment completely.
Would you say you were a spoiled child, born with a silver spoon?
I wasn’t spoiled at all and I wasn’t born with a silver spoon. But I always had the basic things I needed to prepare me for a better future, an especially good education. My aunt and her late husband raised me and gave me the best of everything they could afford. I was really loved.
Can you recall any fond memories while growing up?
One fond memory I always remember from my childhood was when I ran away from home immediately after writing my WAEC exams.
I went to meet one aunty I had in Nasarawa State Polytechnic and I stayed with her for two days without her breathing down my neck to read. I felt free for the first time in my life, but she eventually took me back home on the third day and my aunt gave me the beating of my life. It was worth it, though. I was very stubborn.