In this interview with AZUH AMATUS, pretty actress Funto Thompson, bares her mind on a wide range of issues.
The daughter of theatre icon, Dr. Fatoba, who is also happily married to leading director, Tarila Thompson,sensationally took us down memory lane on her life, career, family, future ambition and more.
Enjoy the interaction!
Q 2004 has come and gone, how would you rate it in terms of performance and achievements in the movie industry?
A It was okay. Actually, I did not surpass the things I planned for 2004,but I was able to achieve some things. I acted and co-produced few movies alongside my husband. I also expanded the costuming aspect of my business as a costumier. I also tried my hand in script writing. But I have made up my mind that those things I was unable to achieve last year, will be achieved this year.
Q Like what?
A I’m not going to make them public. They are between me and my God. You will know more when I have achieved them.
Q What remarkable event in your life last year do you still remember with smiles?
A Hmmh! Well the birth of my first child in October last year was and is still very remarkable in my life. His arrival brought me joy and still linger s on. His name is Michael.
Q How does it feel having your first issue?
A (Smiles). It was sweet . The usual excitement and stress that comes with it in-fact it was okay.
Q Was your husband in the labour room with you?
Q Would you have loved your husband to be by your bedside the day you delivered?
A Aaah? Well, not really. To me there wasn’t really any difference as long as the baby comes out safe.
Q 2005 is still fresh, what are your plan and aspirations for the new year?
A (thinks) Basically, I want to do more of producing and scripting this year 2005. It’s a year of more quality films from our stable, Obris and Gates.
Q You are a Yoruba lady being married to a Rivers State man. What actually attracted you to him?
A (laughs) Well, so many things, we just got flowing. We were actually friends initially before agreeing to date. We actually sealed it with marriage in December 2003.
Q You have still not told us what actually attracted you to him?
A I can’t really say basically, we are just friends. We used to flow, we used to gist. We were really close friends then until he popped the question of marriage.
Q How did you feel and react when he popped the big question at you?
A Emmh! As at the time he popped the question I was respecting him. I loved him the very frist time I met him. When I met him, he looked like an over grown baby to me.(general laughter)
Q Can you still remember the exact word he used in wooing you?
A I heard him say to me, you’ve been very special bla bla bla. (laughs). So let’s take it a step further …
Q You sojourn into Nolywood, how and when did you start?
A I came in 2002 on the set of Murder in Mind, which was made possible by my husband. He directed the movie also. But I didn’t come in to act, I only came to be a script writer. I love writing a lot.
Q Were your parents in support of it when you ventured in?
A They are civilized and liberal people, with them you can do whatever you like as long as it is legal, honourable and not stupid.
Q As a child growing up, was acting on your mind?
A No! I never considered it. As a child growing up I dreamt of being a writer, a dancer. I love dancing and toyed with the idea of being a professional dancer. I will go into dancing professionally when the time is ripe, not now. When I’m set, I will portray Africa in good light through my own special kind of dance. There is power, message and ministration in dancing.
Q Do people often tell you that you look very much like star actress, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde?
A Yeah! I’ve been told by some people.
Q So, how do you feel when people say it to you?
A Well, to me it’s an observation. I don’t feel anything when people tell me I look like her.
Q Have you met her one-on-one before?
A No! we have not met one-on-one.
Q Do you look forward to acting alongside Omotola someday in movie?
A Not particularly! I don’t look forward towards acting with anybody. But if fate brings me together with anybody, no problem.
Q Did she have any influence on you in terms of acting before you entered the industry?
A Sincerely speaking no! Before I entered the industry I’ve never heard of her. Though, I had seen her in few movies before coming in, but not to the extent of knowing her that much Again, before I came into the industry, I hardly watch movies. I had no interest in movies prior to my coming I only came in with the intention of writing only scripts then.
Q So, how do you normally feel when people mistake you for Omotola?
A Actually, people don’t mistake me for Omotola, they just say something like you look like her. Then one or two people had asked me if we are related and I simply said, no!
Q Have you ever seen embarrassed for looking like Omotola?
A No! Nobody has ever embarrassed me.
Q Kindly tell us about yourself, family and educational back ground?
A First, I will be 23 this 2005, March to be precise. I’m the third child from a family of four, we are three girls and a boy. I’m from Lagos State, that is my mum’s state. My Dad is a from Ekiti. My Dad (Dr. Fatoba), is a lecturer and does act once in a while. I had my Nursery and Primary education at the University of Ibadan’s Staff school. I also grew up in Ibadan (U.I) And growing up in Ibadan was okay and cool. Life in Ibadan was a closely knitted affair. Also, while growing up in Ibadan, I was a bit of a Tomboy who likes climbing trees and biking around with the boys. My Secondary School was here in Lagos. And currently, I’m an English Undergraduate at University of Lagos.
Q You are an actress, producer, script writer, costumier, undergraduate and a nursing mother. How do you cope with all these?
A Well, it’s not been easy. I cope by prioritizing my schedules. I do all these things one at a time. Then my loving and caring husband has been supportive. Let us thank God for everything.
Q Aside the above things that you do, are you into other money yielding ventures?
A (Laughs heartily). I do businesses like buying and selling. Also run a boutique called C’est Chic. It’s on off Adeniran Ogunsanya Street, Surulere, Lagos.
Q How does it feel being married to a top movie director like Tarila Thompson?
A How does it feel like? How? Sincerely speaking, nothing special. I’m married to him and not his tag as a top director. The only thing special is being married to Tarila and not a movie director. In the first place, he as a person appeals to me and not his job or name.
Q In your next world, do you still want to come back as an actress?
A Yes, in my next world, I would like to come back the way I am now. Exactly just like I am now, being married to the same man with baby and stuffs like that. And also meet nice pressmen like you.
Q How many more kids should we expect from the Tarilas?
A (Thinks) Emmmh! May be not up to four kids, but definitely not more than four kids. Just few that we will be able to properly take care of.
Q As a young and newly married woman, what has the marriage institution taught you?
A Well, basically marriage is all about marrying the right person with the two of your coming together as one always. I have learnt that it is good to settle down with the person whom you love in marriage. Marriage is sweet when you marry the right person. And thank God I found my own right person.
First published, January 2005