One of the side effects of finding fame through reality television is that you are tainted by its artifice. Reality television requires a level of exaggerated drama for it to be enjoyed, that once the show is done and the winners crowned, it becomes difficult to offer anything else. This is especially true of the stars of Endemol reality tv experiment Big Brother Nigeria. From its comeback season, the stars of Big Brother have had to work extremely hard to shed the uni-dimensional character tropes they are forced to play out to curry favour with fickle fans. Some stars manage to break the mold each season, none has managed to reach the heights that Bisola Aiyeola was the multi-talented queen of season 2 has managed. She went on to lead a Sugar Rush, a Nigerian cinema blockbuster, released well received music projects and host show. Diane Russet, the Kaduna born beauty from season 4 is determined to follow her blue print.
Diane Russet who was very vocal about her desire to become a character actress, is taking initiative and not waiting to be recognised by Nollywood. She has started her own production company and has recently released her first project under her company, a short film called ‘Bayi’. Working with film wunderkind, Michael ‘Amapsalmist’ Akinrogunde (who won an AMVCA for his short film in 2018), Russet shows range by shooting the film almost entirely in Hausa and highlight a culture that is underrepresented outside of the niche Kannywood. Tackling VVF and child marriages in Northern Nigeria, ‘Bayi’ comes off as a little preachy, and of course stereotyping about Hausa people not being able to speak good English but if it’s all for a good cause, its easy to overlook. It helps that Russet has never been seen in this light and she’s able to leverage her fame from BBN towards this new direction.
Will Russet be the next Northern actor to truly cross over like Ali Nuhu and Sani Danja?