by Rachel Ogbu
It’s not the first time Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji have featured together in a movie but the method an eager producer took to get them to comply makes a good story.
Although they’ve never confirmed or deny their rivalry, industry watchers insist there is always tension between the two divas.
Therefore, it was almost mission impossible for US based Nigerian film maker, Chineze Anyaeze to get both a-list stars to act again as sisters in the multiple award winning movie, Ije.
Revealing how she achieved the feat of convincing Omotola and Genevieve to take part in her project, Anyaeze said, “When I was even thinking of approaching them, a lot of people discouraged me saying the pair don’t talk but I went ahead to ‘chase’ them for months.
“When I called Omotola, she asked who the other actress was, I said Genevieve and when I called Genevieve she asked who the other actress was, I said Omotola (laughs).
“And she was like, ‘has she agreed?’ I said yes and Omotola asked me too if Genevieve had agreed, I said yes meanwhile they hadn’t even agreed (laughs) but I had to use that trick to be able to get them together in the film,” the Masters degree holder in Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy (NYFA) disclosed.”
Speaking further on her experience with them and how both got together on set, Anyaeze revealed, “It was a wonderful experience working with these two stars, they knew I was a student at the New York Film Academy at that time.
“So, when the production started on the first day, they didn’t take part but they observed the session. When their turn came, they were very professional all the way, it was pleasant scenery all through.”
Ije which grossed over N60 million at the cinemas, a feat that makes it the highest grossing Nigerian movie in the cinemas, was finally released on DVD on Monday, December 3, 2012.