Adeniyi Johnson, known as one of the most versatile actors in the Nigerian movie industry and also his marriage to his ex-wife, Toyin Abraham which ended amidst accusations of infidelity, in a new interview talked about his life and career.
Adeniyi Johnson who told City People Magazine that he hates being called a Yoruba actor, also talked about being a Tinsel cast. Here are excerpts from the interview Adeniyi Johnson granted;
For how long has Adeniyi Johnson been acting?
Over 15 years. I started from church drama and I moved to TV dramas, Soap operas, Tinsel then I delved into Yoruba films. But now, I am fully more into movies. I do more of movies now. Soap is more of a terrestial thing. Only people who watch terrestial TV get to watch it, except now that some of them are beginning to have their TV Stations on cable. I believe I should spread my tantacles. Movies are more exportable. They send movies abroad. I still do both, but more of movies now, English and Yoruba films. I want people to see what I can do.
What was your experience like in Tinsel?
It was great. After a few attempts we started getting lines. We acted as props. We just sat down and watched people talk and nod. At some point, they started giving us lines. But I felt I deserved more. I wanted more. They didn’t see me as one of the major actors so why should I stay on. I then made the move to do Yoruba movies. As at then I had done my 1st Yoruba film.
The title is Motaka Osi danu by Lekan Ayinde. He saw me at a soap opera location. My dad actually called, so I spoke Yoruba and he said so you can speak Yoruba? He didn’t know I was a Yoruba guy. I told him I am a royal guy. I am from Ondo State. He now told me I would becomng to work for him soon. I said No. I am not ooo. I was scared of Yoruba movies then. They said they used to die. He said you will do it and you will not die. That was when I did Agbere, in 2011. I was on set with Yomi Fash Lanso and Mosun Filani. From then till now I have been moving from set to set. I thank God for that. My breakthroughs started coming in Yoruba.
How do you take negative stories and comments?
I have learnt to live with it. I don’t let it bother me. I enjoy it all the same. I don’t try convincing people that I am this kind of person. I live my life as it is. I am someone who does not really do interviews. I run from it interviews. When I read the comments people make about me, I smile because you don’t even know me.
How do you see the dichotomy in the movie industry? They call some people Yoruba Actors and some others English actors. How do you react when people call you Yoruba actor?
I am not a Yoruba actor. I am a Nollywood actor. I was never a Yoruba actor. I have never been a Yoruba actor. I have been a Nollywood actor. I do English films. I do soap operas. I do feature films. I do a Yoruba films also. So, why tag me a Yoruba Actor? You see me in English films. I can mention 10 of my movies that have gone to the cinemas so why call me a Yoruba actor. I am a Nollywood actor. An African actor as a matter of facts.