You can have the perfect script, the greatest director and a fantastic crew, but without the right cast the entire film could be a disaster. This is why filmmakers put a painstaking amount of energy into casting, screen tests and auditions. The process can be lengthy and tedious. Sometimes a movie is written with certain lead actors already in mind, other times casting calls can take weeks or even months to find the right actor with the right height, hair, smile, laugh and personality. Then there’s scheduling conflicts, chemistry issues and a million other things that could go wrong before filming can even begin.
Nollywood is often criticized for poor casting decisions. In a recent interview, executive producer of “Super Story” Wale Adenuga, described bad casting as the bane of Nollywood. It is not that there is a dearth of actors, the challenge is matching the right actor to the right role.
However, we must admit that some filmmakers are beginning to make the right casting decisions. We hope this trend continues.
This week, we focus on some of the best Nollywood casting decisions of 2014.
See who made our list
#5. Hakeem kae-kazim as Dede in Black November
Hakeem played the character Dede like one completely familiar with the Niger-Delta struggle. The passion and energy he brought to this role made it a perfect decision to have him act the role of an aggrieved militant fiercely angered by the oppression and injustice in his community. Driven by his conviction to see justice served, he resorts to violence, vandalism and kidnapping of foreigners. Despite his ruthlessness, fierceness and stubbornness we also see the softer side of this character- a man in love who would do all in his power to protect those he loves.
His interpretation of the character stirs up mixed emotions for the viewer, sympathy, anger and grief.
#4. Clarion Chukwura Abiola as “Yepayeye” in Apaye
Apaye is an inspiring movie that would remain a reference in Nollywood for a long time and it was superbly played by the Clarion Chukwura (as an older Apaye). Clarion’s character – Yepayeye is a spectacular woman who, against all odds, fearlessly and uncompromisingly battled her way to success. Clarion triggers the feelings associated with extreme suffering and pain. Yet she also pushes and shows the viewer a dogged fighter who won’t give up despite the odds life throws at her. Reports say Clarion was paid a whopping sum of 10 Million Naira. We dare say she deserved every bit of that sum.
#3. Sadiq Daba as Inspector Danladi Waziri in October 1
Sadiq Daba is one of the very few veteran actors who has remained timeless and whose relevance has refused to patter out. Sadiq Daba played the role of Inspector Waziri in October 1. The character he delightfully interpreted was given the charge by the colonial administrators to unravel the mystery surrounding cases of serial killing in a community in Western Nigeria.
Inspector Waziri was asked to get to the root of the matter before Nigeria’s independence. Therefore Inspector Waziri had up until September 30, 1960 to smoke out the murderer. And the crack Inspector did as he was sent. But it was Daba’s skill as an actor that made the role appear believable and convincing. But Daba is an old hand and so those who have followed him from the 80s, a period described as the glory days of Nigerian Television drama, were not surprised at the depth of character interpretation.
#2. Mike Omoregbe as Oba Ovoramwen in Invasion189I
Mike Omeregbe makes his first ever appearance in a Nollywood production. Mike Omoriegbe must be commended for being able to make the movie as real to anyone that watched it, bearing in mind that it was meant to be a 19th Century story. He was able to make the audience believe we were actually living in that era.
Mike’s command of the Bini language and the culture must also be commended and as the narrator in a different manner.
#1. Ademola Adedoyin as Aderopo in October 1
For those who have seen the movie, especially among the ladies, Aderopo looks like a cut-out from a magazine- a fantasy of sorts, sophisticated, suave and mysterious all at once. He is not the extreme and wounded Prince Aderopo in real life. He is pleasing to the eyes so your heart unashamedly forgives the excesses of his role, regardless of what your mind is telling you.
The best casting decision of 2014 has to be Ademola Adedoyin, the new kid on the block in this production. He played Prince Aderopo and let’s just say we would never have expected this much control for a first timer in a Nollywood flick. Without giving much away, he was remarkable, diction, carriage and that composure that comes with people of his character felt truly real. For the first time in Nollywood, we saw a villain whom we could love and sympathise with. He didn’t overact or play it down; with his superior acting skills he brought this character to life by giving just enough of everything.
Photo Credit: Google Images.