You always knew Mofe Duncan was going somewhere big. Whether on the cast of Edge of Paradise, modelling on an Airtel billboard, or hosting the Peak Talent Show, his star quality was undeniable. Today, he has no less than 18 movies under his belt, with many more in the works. Joy Ehonwa had 10 questions for the Sons of the Caliphate actor.
CN: You’ve done some TV show hosting, and even modeling. When did you decide that acting was what you wanted to focus on?
I wouldn’t say I decided to focus primarily on acting, acting focused on me. Plus, I think it’s just the season; if there comes a time to model, or be an MC, that’s where I’ll be.
CN: You’re the only southerner playing one of the sons of the caliphate on the ELTV series, Sons of the Caliphate. How did you prepare for the role of Nuhu Bula?
When Dimbo (the producer) called me, in 2013, and told me he wanted me to learn Hausa, I thought he was kidding. But when I arrived for the reading, I found out how serious he was. I didn’t think I could pull it off, but I had a great team: my co-cast and my script supervisor. Preparing for the role wasn’t so much a problem, I saw it more as a challenge to see how much I could push myself. So I tapped into my knowledge of my old university roommate and surrounded myself with northerners, which was easy for me because 90% of the cast and crew were from the north. My Hausa is still a work in progress.
CN: Fans are melting over your work in *Ovy’s Voice, with Bisola Aiyeola as your love interest and Shaffy Bello as your mum. What was the experience like, working on this movie?
This movie is very dear to me because the character I played is not very far from my own personality. I felt very at home playing Anan. It was my second time working with Biodun, the producer. I’d worked with him in the past on set of Husbands of Lagos. It was also my second time working with Shaffy. For Bisola, on the other hand, it was our first time on set with her and she was great. We had so much fun working together. Contrary to her personality, her character Ovy was a mute, so Bisola did ALL the talking before each scene (laughs). Shaffy is a natural, I didn’t know what it’d be like playing her son, but she made it so easy. Also, as a method actor, during my line delivery, I usually pick up trigger words from whomever I’m bantering with, but the character Ovy was a mute so I had to pick up my trigger words from whatever Bisola gave me, like signals or facial expressions and such. I was very sceptical about the movie, I felt like I could’ve done more, but the love and appreciation and encouragement and the fans…it’s been overwhelming. The experience, in general, was awesome and every day was one big party.
CN: Are there any actors you would like to work with, locally and internationally?
Locally, ummm, I think I’d have to say RMD, who is my mentor and my role model, and my namesake (smiles). Female, I’d have to say…Rita Dominic and Mercy Johnson. Internationally, for sure Denzel Washington and Drew Barrymore.
CN: What are your views on talent management in Nigeria, and who needs a manager?
I think almost every talent needs a manager. The role of a manager is pivotal, so you can use your time to focus on your craft, as opposed to focusing on meetings, deals to make, etc. Unfortunately, having a manager is seen as being arrogant or cocky, and some people don’t want to go through your manager, they find it insulting. But, our counterparts in foreign countries, wouldn’t even talk to the artiste, they would go straight to the manager…I think our mentality needs to change.
CN: If you weren’t in the entertainment industry, which other career path might you have followed?
CN: What qualities do you admire most in your woman?
Wow, okay, that went from 0-100 real quick. I admire the love she has for me. And her ability to smile through every struggle.
CN: You’ve done some work teaching aspiring actors. What’s the one piece of advice every young actor should hear?
Very good question. Passion before fame, passion with fame, passion after fame.
CN: How many movies have you acted in so far, and what are your plans for the future?
I’d say between 18-25 movies. I really would love to shoot my own films in the next 2 years, I’ve already written the scripts.
CN: What are some of your favourite things?
Playing my PS, my dog Ace, noodles, dodo, jewelry, superheroes… I actually love to draw, I like memories – creating them, reminiscing.
*Don’t miss Ovy’s Voice on ROK (DSTV Channel 168) this Sunday, 16th April at 21:00 CAT.