I’ve worked in Hollywood, but I prefer Nollywood – Actor Wale Ojo

Veteran actor, Wale Ojo says he prefers working in the Nigerian movie industry haven worked in Hollywood and countries around the world.

The Nollywood star who started his acting career in the United Kingdom in 1986, said the reason he loves Nigeria is because of the “vibes and camaraderie.”

Wale Ojo Hollywood Nollywood

Ojo stated this in an interview with The Punch, adding that although Nollywood still has a long way to go in terms of high production values, he always learns something working in the industry.

He said; “The industry in Nigeria is growing very fast. . We are just a different set of people, right from the way we work and relate with one another. The vibes and camaraderie of Nigeria is just unique. Yes, we have a long way to go in terms of high production values but I prefer to come back to Nigeria after I have worked in Hollywood and other industries across the globe. I always learn something whenever I work in Nigeria. I cannot even remember how many movies I have shot in Nigeria.”

The 55-year-old thespian also talked about how his mother played a major role in his career and decision to become an actor.

Ojo said; “My mother helped with the decision, but she did not know I would take it seriously. I remember about 50 years ago, she told my uncle that he should be coming to pick me up to the TV station– Western Nigeria Television, which is now NTA, Ibadan, Oyo State.

My mother’s picture is on the cover of ‘Wedlock of the Gods’, a book (play) written by her best friend, Zulu Sofola, who was a great female writer. The play was first performed in 1973. I am trying to shoot a documentary to mark the 50th anniversary of that play this year. We are hoping to do it at Mokola, Ibadan.”

He further recalled working alongside Hollywood star, Al Pacino in the “Godfather” and noted that it was one of his memorable moments as an actor.

“There are so many and they are all over the world. One of them was featuring alongside Malon Brando and Al Pacino in ‘The Godfather’. The other I wished happened but it didn’t was working with Hubert Ogunde in the movie ‘Mr Johnson’. I was one of the three actors who were considered to play the role but they went for another actor. Nevertheless, I was still very happy to have gone that close. That would have been a dream come true, because I grew up watching Hubert Ogunde on TV in Ibadan.

Also, I remember featuring in a movie titled ‘Streets of Calabar’. At the start of the movie, we used the Calabar Carnival in Cross River State as part of the film. I went on stage and performed in front of a huge audience. It was lovely. Another memorable moment was performing ‘Wedlock of the Gods’ in London. In addition, I love the character I played in ‘Blood Sisters’. I also did ‘Phone Swap’ with Kunle Afolayan. One of my big projects till date was ‘Foundation’ for Apple TV, which was shot in several countries, including Northern Ireland and Malta. It was the pay check from ‘Foundation’ that served me for seven months during the COVID-19 pandemic in Dominican Republic,” the actor said.