Temitope Christopher Tedela popularly known as Tope Tedela is a Nigerian actor and producer. Tope is one of Nigeria’s finest actor and producer who’s zeal for film production is very high. He gained prominence for portraying Julian on the television series Edge of Paradise. He came into limelight after playing the lead role in the 2013 film, A Mile from Home, for which he was nominated for Most Promising Actor at the 10th Africa Movie Academy Awards. He has also received several awards including Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award, Nigeria Entertainment Award, Best of Nollywood Award, Nollywood Movies Award, Golden Icons Academy Movie Award and Express Star Award for his role in the film. In an interview with IBRANDTV, the actor talked about his career in the movie industry, he talked about the projects he is working on and how far he has gone in the industry. He further revealed the qualities he desires in his future bride. Tope has contributed a lot into the movie industry with his top notch movies and still tasking himself to do more. He spoke about some challenges that surrounds the job he does and how he was able to scale through them amongst other issues. Excerpts
How do you feel being among top personalities in Nollywood?
It’s a privilege and then honour to be regarded as a top personality in Nollywood. Personally, I feel like I am doing my job daily trying to get better as the days go by and just be truthful in the performance that I gave. And if that translates to you being a top personality then what can I say but thank you.
What are your Nollywood experience (s)?
That’s a hard question. Sometimes, you experience feelings of elation and there are times when you are heart broken. There are times you really want to do a project but you don’t get the project or you think you got the project and you don’t get it and it’s just different things at different levels. You are facing different devils and there are different sides to the story. There are times when you love a screen play, you accept to do a job, you get on set and things are just going the way you didn’t expect, this can dample your morale, dample your spirit but you just keep going so it’s a pot pourri of different things but at the end of the day, I am just greatful that I am in the game, that I am working and I am contributing my talent and my gift to the industry.
Did you foresee yourself achieving this much when you started acting?
For me it’s just always being the case of wanting to work and to do great work mostly and I don’t know that I have attained any particular level. I just keep trying to put in the work, trying to do better, trying to be a professional even when the environment could want to dissuade you from doing that. I am just being a good team player. I don’t know if I have gotten to the final destination, I just take it day as it comes and try to look into the future and make sure that I am making decisions now that will make the future better.
What was the toughest role you ever played in a movie?
That’s a hard question because different roles tasks you in different ways. Some roles are heavy on you emotionally, some are heavy on you physically, others in different ways but I am privileged to be honest. I have portrayed some interesting complicated roles and I’m really greatful for the opportunities. I remember my part in ‘Most Recently’ where I played a doctor who is researching psycho spiritual phenomenum and that characters language was very wordy. That was my few explained roles, now I was going to imbibe those lines that I had and how to make it truthful and believable, but I think it came accross well. Most Recently was an interesting tough role that’s I’ve had to play but along the line, I’ve really played a couple of interesting role in my career.
Any plans on deviating from acting, or probably consider what you studied in school?
As much as I act, I have delved into producing and into other part of the the film industry. On the side, I invest in one or two other things. I love music and I do that on the side as well. I studied Mass Communication in the university and I have worked as a newscaster and as a presenter at some point in my life. I many still do other things along those lines but I’m just open to exploring as much as it’s explorable.
Do you have any project(s) on your hand right now?
Yes I’m working on a couple of projects. Recently, in the middle of finishing up a film titled ‘Country Arm’ that I produced, I am also looking forward to ‘A Soldier Story Part 2’, ‘Return From The Dead’ which is coming to the cinemas soon and a couple of other projects that are in the works. I have a movie titled ‘The Underdog Diary‘ and other couple of projects.
Are you in a relationship?
It depends on what you mean by relationship. I am in a relationship with many people, my parents, my friends etc. If I am in a romantic relationship, that will happen when it will happen. For now, it’s just focusing on the work and taking each day that comes.
Who is your kind of woman?
I think my kind of woman is smart, sensitive, firm, kind, truthful and honest. A woman who treat others how she wants to be treated, who is kind to the lowest person and extends that same graciousness to other people, so those are like the fundamentals for me. Physically I don’t mind light/fair I don’t really have preferences in that regard but I’d like that my woman is somebody I can hopefully carry effortlessly.
What is the secret to your success story?
I think I am still on the journey to success. I am greatful honestly for how far that I’ve come but sometimes, it’s a combination of things, sometimes it’s saying no to certain things you don’t want to do. When you get to work, you do the work to the best of your ability and make sure you are not a curb in the wheel of progress of making the film or whatever project it is you are working on and just constantly trying to get better and make sure that your last project is better than the previous one.