Editha Francis is a Nollywood actress and producer. She has featured in movies such as ‘Keeping Faith’, ‘Throne of Obstacle’, ‘My Family, My Love’, and ‘Boss Lady Nightmare’ among others.
She is also the producer of ‘Street Kid’ and an Igbo film titled ‘Obi Nkume’. In this Interview, she talks abouta her first year as an actress, the role she looks forward to, and more. Excerpts:
Weekend Magazine: How did your journey in the film industry begin?
Editha Francis: In 2008 I traveled to Asaba to see a friend who was onset a movie. That was how I got a role to play alongside Jim Iyke and Kate Henshaw. In 2015, In Lagos, I met a certain producer who needed an apartment to shoot a movie and I offered mine. During the session, they asked me to be part of the project, but I refused. After much encouragement and pressure, I accepted the role they gave me and they were impressed at my performance. That was how I found myself taking more roles and loving what I do.
WM: Did you have your family’s support when you decided to become an actress?
Editha: At first my mother objected to the idea. She said, “I don’t want you to become an actress because of the story I hear about them.” She said actresses are wayward and go nude, but I made her understand that not all actresses are the same. I promised to make her proud and never be that person she didn’t want me to be, and by God’s grace I am keeping to that. My father and other siblings are in total support. Now, my mother is happy with what I do too. Whenever she calls me, she would ask, “which of your movie is out? I want to watch them.”
WM: How different would you say you are from the roles you play?
Editha: Most times on set, I play who I am not. Sometimes, you might be given the role of a wicked or promiscuous woman, but that’s not who you are. All you need to do is to interpret the character. I play all the roles but I have my limits. I don’t take those that need me to show private parts of my body. Even when I do bedroom scenes, I put a limit. I don’t feature in movies that make my family uncomfortable.
WM: Nollywood is seen as an industry where women have to sacrifice a lot to get to climb the success ladder. What is your take on that?
Editha: As a woman, you have a choice. About three producers have shown interest in me and I declined politely. I remember the first year I joined the industry, a producer gave me a wonderful role but it had a bedroom scene where he said he wanted parts of my breast to show. I told him no. I cannot even show my inner wears. He said I should remember I am just starting and have limits. He even gave me three days to think about it and I told him there was absolutely nothing to think about. That is my standard. After three days, he changed the scene so I could fit in. The truth about the industry is that you need to fix your standards, and as long as you are good in acting as a woman it would not stop the producers from working with you.
WM: Which role challenged you the most and which movie brought you to limelight?
Editha: So far, the role I consider most challenging was that of a priestess in ‘Keeping Faith’. I acted as a bad princess who was always killing people and causing problems in her family. But the movie that brought me to limelight was ‘The Prophesy’, where I acted as girlfriend to Iyke Ogbonna.
WM: What character do you look forward to playing?
Editha: I would really love to play the role of a bad gang leader, a very heartless, stubborn one. I would like to explore what it takes to be that kind of person because I have been thinking about it a lot. Another is that of a detective.
WM: How profitable has acting been for you so far?
Editha: When you start acting, you may not be paid. My first and second year, I could count how many times I was paid. One of my producers advised I put money aside and fame in front, and once I get the fame, money would run after me. I held to that advice and it works. Today no one can call me for a role without negotiating. From the beginning all I prayed for was a role, welfare, and where to sleep. Money didn’t flow instantly. I had to pay my dues. Acting is very profitable.