Erica Nlewedim: Ex-Beauty Queen Takes On Nollywood
Erica Nlewedim is one of Nollywood’s fast-rising stars. She began her acting career in 2015 with a leading role in Secrets and Scandals.
Erica Nlewedim participated in the 2014 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MGBN) pageant where she quickly became a fan favourite and won the Most Photogenic award. As a model, Erica has graced a number of billboards nationwide, modelling for top brands such as Nature’s Gentle Touch, Zaron Cosmetics, Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Hollandia, Globacom, Jumia, Stanbic IBTC, Etisalat and Peak Milk.
The former beauty queen speaks to The Guardian Life on role models, exercises and beauty routine.
Tell us about your background
I studied acting for the screen at Met Film School, London. I am an only child, a commercial model, an ex-beauty queen and I have a BSc in business administration from Covenant university. I have always been passionate about entertainment, beauty and business.
Would you say your background in modelling prepared you for Nollywood?
My background in modelling prepared me for modelling because as a commercial model you get to act in TV commercials. It is basically the watered-down version of a film. There’re scripts and different scenes in which you have to act so I didn’t feel out of place my first time on a film production.
What would be your dream role?
My dream role would be to be the main character in an action film. I have always loved female action stars like Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron and dreamed of acting like them. I’m currently training myself to be ready whenever that role presents itself.
How have you been coping since the coronavirus pandemic began?
I have been coping with this pandemic by staying indoors, constantly checking on my family and friends, exercising, reading books and watching films.
How do you improve your acting skills? Do you have a special routine?
I practice some tips I got from film school, and I do some acting exercises. My favourite technique is the Stanislavsky because it puts me in the same frame of mind as the character so I understand why I take every action. It also helps my acting become even more natural.
Which actor or actress inspires you the most? And why?
Halle Berry inspires me a lot because she’s one of the most successful black action stars. She’s versatile also. She is the first black woman to win an Oscar for best actress, she’s very classy and even after so many years of acting, she’s still in great form and can still take on action roles in her fifties. I admire her a lot because she gave me a role model of my skin colour, we have very few black female action stars.
You founded Erica Nlewedim Foundation in 2018, what would you term the biggest achievement of the foundation?
The biggest achievement of the Erica Nlewedim foundation is feeding 1000 people during the Christmas holidays. I’m working on doing more in the near future.
Can you share your skincare routine?
I have a daily, weekly, monthly routine for my skin. I cleanse, tone and moisturise with an oil-free face lotion and serum daily. I scrub and use a mask twice weekly. I go for facials at the spa once a month. And if I ever have spots on my face, I do a mild peel at the spa.
What changes do you look forward to in the Nigerian film industry?
I look forward to bigger budgets in our film productions because I know that it will really make our quality as good as Hollywood films. We do so much with such little budget just imagine how much more we would do with more! I’m very optimistic!
What advice would you give to budding actors looking to break into Nollywood?
Keep improving yourself; get acting lessons online; improve on your looks and your overall packaging; network; put yourself out there at every opportunity you get; get a main source of income while still trying to make it in the acting world and use the money to keep investing in your acting career. Also, be persistent and consistent.
Lastly, do not ever think you can do everything on your own, trust in God to help you.