Nancy Isime, Ini Dima-Okojie, Daniel Etim Reflect On Role In Blood Sisters
Nigerian actors Nancy Isime, Ini Dima Okojie and Daniel Etim Effiong have reflected on their roles in Netflix’s first original Nigerian series, Blood Sisters.
Last year, Netflix and EbonyLife Studios unveiled the cast for the four-part crime thriller series, directed by Biyi Bandele and Kenneth Gyang, and produced by Judith Audu, Temidayo Makanjuola, Quinty Pillay and Priz Nzimiro.
Blood Sisters lit the light on intra-family relationships, physical and substance abuse, love, commitment and relationships, as well as the test of friendships when held up against challenging circumstances.
The series is an ode to life in the city as it brilliantly juxtaposes the various socio-economic divides in Africa’s most famous commercial and social hub. It tells the story of two friends Sarah (Ini Dima-Okojie) and Kemi (Nancy Isime). Sarah is engaged to her dream man, Kola (Deyemi Okanlawon). However, their seemingly serene union has a dark side and despite Kemi’s vocal misgivings, Sarah is determined to press on with the wedding. What follows is a heart-stopping series of catastrophic events marked by murder, love, betrayal and the test of friendship.
CEO of EbonyLife Studios Mo Abudu had described Blood Sisters as challenging but very exciting. She expressed that the studio remained committed to the vision share with Netflix to tell authentic and exciting African stories with superb production values.
Speaking on the feeling after leaving the set, Isime said: “We were on set for almost two months and Ini and I were in character almost through, I was overwhelmed towards the end of the shoot. I was overwhelmed by Kemi’s character. There was a day I went back to my room after leaving the set and cried because I just wanted to be free from Kemi. We were so immersed, especially in the second part where we were shooting back to back at a remote village in Lagos.”
Reacting to the question of if she put emotion into the shooting in the movie, she said: “I put in a lot of emotion into the shooting and into everything, it wasn’t Nanny on the screen, Kemi took over.
Speaking on when to leave a relationship, she said: “I don’t think you can advise anybody on when to leave; we can only appeal to a victim to leave in time.
Also, speaking on Sarah’s character and the project, she said: “It was amazing to bring such character to life, but it was emotionally and mentally draining for me; there’s a scene between Nancy and me, it ended up playing out differently because we were not supposed to break down, but we ended up crying, we didn’t stop crying even after we were told to cut so, it was just an unforgettable experience, and I am grateful for it. As actors, we are as good as the opportunity we are given, if we don’t get it, there is no way to show how good we are.
On the Chemistry between her and Nancy before the project, she said: “We worked together on a project almost eight years ago, we are cool and I love her energy. We met at the audition and we clicked immediately but we never knew the character would be flipped. I read for Kemi and she for Sarah.
Speaking on how to deal with a bully partner, Effiong, said a victim must not just keep quiet but must seek help, and both the abused and the abuser must get help. “It’s usually the abused that seek help, the abuser must also seek help, the abuser may have also been abused in the past and just want to visit it on someone who is close to them.
On how Netflix has helped shape the quality of movie production in Nigeria, he lamented that the industry is where it is because there are not enough investors. “We can only do what we have the opportunity to do, if we don’t have the opportunity, people can’t see what we can so, the advent of Netflix provides that window to the world where people can tap into Nollywood and see the abundance of talents we have, and for the fact that Netflix is reaching out to both the much established and up and coming producers. There is so much hope for Nollywood and the sky is the limit.