Enyinna Nwigwe – Runway model to award-winning actor
The Wedding Party (TWP) was definitely one of the biggest and most unforgettable movies of 2016. The success of the film was driven by an interesting storyline and of course the brilliant selection of cast members. But even though we are expecting the release of The Wedding Party 2, Nwigwe is more than “Nonso” the heartthrob brother to Banky W.
Nwigwe is no stranger to the Nollywood scene. His career started off in 2004 while studying in the University of Calabar, he began runway modelling. According to the actor, “I met Jeta Amata (film maker) who was then working on a project in Calabar, we got close and his passion for film and storytelling rubbed off on me.”
The actor is known to have featured in several films including Love Struck, Turning Point, Tinsel, Black November and many others. While Nwigwe has recently been widely recognised for his role in TWP, he is also recognised for his participation on the campaign, Save the Niger Delta aimed at cleaning up the oil spills in the region. The story which inspired the film, Black November, enabled the actor to win several awards for the screening of the film.
As we anticipate the release of TWP2, Guardian Life had a short chat with the actor on the introduction of new cast members, his favourite role thus far and upcoming projects that might just bag him more awards.
Tell us about your role in TWP? What made this role stand out from the rest you’ve played as an actor?
The Wedding Party (TWP) role like every other role came with its own excitement. After getting a call-back from the producers and reading the script, working with such great talents and brands across the entertainment spectrum such as music, comedy, film, and TV made it different from every other experience.
I have always had great respect for Alibaba, Banky W, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Ireti Doyle, Sola Sobowale, Ikechukwu, Adesua Etomi, Somkele Idama, Zainab Balogun, Saka, AY, Emma Oh My God and first-time feature length film director whom I have always admired from a distance Kemi Adetiba. It doesn’t get better than that. The energy and synergy on set was amazing.
Above all my role stood alone as “Nonso” and that gave me the comfort I needed to deliver.
Due to the success of the first movie, is there any pressure to perform in the TWP 2?
Naturally, there should be pressure when you start anything on such a high note. Pressure to outdo yourself and still get the audience (who have the independence of assessment) to agree with you, but in this case, I am very relaxed and confident that TWP2 will far outdo TWP1. The script is way bigger and better, the budget is bigger, it’s gunning to be on more global platforms, more spectacle, more characters introduced like Patience Ozokwor and Chiwetalu Agu amongst others. It’s a win-win really, I have no doubt or pressure.
What has been your favourite work so far?
Black November is special to me for a lot of reasons. First, it opened my eyes to the Niger Delta struggle and I was able to assess things first-hand – oil spills, gas flaring, effects on the livelihood and health of the people in these communities. Secondly, on the career side, it exposed me to a new world.
This birthed the documentary Into the Delta and went on to inspire the Save the Niger Delta movement. Black November was a passion project and I believe film is a strong tool for social change.
Do you have any role models that you look up to?
I try not to use the phrase role model loosely as different people appeal to the different sides of me. However, one man pretty much moves me to stay striving for excellence and that is Pastor Paul Adefarasin.
Are you looking forward to new ventures?
What a time to be alive! I am looking forward to lots of great adventures ahead. Currently working on and also in talks for a few projects that have the potential to be some of my best works!