Seun Kentebe’s sure and steady walk up the top acting rung
Focused, diligent, amiable, humble and unpretentiously friendly, the Bayelsa State-born actor, who was raised in Lagos and has graced the credit lines of 28 films, nine television series, 43 plays, 15 radio jobs and two television commercials, has been having a good run on stage on screen.
Star of the epic film on Ebola, 93 Days and Purgatory, a ROK Studio movie due for release next month, the alumnus of the University of Lagos, who disclosed that he was raised by a widow, alongside two other siblings, is very passionate about acting, and it shows from the way the Dark Box actor strives to make all the roles he has been given to play appear real and believable.
He speaks about career and life.
Seun After The Successful ‘93 Days’
Post 93 Days, I have done a couple of plays, short films, series, feature films and a few scriptwriting jobs.
I even wrote and co-produced a short film called Careless. I double as a realtor, asides acting, plus, there is a family to be with.
So, I have had quite a lot on my plate, including working on stage. But I am really looking to do more movies this year though.
There is Mumble Jumble, a movie written and produced by Koffi Idowu Nuel and directed by Don Dizzy, coming out in October, and Purgatory, written, produced and directed by Remi Ibinola for ROK TV, hitting the screens next month.
So, I have quite a lot in front and I am available to take on new works.
Earlier Career Interest
I actually wanted to be an architect, but Physics and Seun didn’t get along very well.
Acting chose me, which was quite ironic, because I never saw myself as an actor. I was quite shy growing up. Still am.
But my first acting experience was in primary school, in the play, The Incorruptible Judge and I played the Judge.
I was randomly selected, ironically and I just went with it.
The next time I had anything to do with acting was in the University of Lagos.
A friend back then got a form for an audition held by Kayode Peters (KP) and Abiola Aloba of Cypress Associates.
I wanted to pursue a career in music at the time and didn’t see the need to add theatre to the list, but KP convinced me to give it a shot.
After two plays, I got hooked and it has been on since then.
First Screen Role And Acting Break
My first screen role was a character called Ugo in a sitcom called Twilight Zone.
Felt awkward transitioning from stage to screen, but I had help from KP and Abiola, so it wasn’t so bad.
Took a while to get used to acting for the camera though, having to perform while blocking out the fact that I was being recorded and could see the process was tasking, but I pulled through.
My acting break, professionally, was on stage and this was in 2011.
The play was Double Jeopardy, produced by KP and Abiola and directed by KP.
As regards what informs the roles I accept, it stems from the story.
Once I can read a script from start to finish, no breaks at all, I am sold.
And I really don’t think there is a ceiling to what role I can play.
There are, however, some lines I can’t cross.
For example, playing a gay man, I can do, but the making out aspect, naaaaah!!!
Likes And Dislikes And The Pains And Gains Of Acting
I like traveling, reading and making friends with people who are free spirits. I dislike pompous and dishonest people.
The pains of the business include rejections, inadequate fees and the fact that actors still aren’t entitled to royalties from jobs done.
Gains are recognition and appreciation from fans, plus being able to keep working because of my track record over time.
Most Memorable Stage And Screen Run
For stage, it is Finding Adaora, produced and directed by Chidi Ukwu.
My character, Emem, was all sorts of bonkers, as switched from a Calabar accent to an Igbo accent. I totally enjoyed playing the character.
For screen, a short film, it is The Dark Box, produced and directed by Yemi Jolaoso.
My character was Fido, very goofy. I even bagged an award at last year’s Real Time International Film Festival for Best Actor in a Lead Role for it.
Word For Newbies
My advice would be for them to get a side hustle.
There will be days when work just won’t be available and you will need a form of sustenance.
Also, don’t be afraid to network.
Improve on your craft and try your hand out at churning out content as a writer, producer or director, so you don’t limit yourself to just acting.
I want to get to the top rung of my career as an actor. And Hollywood is the goal for me, 10 years from now.
I want to be starring alongside A-listers and also want to be in charge of a couple of projects in the nearest future.
In addition, I want to sign some projects as producer and just keep enjoy doing what I am doing.
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