Stephen Damian: A real man respects, protects women
Stephen Damian is a TV and film actor, model and voice-over artist.
A native of Oyi Local Council of Anambra State, he is a graduate of Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Benin.
Damian was one of the 10 finalists at the 2014 Mr. Nigeria contest. He went in into acting afterwards with his debut movie, Remember Me.
He is known for his roles in The Wedding Party, Disguise, The Washerman, Tatu, Finding Eden, Mystified, Tailor Papi and most recently Tiger’s Tail. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, he shares his passion for acting, experience in marriage and campaign for men to protect women.
How did you engage in acting?
I started out with modelling and competed for Mr. Nigeria. I tried to move into commercial modelling before going into acting.
You must have ladies flocking around you because of your physique. how do you manage them?
It is not really a problem right now because I’m married.
You look quite young. How old are you?
I am 30 years old.
So why did you choose to marry this early considering the industry you are in?
I’ll tell you what; when you see that woman, you don’t want to get distracted, I have seen all kinds of women already, I have seen it all.
How did you meet your wife?
I met her on a trip while in the United States; we met at a house party. I believe that once you see what you want, you go for it.
Share with us your growing up?
I grew up with my parents, although my mum passed away in 2016. However, I learnt a lot from my dad, from the way he treated my mom; I never saw him abuse my mum. This is one thing a lot of parents should inculcate in their sons. The problem we have today is that a lot of boys grow up watching their father abuse their mum, and then they think it’s okay and start beating their sisters and move on to their girlfriends and wives.
Did this make you soft and led you to settle down early?
Not at all. I have never been a soft guy and there is nothing wrong with it. I am everything a man should be. A real man is one who respects women and we need to protect them. Our job as men is to offer protection and security.
What was your initial challenge as an actor?
The major challenge I had was being misunderstood; people thought I could only play a kind of role. When they need a guy from ‘Yankee’ with an accent or a guy with six-packs, they call Stephen Damian for it. People don’t know I could do stuff like comedy, just like I now do with my role in Tailor Papi. The thing about comedy is that it comes when you don’t expect it and so it becomes more funny and interesting.
How have you been able to hone your craft over the years?
When I started out, I didn’t have any professional training. I had a passion for arts and over time, I knew that my craft is an important one that can influence people’s lives to be better, which is powerful. I knew that if I have to do this, I have to be the best in my craft, so I started having both online and in-person training to better myself. I am constantly improving my skills and myself because I haven’t even started.
Are you still modelling?
Yes, of course. I still have the looks, so when the job comes, I take it.
Between acting and modelling, which one puts more food on the table?
Acting pays the bills 100 percent. Acting gives good money.
What projects are you working on?
I am working on a couple of projects; I just wrapped one today. For the others, I am not expected to talk about them.
Tell us about your style.
I am the kind of guy that hits the gym a lot, at the end of the day, I always like to wear stuff that shows my body. I have to show my body because it is a work of art. My body is like the most expensive cloth in the world.
What do you see as the Stephen Damian brand in the nearest future?
I want to change the narrative and do something different. Impacting people’s lives and letting people know that if I can do it, they can do it. They should be a part of something great and live a life full of purpose. This is because at the end of the day, we are here for a reason and it should be discovered and fulfilled with the time we have to spend here on earth. So, I just want to live a happy life and impact as many lives as possible.
What was your take on the Nollywood industry?
There is definitely an improvement, even from the movies we churn out, you can tell. However, we have so much more miles to cover, but at the end of the day, we should still be proud of ourselves.