19 SEPTEMBER 2015
Love can’t stand in the way of my career Wave-making actress, Mary Uranta, keeps delighting fans with her spontaneity and versatility. The effortlessly winsome entertainer speaks about career, family and marriage in this interview with LANRE ODUKOYA.
You have had a stint in pageantry and been a runner-up at Miss Niger Delta. How was the experience and what lessons did you learn from it? As far as pageantry is concerned, I was ‘The Finest Girl’ on campus. I picked the form for Miss Nigeria which I later did not go for because I fell ill. And one of the things that actually discouraged me was when I saw the politics in the contest, I just felt let me just stop here. I know that I don’t just have passion for pageantry, I have passion for anything entertainment. I can sing, I can dance and I can act. You have a production company, 50th Film Academy. What motivated its establishment and does the name symbolise anything? 50th Film Academy is my own way of giving back. The truth about it is that we have big plans for 50th Film which hasn’t really taken off yet. It is a platform for training aspiring actors. 50th Film is a production company. We’ve done our first and second production. So, it’s a growing production company. By the time we do up to five productions, people will get to know about us and then they can start coming in for training and production. The motive for setting up 50th Film is to see how I can help my people because the industry is a clique thing, it is a family thing. I thought I could set up the academy to help talents from my state, Rivers, to afford them the opportunity to come into the industry. Already, they have started coming but for now we are yet to start training. We are concentrating on production in order to gain that ground but we will eventually delve fully into training. What were the initial challenges you faced as a fresher in Nollywood and how did you overcome them? Challenges are part of life. Every industry comes with it is own challenge; it is not just peculiar to Nollywood. There is no sector that you find yourself that you won’t face challenges. So, for me, every challenge I faced at the early stage was part of the training. How do you handle competition and stay successful in the industry? I am not in competition with anyone. I do the best that I can and leave the rest to God. I don’t think getting into competition will make me bigger than I am today. By the grace of God, it’s been a gradual thing for me and I love it that way. That’s what defines me. I am not in competition with anyone. How would you describe your personality? What do people not know about you? I’m a very calm person by nature. I don’t like to be in the eye of the public all the time. I hardly go out. That is something I would say people know about me. Anybody that knows me knows I am a very private person.
How fulfilling is it being in the spotlight always? Do you sometimes wish things were different or that you had another job? I am happy being an actress. I couldn’t have
wished for any other job, that is the truth. I love where I am. I love entertainment. Is Mary Urantha in a relationship? What are your views about love and marriage? That is personal. Love and marriage is a good thing. Everybody wishes for love. Every woman wishes for marriage but it is not something you die for. When it comes, it comes. I can’t force myself into anything. When you force yourself into marriage, you find yourself coming out. Love cannot stand in way of my career because first of all, I cannot date a man who doesn’t support my career. A man who loves me will love my passion, my career, everything around me. When you find a man who doesn’t love or support you, it is very simple; it just shows that the man is not for you. My first priority for a man is you must love my family. Career is even secondary. A man that loves you will love everything about you. What beauty tips or routine do you indulge in to stay beautiful? I don’t have any beauty routine. Let me shock you, I hardly go to the spa for facials. I have never done facials before in my entire life. It is funny, but it is the truth. I don’t even use a lightening cream, I do moisturisers. If you have seen my family, you will notice that I am the darkest. My siblings are white, that’s the truth. What movie roles are you most comfortable with and which ones would you not dare play? I’m comfortable with any role, that’s what makes me an actress. The only thing I can’t do is going nude. Some will say they can act in pant and bra but for me that’s nudity. I can’t do that. I can never do that because this is Africa. This is not Hollywood. Maybe that is why I am not as famous as others. Could you please shed light on your background and formative years? I am from Queens’ Town in Opobo, Rivers State. I’m from a family of nine. Growing up for me was fun. We didn’t have issues at all. I don’t like to go deep into my growing up because I don’t know how to say that we were so rich and suddenly my father woke up one morning and said he had a covenant with God to serve Him. And he abandoned everything else and dedicated his life to serving God. We are grateful daily that my father yielded to that call because he has taught us what life is all about and loving God. I think that is the best thing any father can give to any child and not riches. He taught us the right way and till tomorrow, he is still my mentor. He actually went to school and studied and have lots of degrees that would make him feed to the end of his life and with all the positions he held before he resigned; I am proud of him. My father resigned at Michelen as Michelen's first African manager in Rivers State. Why did he resign from his job? He woke up one morning and said, God asked him to resign to serve Him and leave everything. And that’s how he left it. Shell was one company everybody was fighting to be part of. Shell came to the village to look for my father. They came down to ask for Albert Uranta and that was how he was employed. My father has a doctorate degree. He is a civil engineer and an architect. For someone that went this far in studying even abroad, he was so brilliant that he was even the best student in his class that Shell had to come all the way to the village with a boat to fish him out. Why I don’t like bringing this part is because I don’t know how to say I was born with a sliver spoon. We were so rich and all of a sudden we lost that silver spoon, but that was how it happened. Life wasn’t difficult if you ask me because we all looked up to our father. You see a man who has been having the best things of life, travelling abroad like his backyard and all of a sudden you see him putting his mat in the house of God. We had the basic things of life though. I don’t think I’d have asked for anything more than that. If I have my way, I will want to be a child again because my parents are very lovely people.
Saturday, September 19, 2015