Nollywood actress, Beverly Naya in a recent interview talks about her background, life as an actress, marriage among other things.
I am Beverly Naya and was born in the United Kingdom. I am Delta Igbo from Ibuzo. My full name is Beverly Ifunanya. Growing up was quiet and fun and I had a lot of cousins. I think there are about 27 of us, so we always got together.
Becoming an actress
Acting has always been a major passion of mine. I actually started in London when I was 17. I was studying sociology and psychology in school and later switched to drama and scriptwriting. I have always been more of a creative person. That is where my heart really was.
In the United Kingdom, I did a few short films for the British Broadcasting Corporation and The Metropolitan Police. I acted in a couple of theatre productions including one by Debbie Tucker-Green, called Stoning Mary and then Psychosis and Crave.
My mother came back before I did because she had always known how much I love the craft. So, she started building contacts for me preparatory to my return. It was just about the love and passion she knows I have for the industry. She just wanted to encourage and help me as much as possible because she did not want me to be in England and probably do a nine-to-five job when I could utilize my full potential in this industry. I like the fact that I can choose what I want to do and how I want to do it.
My first role
I was a lead actress in Lancelot Imasuen’s Living in Exile, which my mother produced. It was an incentive for me to come back because before then, I was not too willing. She bankrolled it to encourage me. Obviously, after shooting that film, it was a great experience and I felt motivated to work more in Nigeria.
It has been rocky and I will not deny that. This industry has its difficulties but for the most part, it has been worth it. Watching my brand grow, my fan base increase and watching my friends and family comment on my jobs gives joy.
This industry allows you to be involved in production as much as possible, whereas in the film industry in England, you could be working once a year. I prefer to be working as often as possible and building my brand.
As they say, charity begins at home. I also think we are growing. We have a lot of creative and innovative minds coming into the industry and these minds will ensure that Nollywood gets to where it should be in the next 10 to 15 years.
I would say because my first movie was funded it helped to a degree but I believe most of my success can be attributed to my diligence, passion and my positive energy. I do not believe there is nothing on this earth I cannot achieve especially if I put my mind to it. God has been good to me also.
I think Joke Silva is a great role model if you want to look at someone who has achieved a lot, who is married, working hard and inspirational. I would give it to her any time, any day. She is very graceful and loves to encourage emerging talents.
I do not work with a stylist. I have fashion designers that I can contact if I need something to wear. For my everyday dressing, everything comes from my wardrobe or my mother’s and I borrow mainly her accessories and bags. I like to look classy, sexy, and glamorous. I like to stand out for the right fashion reasons. I love to wear high heels and I love bags.
Fortunately as an only child, nobody is breathing down my neck. Of course, I am looking forward to the day I will get married but God’s time is the best. First, he has to be a man, he has to be God-fearing, eloquent and brilliant.
I like it when a guy knows how to treat a woman. I do not like conceited men. I just like a guy that is down-to-earth and knows how to make a woman feel special.
I do many things like modelling, script-writing, directing, dance and sing. I try to incorporate all of these things into my acting career. I write scripts all the time in my free time. None has been produced but I intend to produce a film either this year or next. It is a script that I hold very dear to my heart.