Crystal Okoye is a 300-level student of Business Administration at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University. Apart from that, she is a fast-rising Nollywood actress. In this interview, the Nnewi, Anambra State-born rising talent talks about her passion for acting, challenges and more.
On joining the movie industry: It was two years ago when I went to see a friend at a movie location in Asaba, Delta State. The cast members were just getting ready for the shoot. They waited for an artiste who, unfortunately, did not show up. So, they decided to feature me in the movie. Though I had wanted to be an actress before I got on that location that day, I didn’t know how to go about it.
On being a “movie star”: I feel like a star already. You can’t imagine what I go through in the public. There was a time I went to a shop where prices were fixed to all the items. I paid for all the stuff I bought, but, to my surprise, the owner said that as a movie star, I should pay a different price. She said, “You actors have money, so you should be able to afford whatever I price I give you.” I was speechless at that moment. Also, most of the time, people stop me on the road and request for photographs with me. At times, I feel shy, but that is the prices of stardom.
On her parents’ reaction to her fame: I had the support of my parents until they passed on in 2010. It was a painful moment for me when that happened.
On role models: My role model is Pete Edochie. He plays a fatherly role in my life. He was one of first set of people I met when I joined the movie industry. My other role model is Stephanie Okereke.
On sexual harassed in the movie industry: It’s a choice you have to make. If you decide you want to sleep around with men in the industry, it may favour you or turn the other way round. I’ve heard about sexual harassment in the industry. There are also stories about ladies who really go out to have sex with producers just to appear in their movies. My belief is that if God does not want you to be in a movie, you won’t. But if you are fated to be in any movie, you will surely get it. So, I believe that becoming a star is about destiny. If God says that is your destiny, then, it will be.
On managing advances from men: All my life, I get several men who admire me. I’m a beautiful lady and I know it. So, it depends on the way it comes. I treasure and protect my whole body. I spend lot of money to maintain my skin, just to keep me sparkling. I know I’m blessed with my shape. Some girls have walked up to me to ask how I gained the figure. They say, “I want to be curvy like you.” And my simple answer is: it is the way that God created me. It’s natural. People admire me for my height, looks and figure. When you talk of Crystal Okoye in the movie industry now, people always describe me as being beautiful and curvy. I know my figure, height and beauty opens the doors for me easily. There’s no way people will walk past me without noticing my waist. It’s a gift from God.
On whar attracts her most to people: I go close to people that are intelligent and people that I can learn something from.
On the movie that has transformed her life: It is The Priceless, a Ghanaian movie. The storyline caught my attention. It was the only movie that I have ever made, which made me shed uncontrollable tears.
On her first movie: It was in Speak the words. I was very young then. My dad introduced me to his friend, who then referred me to his brother. This was a long time ago. I was much younger then, but my hips were there. My hips have always been a major attraction for me. It’s one of those things that attract men to me. It isn’t my fault that I’m curvy in figure.
On what she would be doing if she were not an actor: I would have gone into importation of female clothing.
On whether her profession affects her education: No, it doesn’t in any way. I run a part-time programme (CEP). I go to school only on weekends. When I’m sitting for examination, I don’t accept acting jobs. I have my textbooks, which I study even while I’m not in school.
On the idea of her children becoming actors: I think a child has the right to choose a career for him or herself. You have to give your children the support they need, so you don’t have to impose any profession on them.
Choosing between sex and money: [Laughs] Money is good. With money, I’ll be able to build the houses of my choice and buy the best of cars. Without money, you can’t do anything. Sex is a momentary enjoyment that does not translate into anything. With money, I’ll invest into things that will help and not a few seconds of enjoyment.
On her favourite car: [It's] Porsche because I like classic things. Also, in other interviews, the young actress claimed she doesn’t belong to the generation of actresses who attach importance to the primitive ideology of no sex before marriage. “Sex is a free gift from God, meant for us, man and woman, to enjoy ourselves. I don’t believe in that “after marriage” crap. I believe in sex before marriage because it is very important you know you partner very well, sexually and otherwise, before you two are sworn together for life.
“If you don’t know the person very well before marriage, what happens if the person doesn’t live up to your expectations? What if the person cannot perform? I don’t think there’s a woman who wants to end up with a man who cannot perform.” However, she remains true to herself by saying that for her, money comes first before anything in marriage: “My dear, money comes first o. Money rules the world. But sex, too, is very important because without sex the marriage cannot be sweet. God has given sex as a gift to enjoy.”