Keira Hewatch is an award-winning Nollywood actress who has featured in movies like Lekki Wives; Two Brides And A Baby; Couples Games; Lies Men Tell; After The Proposal, among others. The graduate of Travelling and Tourism and Hospitality Management from the Graduate School of Management Studies, Ghana, in this interview with TAYO GESINDE, says she made up her mind to become an actress after watching Sounds Of Music at age five. She also spoke on how she has been coping with stardom.
It was a normal childhood experience. You play, make friends, run around, climb trees, you skim your knees and so on. I was a tomboy because I grew up around boys. I was a really bad tomboy as a child.
Foray into acting
Acting was something I had always wanted right from the time I was a girl, because I was a very artistic child. However, it was when I watched the Sound of Music that I know acting what I wanted to do. So I knew at the age of five that I was going to be an actress and I never changed my mind. I joined the entertainment industry in 2007. My first movie was Kajola, it was a cyber movie, it didn’t do too well because the audience didn’t receive it. They felt that we were trying to go beyond our capability. I really enjoyed working on that project. I want to believe that my claim to fame was Two Brides And A Baby. I have done other impressive works like Lekki Wives Season 1 to 3, In the Name Of Trust, Couples Games, Lies Men Tell, After The Proposal, among others.
One major challenge was having to go to a lot of auditions without anything coming out of it. You had to be patient. And even when you got the job, it would not really pay so well because you were just starting out. The challenges were basically what people face when they are just starting out in any job.
The journey so far
It has been thrilling, exciting and rough. At some point, it had been great and at other times, it was not. It has not been a smooth road.
I don’t necessarily have role models. The reason is that I believe everyone is unique in a certain way. You can appreciate a person for who they are but not try to be like them.
How I have been coping with competition
I don’t think about it because I believe that whatever is yours is yours. If there is a project that four or five of my colleagues are vying for and at the end of the day, I don’t get it, I won’t feel bad about it in the sense that I know it wasn’t meant to be mine because we are all good at what we do. And at the end of the day, it is who best fits a character or fits a project that will get the job. I don’t even see it as competition in the real sense of it.
Description of self
I like to think that I am a very simple and straightforward person in the sense that I don’t like drama. I am not an overly dramatic person unless it comes to love. I like simplicity, honesty and I like to be straightforward. I think that sums me up.
Philosophy of life
“Do unto others what you want them to do to you.” It is simple, everybody is innately selfish but if you want the good things of life, the best thing to do is to treat the next person beside you the way you want to be treated. If we all could adopt that philosophy, this world will be a better place. I also have a personal saying, honesty is the best policy. No matter how smart you want to be, at the end of the day, honesty will get you farther than deceit or manipulation
Most embarrassing thing a fan did to me
I have never had any embarrassing experience with a fan. I have had slightly scary experiences. I had a stalker one time that followed me all the way to my house, it was my gateman who discovered him and threatened to call the police. Also, a couple of months back, I had a social media stalker. I had to block him at some point because he was obsessive. He was all over me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn that I had not been on for years. I always respond to my fans on social media, especially if what they are saying are sensible. I started talking to him and after a while, he started becoming too heavy. So I stopped responding. He then became venomous. I had to block him. That was a bit scary.
Handling advances from male admirers
Funny enough, I have not had any advances of late, so there is nothing to handle because there are no advances. I have a feeling that people think that I am taken so they are very nice and official. Sometimes, I meet eligible men and think why don’t you just say something, but they are very nice and polite.
I am single. I won’t say I am searching because I believe a man should find a woman. What I will say is that there is no one right now.
Qualities I want in a man
Honesty, patience, integrity and someone who is willing to work hard for his relationship as much as his woman is willing to work for the relationship as well. These are not larger than life expectations but it seems as if they are really difficult to find these days.
Definition of style
Whatever makes you feel comfortable and beautiful without being trashy, that is style. Sometimes people mistake a particular style for sexiness, but it easily comes off wrong. I think style is something that flatters your figure and makes you feel comfortable. If you are not comfortable in something, then it is not stylish. So, it should be comfortable, affordable and should make you feel beautiful.
I am basically not a make-up person when I am not working because I am always working and there is always make-up on my face so it is a relief when I am at home and I don’t have to use it. I take care of my skin, I drink plenty of water, I exfoliate and I try not to put too many harsh chemicals on my skin.
What I can’t be caught dead wearing
Fishnet because it is just ridiculous. Nobody ought to put it on, it doesn’t look nice. It is a no, no.
I like to fill up the tub, put on some bubbles, light some candles and drink Chardonnay. I might even fall asleep right there.
My opinion on provocative dressing
I don’t necessarily have an opinion because everyone is her own person, so whatever you feel like doing, even if I do not have to agree with it, it is your life. Most women feel if they dress provocatively, it will attract the opposite sex but I believe that if you have confidence in yourself, you don’t have to overly expose yourself just to attract people but that is my opinion. Whatever makes people comfortable, they can wear, I don’t judge people.
What I will like to change about myself
At this point in my life, absolutely nothing. I will like to improve upon myself and not change myself.
Pains and gains of celebrity
The pain is that it is tedious when you have to smile all the time because nobody ever feels happy all the time but your fans expect you to do that when they meet you. They don’t care that somebody just pissed you off or something, they expect that you should be happy the way they are happy to see you. It can get tedious but you do it because people love you. We are basically doing the work for them anyway. Also, there is really no privacy, people always want to know what is going on in your life, and they want to know your business. It is like the fact that they watch you on TV means they have a right to your life, they want to know who you are dating, they want to know your friends, where you are going and so on, but I am a private person, I don’t want to put myself out there but I had to learn because of the job. The gain of being a celebrity is that you get preferential treatment. For instance, banking is like a breeze, if I walk into a bank, people give me preferential treatment.
Assessment of Nollywood
We’ve grown in leaps and bounds that is the truth. I have seen some productions this year that are jaw-dropping. Looking at where we started from compared to now, I think we are growing and eventually I believe we are going to get to a point where the world will view our work the same way they see Hollywood and Bollywood. I am really proud of that.
Advice for up-and-coming actors
Be sure exactly why you are coming into the industry, if you are coming because you want fame or because you want to be on the red carpet or because of the paparazzi, that is a big mistake you are making because it involves hard work and dedication. If you don’t have passion for it, you will be frustrated or you may end up doing something you will regret in life. My advice is work hard, be patient because it doesn’t work overnight. If you want to do it the right way, it won’t happen overnight.
To my fans
This is a message of love to all my die-hard fans. I have fans who have shown me love from 2007 till date, it is incredible. I want to say that I love you guys so much. You are the reason I have a job in the first place and I hope I never let you down and keep churning out good work for your entertainment and enjoyment. Keep loving me as I love you guys.