For me, I like a character that scares me and she (Anjola’s character) did that when I read the script,” says, Rita Dominic, who plays La Femme Anjola’s main protagonist.
As Mildred Okwo’s ‘La Femme Anjola,’ opens in cinemas today, Friday, March 19, the two main characters, Rita Dominic and Nonso Bassey open up on their roles and challenges in the 2021 neo-noir film about a stockbroker who falls in love with an enigmatic club singer and ends up biting a lot more than he can chew.
Describing her experience playing the role of Lady Anjola, Dominic said, “I connected with it (the role) on a very deep level. It was like I was lending my body to this Anjola woman to use as a vessel to tell the world her story.”
La Femme Anjola shows Rita Dominic as you’ve never seen before. Admittedly quite the undertaking for her, Dominic’s character is a complex and mysterious one on whom the entire story hinges and is named after.
The story stood out so much to Dominic that she and the director, Okwo, purchased it together. She described it as “the one story she wanted to put her name on.” Playing Anjola who is as unpredictable as her hair colour, Dominic summed up her experience on the film set as “intense.”
Acting opposite Dominic is a singer cum actor, Nonso Bassey, who made his big-screen debut with his role in the film. According to Okwo, “after a tiring search for a leading man, we found Nonso Bassey by chance on Twitter and gave him a shot.” Okwo further said the Bassey and Dominic were a match made in heaven as Bassey had immediate chemistry with Dominic and embodied his character to the letter.
Speaking on his role as Dejare, Bassey said, “First, my character is a stockbroker by day and a saxophonist by night. And I’m none of these things. I’m a singer so I had to learn how to play the sax. We didn’t have a lot of time so I had to learn how to finger it.
“I studied saxophonists and their body language; how they stand and behave when they’re playing and not playing. I learned to play a few songs that were in the film.
“I also had to shadow a few stockbrokers and how they behave. I watched a few films like The Wolf of Wall Street. The idea was to learn how these people behave and marry the two. It was a lot of research, now that I think about it,” he explained.
La Femme Anjola was written by Tunde Babalola, directed by Mildred Okwo, and produced by The Audrey Silva Company, a production company co-owned by Rita Dominic and Mildred Okwo.
The film was premiered at the Ebony Life Place on Victoria Island, Lagos, and had dignitaries that include British Deputy High Commissioner, Lagos Ben Llewellyn-Jones with his wife, Laura; Consul General of the Republic of South Africa to Nigeria, H. E Darkey Africa, Consul General of Cameroon to Nigeria, H.E Bessem Manga alongside many Nollywood practitioners.
Credit THE NATION