Tell us about your family background?
I am the first in a family of four. I was born in the early 80’s in Awka, Anambra State but I was bred in Lagos. My dad was an ex-military man turned publisher though now late. The father figure is just basically what I miss most about him. My father taught us the rudiments of hard work and the need for education. He gave us the best even if it meant he sold all he had just for us to go to good schools. He gave us a strong background even when the goings-on was rough and published a few Catholic books. He also co-published Understanding Mathematics.
Did you have any formal training when you joined Nollywood?
No, not at all. However, I am thinking of going for formal training now because I want to move into movie production. Acting for me is something that just happened and with time, I noticed that I was passionate about it.
How did you stumble into acting?
In the neighbourhood where I lived those days, there was this lady who featured in Nneka The Pretty Serpent 2. She had just done that movie and was famous and I just wanted to be like her. I was so passionate one day I walked up to her and said ‘aunty, I want to be like you. Please, can you take me to go and act.’ She took me to my first audition and I got a role and then another role came and it just went on and one and here we are today.
What job are you currently working on?
The project we are currently working on is a huge one. I just left location but the truth is that I don’t know the title of the film. But I just finished Lekki Wives Season 3 and that for me is a strong project.
A lot of fans are thrilled by your performance in Lekki Wives. What stands you out?
I guess it is the intimidating presence of Miranda, my character. Miranda is a rich and domineering wife. Miranda has her own struggles at home and she takes out the frustration on everyone including her friends, family and even her children. Every time Miranda pops up people expect trouble. I guess, that is what has made the role standout. Also, the fact that it is more like a lesbian role also makes Miranda standout.
Which would you say is the most challenging movie you have featured in to date?
Lekki Wives is very challenging. Each time I get the script, as much as I love to shoot it, it has a way of unsettling me. Lekki Wives come with a lot of lines and the director is very spontaneous and very intense. She writes the script and directs it so she knows exactly what she wants.
Is there a movie you have done but feel you could have done better after watching it?
That should be Black Bra but fortunately, that is the movie everybody likes; They say I pulled off the role very well. But each time I slot in the movie I feel that I could have done better. If the script is given to me now I would nail it three times better.
What is the craziest thing a fan has done to you?
(Laughs) I had an elderly woman hit me so hard in the back I almost choked. It was all because I was mean to her TV idol, Ini Edo, in a movie.
How do you manage male fans?
Well, a woman has to do what a woman has got to do. There is always that ability to draw the line. I know it comes with the job but even beyond the job, men will always chase women and vice versa (laughs).
Now that you are married, are men still chasing you?
(Laughs) No, I am not married now, or rather, I am not officially married. I am going to be officially married when I walk down the aisle.
So, why have you been telling us before now that you are married?
I am engaged right now. I have never been officially married.
What attracted you to your man?
He is a gentle man. He understands the kind of job I do and gives me the kind of push I need to be the best I can.
Do you sometimes wish you could be slim?
Yes I do. Sometimes I fantasize that I am getting slimmer but with the way I am built I know I could never become slim. But the biggest problem I have with my weight is that sometimes, I get angry and get into the entire weight loss thing. I stop eating and do a lot of exercise but the truth is when you stop, you tend to grow even bigger (laughs).
Apart from what we see on the screen, who is Adaora Uko?
I am a very jovial person; I am full of life. I love to dance, I love to eat and I love my job.
What is your advice for up-and-coming actors and actresses?
It is all about passion. The truth about the industry is that it is not easy ground; acting is not a tea party. I have been doing this thing for 10 years and more but I am not where I want to be yet. To succeed you need patience and passion. So, whatever you do as a growing artiste, you must be passionate and keep pushing. The truth is somebody is watching so something good will eventually happen.
What is your biggest challenge right now in the industry?
The industry is a bit too crowded now I must confess. Acting has become an all comers affair and every Dick, Tom and Harry wants a shot. And it is not easy to sieve out those who have talent and those who don’t. Sometimes, that I am plus size becomes an issue for producers so all these come up as challenges.
During Valentine, your clinging outfit showed a lot of cleavage, emphasising your voluptuous figure and that got tongues wagging. What inspired that outfit?
It was a photo shoot I did and it was supposed to have a theme and all that. When it was released I knew tongues where going to wag. It wasn’t that bad after all or is it because I am a plus size (Laughs)?
What is your advice to ladies who are plus size and are not confident?
Just be confident. That is the advice because even when I started the plus size clothesline, trying to sell to plus size women was challenging. I got a lot of negative comments that I was promoting obesity. All I try to preach is for everyone to be comfortable in their own skin. I know fat is entirely not healthy but as long as you can cut down on intake, you should also dress to look good and feel confident about yourself.
What advice did mum give you about sex?
You know, those days our parents didn’t teach us anything concerning sex education except to say ‘stay away from men because if they touch you, you could get pregnant.’ I don’t think I really got much but I had this scary feeling about my dad catching me with a man and all that.