Arguably Africa’s most famous actresses with a fan base wide enough to win an election, not many were unsurprised to see Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji feature together once again in a movie. This is more so following their purported rivalry and envy of each other. Although they’ve never confirmed or deny their rivalry, industry watchers insist there exists an unwritten rival code between the two divas.
Interestingly, both actresses have acted as sisters in more movies than any other rivals in Nollywood. Therefore, it was a sort of coup when Chineze Anyaeze got both rivals to act again as sisters in Ije, a movie which was her project work at the film school.
Revealing how she achieved the feat of convincing Omotola and Genevieve to take part in her project, Anyaeze said, “When I was even thinking of approaching them, a lot of people discouraged me saying the pair don’t talk but I went ahead to ‘chase’ them for months.
“When I called Omotola, she asked who the other actress was, I said Genevieve and when I called Genevieve she asked who the other actress was, I said Omotola (laughs).
“And she was like, ‘has she agreed?’ I said yes and Omotola asked me too if Genevieve had agreed, I said yes meanwhile they hadn’t even agreed (laughs) but I had to use that trick to be able to get them together in the film,” the Masters degree holder in Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy (NYFA) disclosed.”
Speaking further on her experience with them and how both got together on set, Anyaeze revealed, “It was a wonderful experience working with these two stars, they knew I was a student at the New York Film Academy at that time.
“So, when the production started on the first day, they didn’t take part but they observed the session. When their turn came, they were very professional all the way, it was pleasant scenery all through.”
Ije which grossed over N60 million at the cinemas, a feat that makes it the highest grossing Nigerian movie in the cinemas, was finally released on DVD on Monday, December 3, 2012.