Weekend Magazine: Your dad is famous Nollywood actor Pete Edochie. Is that the reason you took up acting?
Yul Edochie: He inspired me, definitely. But he isn’t my reason for going into acting. I love acting and I used to mimic people a lot when I was a kid. And I was named after famous American actor, Yul Bryner. So I think I was destined to be an actor.
If I wasn’t acting, I would have been a soldier. I love the military and I have always wanted to be in the army.
WM: What traits would you say you inherited from your dad?
Edochie: I think I inherited his voice, carriage and composure.
WM: What determines the kind of roles you accept to play?
Edochie: The message in the script and the message being delivered by the character to the audience. The strength of the character, as well, has to be captivating. I love to play roles that will not be easily forgotten. A script has to be able to make a point to the audience.
WM: Every job comes with a challenge. Can you recall one you have faced in your career?
Edochie: Challenges I have faced will be making it to the top. When I started, everyone thought it’s because my father is an actor. So I took it as a challenge to prove to the world that I could act and I thank God I’ve been able to achieve that.
WM: You got married early. How did your parents react?
Edochie: I got married at 22 and my mother loved it. My family supported me. I never really had a game plan, but my parents told me to go ahead and be strong and that I will be happy with myself, which I am.
WM: You have female fans. How does your wife feel about them?
Edochie: Female admirers are not easy to handle. My wife is supportive of my career and takes it upon herself to support and encourage me, no matter what. She knows some of these things come with the profession. But when it comes to maintaining these kinds of people, I try to run from them as much as I can. I also make sure I don’t lose focus. I love my wife and my family and would not want anything to hurt them.
Fame comes with a price. I have been deprived of a private life. Everything you do becomes an issue. I am easily judged wrongly by people who haven’t even met me ever in their lives but have drawn conclusions already based on what they hear.
WM: Growth-wise, where do you see the entertainment industry in the next five years?
Edochie: I see the entertainment industry being much bigger in five years definitely. The Nigerian entertainment industry has really come of age and we are making a mark in the world. If we take a look at where it has come from we are more than a thousand times better than where we were. Internationally, people now recognise Nigerian actors and believe we have a lot to offer.
WM: Having acted in so many movies, which would you say have been the most challenging?
Edochie: At this point, I can’t even recall my most challenging movie. They all come with their own unique challenges. For me that is what makes a movie interesting. All movies are challenging but as actors we try to rise above.
WM: Would you encourage your children to follow in your footsteps?
Edochie: Sure. My dad encouraged me, so why not? My daughter is already inclined to the arts and I’m happy about that, so I encourage and support her.
WM: The movie industry has a lot of critics. What do you think about them?
Edochie: I think a few critics have helped me improve on my work. Sometimes I read their reviews and see a few flaws to work on. Sometimes they get it wrong and sometimes they get it right. Bottom line is, I learn.