Truth be told, i have always admired Ashionye
Michelle Raccah! Watching her play the role Monica on Tinsel was always a delight! Her confidence, charm and poise are worth emulating!
Ashionye is an Actress, screenwriter, filmmaker and singer, who has been in the entertainment industry for 23 years.
She is extremely passionate about the creative arts.
And its such a delight having her answer our 25 questions!
How long have you been an actor? And how did it all begin?
I have been an actor for 15 years now but been in the entertainment industry for 23 years.
A friend of mine invited me to a reading for a role in the TV series ‘Doctors’ quarters’, I read for the part and got the role of Mimi right there.
That role introduced me to the beautiful world of make believe.
We know you as the character’s you’ve embodied! Most especially as ‘Monica’ on Tinsel. But tell us who Ashionye is…
Ashionye is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, actor, screenwriter, producer and director.
I grew up in a close knit family, with love.
I started my career as a radio presenter in 1997 then as a music artist in 2000 and as an actor in 2005.
I have two albums, Dance for me and A Piece of Me.
In my years as an actor, I have featured in movies, TV & web series and theatre productions.
As a filmmaker, I have various projects to my credit including the multi-award winning movie ‘Journey to Self’, ‘Public Property’, ‘Everything In Between’ ( a web series) and for TV, I have produced and directed children’s content for Pineapple TV, which is co-owned by my husband, Carl.
I own and run my own production company called Alleykat Media.
What would you say influenced your passion for acting and getting into the Entertainment Industry?
I have always had a passion for entertaining. As a young girl, I was always the first to get up to dance and sing at every family gathering or celebration. I believe the passion grew after my first gig as a radio presenter on Cool FM.
For acting, it just happened upon me and I believe it was destiny.
How did you get the Monica role? what is it like being on Tinsel?
I had just got back on an early morning flight from London and was about to sleep when my phone rang. I was so tired, I ignored it.
After several rings, I answered and it was the series producer. He invited me for a reading which I went for later that day.
I was given sides for both Monica and Sheila. I was taken into a room with a cameraman and one other person who ran the lines with me. I was quiet nervous because I wasn’t in top form due to jetlag.
Honestly, I didn’t think my audition was great but I got another call and was offered the role.
Tinsel revolutionised TV series production in Nigeria in many ways and it’s a good feeling to be a principle cast member of the show.
How many movies have you been part of so far?
So far, I have featured in about 10 movies and a good number of series.
Do you ever think that you could have done a bit better in any particular role?
I want to believe every actor wishes they could have done a scene or played a character better. I am not an exception. I am my greatest critic and I always look to improve with every character I play.
Which has been your favorite character that you have performed?
I have two actually. Mrs Adebayo, the no-nonsense lawyer I play in the series, EVE and Emma Okoye in the web series, Everything In Between.
Was it difficult fitting into the role of Mrs Adebayo on #AmEve? How did you get the role? And what is it like working with the cast and crew so far?
Playing Mrs Adebayo on EVE season 2 was such a joy. At first, I was a bit concerned because the role had been portrayed by another actor in season 1 and she did a brilliant job. Understanding the character’s profile this season made playing her a lot easier. A lot has changed for Mrs Adebayo this season. She is a different person to who we knew previously. Plus, the series creator’s view of the character’s progression helped greatly. I worked with brilliant minds on the set of EVE. Directors who listened to their actors and shared ideas. The cast members are some of the industry’s most talented actors and the crew were top notch & very respectful of their craft and others. It was like a family.
What’s your annoying habit?
I don’t think I have any.
You sing as well! Should we expect something ‘musical’ from you anytime soon?
Possibly. I have some songs recorded.
How many languages do you speak? Tell us something interesting in one.
I speak English, Ukwani (my dialect) and some French.
If you weren’t famous, what would you be up to right now?
I would probably have become a lawyer.
If you were to choose! Music or movies?
Both. They both have a special place in my heart.
What are the 3 things you always have in your bag.
Lip gloss, hand sanitizer (I have always carried one way before now because I am paranoid about clean hands) and my body scent.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?
I watched a Ryan Murphy series called Hollywood on Netflix. Very interesting. You should see it.
Tell us 2 truths and a lie
I used to be a tomboy and I am great at cutting hair. Been my son’s personal barber since he was 2 years old and I can’t dance.
What would be a good theme song for your life?
Golden by Jill Scott
Which fictional character would be the most exciting to meet in real life?
Deadpool would be a blast to hang out with.
If you could change just one thing about the Nigeria Entertainment industry with the wave of a magic wand, what would it be?
I would create a great structure and set up corporate bodies so we would have the financial backing needed to tell our home-grown stories.
What is the best/worst purchase you’ve made recently?
In recent times, nothing. I am very prudent. I only buy what I need.
What’s your biggest screw up in the kitchen?
The very first meal I made at the age of 15. I am the youngest daughter and my mum & older sisters always did the cooking. That day, they had gone grocery shopping and didn’t make it back in time to make lunch. So I had to make some beans for the whole family. Well, it was more like burnt, watery beans and was not the prettiest meal ever made in our house but apparently my family enjoyed it. I think they all said it tasted nice to make me feel better.
What ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing?
I wouldn’t call it ridiculous. I was played. Years ago, I was tricked into going to a restaurant by a so-called friend and ended up paying the bill because she claimed she forgot her wallet. Thank goodness I had enough cash on me.
What’s the most useless talent you have?
I honestly don’t think there is such a thing as “a useless talent” Every talent is a gift no matter how little or big.
What is one message you would give to your fans? – You are enough. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
Photo credit @ashionye
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