I talked to PUNCH newspapers sometime ago. Here are are a few excerpts:
A skilled actor, Femi Jacobs, talks about his life in front of the camera and other related matters
How long have you been acting?
I started acting full-time in 2011, even though I did a film, Choices and featured in two series, Tango and Tinsel, between 2006 and 2009.
you train to be an actor?
I never trained formally but I read wide and attended a lot of seminars.
Which movie would you say thrust you into limelight?
That would have to be The Meeting produced by Rita Dominic and Mildred Okwo.
What and who inspired you to be an actor and why?
Richard Mofe-Damijo was totally inspiring. When I admired Nigerian actors for the first time, he was one person I saw plainly. He had a big office, he had personality and respect. He was an inspiration and still is today. But I still wasn’t an actor. I was in business and I also had a paid job. When I wanted to become a professional, I had a little chat with Mildred Okwo. Thank God I did.
What motivates you to carry on as an actor?
I love telling stories. I like to tell human angle stories. It must be a blessing from God for us to live and learn lessons from our own journeys. Our journeys towards enlightenment must be lit by entertainment.
What are some of the challenges associated with being an actor?
It is a difficult craft to master, especially if getting to the top and staying there is your aim. The most important thing is not to underrate the work involved. The hardest part is that the character has to stay and work hard, long before the spotlight finds you. One other thing is having a money plan. Acting pays, but only after a long while. You have to figure out how to survive whilst mastering the craft and chasing professional success.
If you weren’t acting what profession would you have ventured into?
I think I’d still be in the media somehow, perhaps be a mogul while at it.
Aside from acting, what other things do you do?
I do some writing and public speaking. I also work with a couple of causes. I am a part-time musician and a creative entrepreneur with a marketing consultancy outfit.
Has being a motivational speaker been more rewarding?
I love speaking and helping people get better by telling my own stories of how I got here. Same as acting. I see no conflict or any need to seperate the two. They’re both expressions of the story- teller and are both deeply rewarding. But if you meant money, then I’d say it’s the least of all rewards in my opinion. When we see how much we can contribute to the well-being of others, monetary reward matters least.
Is the movie industry financially rewarding?
Things could be better, especially when you compare here to other more developed film industries. There could be a royalty system and back end deals, but it’s not bad at all.
What sort of acting roles do you hope to take up in the future?
I look forward to more of character roles that will get people thinking big and doing great things for the love of country. I’d like some period films as well. We have such a rich history and I wonder why we don’t make more films about them. Perhaps when the future of our country seems this blurry, maybe we can learn a thing or two from our past.
How have you been able to manage fame?
By ignoring it and expecting to be a better person. At the end of the day, it’s a job. It may have the vapour of fame, but it’s just a job. Like any other job, you’d better sink your back into it.
Do you look forward to becoming a producer and are you working on your own production anytime soon?
Absolutely. It would be a natural evolution for me.
Which of the roles you have played has impacted your personality?
This is easy – It’s Makinde Esho in The Meeting. I was still artistically impressionable. The effect was magical.
What do you think of actors who live fake lives?
What I think of them? Let us be real, there are fakers everywhere. I don’t judge. Whatever fires their monkey.
What does it take to become a good actor?
Skill ,formal or informal training, consistency and commitment to the craft, relentless curiosity to read any and every thing, and observation of life. The actor should be the most ardent student of life in all its forms.
Please read entire interview here