We know that there is subtle rivalry between the two star Nollywood actresses – Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji – who have been acknowledged in different areas of the industry. The two are said to be among the highest paid actresses in the industry. It was therefore surprising how Chineze Anyaene got two of them to play major roles in her movie ‘Ije’ while she was just a student at the New York Film Academy.
Speaking on how she managed to achieve the amazing feat, the producer, Chineze Anyaene, stated that she had to trick them into acting in her movie. Chineze Anyaene stated, “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), Chineze Anyaene disclosed.
When asked how she was able to work with both of them as they were playing sisters in the movie, Chineze Anyaene said, “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 was finally released on DVD on Monday, December 3, 2012. The film has sold over N60 million at the cinemas.