Monday, October 19, 2009


When word got out that Pascal Atuma was working on his next movie project, a lot of industry follower's and critics had their ears on the ground and eye's on the billlbiards to see what it's gonna be this time.
As always, because this is 'the home of the buzz'. we used our friendship card in getting this all exclusive interview from the master of the screen himself...
Am pleased to introduce to you all PASCAL ATUMA, as he bares it all in this exclusive interview with yours truly,

Enjoy it!
***Brief into your background
I was born and raised in Nigeria; Ikwuano Umuahia, Abia State to be exact. Attended Government College Umuahia and University of Port Harcourt Engineering School before moving to the US in 1995.

***When did you start your acting career?
May 22nd 2002

***Did you get any formal training in acting before embarking on the career?
For sure. I have 2 years of theater training from Kim Dawson Acting College in Dallas,Texas, popularly known as the Actors Conservatory of the Southwest (KD Studio), and graduated with an Associates Degree in Acting and Public Performance on May 17th 2002, and headed off to Hollywood May 22nd, five (5) days after graduation. Destiny called and I had to go.

***How has the career been?
It has been a very, very beautiful, wonderful journey, to God be the glory. The good, the bad and the ugly of show business combines to make it what it is. I love it, won’t trade it for anything else. I love the challenges, the experiences, everything, the ups and downs that come with the territory. I love it, love it.

***Does the storyline have anything to do with your decision to either act or go behind the screen in your previous productions? What kind of storyline will make you choose either?
In my own productions, it is not the storyline that decides, because I have to like the story before I invest any kind of time in it. So a character in the story has to fit me or be something that I can pull off, or else I just stay behind the scenes.
Now in other people’s productions, I have to like the story before I will want/have anything to do with it, in front of the scenes or behind the scenes. It doesn’t matter that much to me, I just have to like the story first, it has to make real sense to me…LOL.

***Lets look at Nollywood right now. Would you say we are moving in a positive direction or backwards in our movies?
In some aspects, Nollywood is moving in a positive direction, and in some, they are moving backwards. The technical side of Nollywood, talking about picture quality, sound quality is improving, whereas the artistic part is moving backwards. The actors are not getting the training required, the writers are too lazy to dig deep and come up with new ideas, new stories. Instead they keep recycling stories. Nollywood is too young to start recycling stories, there are more stories to be told because we have history, but the writers are not willing to work hard. They should get more creative; a good film starts with a good script. Nollywood has the potential to be one of the best in the world if handled and nurtured properly. We have the potential.

***In getting better, do we have to work on the kind of stories we have, directing or with the actors and actresses?
That's what I was saying earlier. Writers should dig deeper and come up with good and creative stories. I am tired of seeing movies with title "Emeka the Vampire", then you see another one "Vampire the Abimbola." Same storyline, same plot, just different actors, sometimes the same actors...LOL Crazy, crazy!! Directors should spend some time and get trained. Raw talent is not enough. Same applies to the actors and actresses.
There should be more professional structure set in place. The idea of people waking up any morning or afternoon and deciding to be a director or producer or actor, without the proper training should be stopped. Just because you can switch on a camera doesn't mean that you are a director of photography. Training, training, training. Become a professional so that you can compete in the international market and deliver quality products.

***What are the challenges that come with directing since the responsibility is quite different from acting?
LOL. Directing is clearly a different ball game from acting. Directing, you are the captain of the ship, or you can say driver of the car, whereas acting is the passenger in the ship or the car. It is easier and safer to just do the acting and go home, but directing, it is something else, a whole different ball game. You are responsible for all performances and the outcome of the project. Good or bad, it is on your head.

***Do you think every director should go through the four walls of a university to be a professional in the field?
No, not at all. If you like have triple PhDs in directing from Harvard, Oxford or MIT or any other college in the world. If you don’t have the natural raw talent from God, you are not going anywhere.

***Are there other talents you have aside acting, directing and writing that you are not paying much attention to?
Definitely yes. I would love to coach soccer at the highest level some day. I miss the soccer field. Soccer til tomorrow still stands as my first love. If the opportunity presents itself someday, I will jump on it. Jose Mourinho of Inter Milan all the way, all the way. I can easily be like him, just with a little effort. If, for instance, Nigeria gives me the opportunity to select my own players and coach them, I will take Nigeria to the World Cup and will come home with either Gold, Silver or Bronze. Nothing less than that, take this to the bank.

***What projects are you working on presently?
My movie "Hurricane in the Rose Garden" will be released on DVD in the U.S. and Canada on October 20. And as we speak, I am producing and acting in a new movie called "Lady Joe" in Houston, Texas, and also in pre-production for one of my projects titled "No More Bloodshed" which I am producing with Michael Jai White, (from Tyler Perry’s movie "Why Did I Get Married"), to be directed by Michael Schultz, starring Oscar nominated actress Taraji P. Henson as lead female. It’s gonna be a hit movie by God's grace.

***In some movies, certain top actors are only assigned major roles. Do you repeat faces of well-known actors in your different movies or introduce new faces?
I love new faces, don’t get me wrong, I do repeat some of my actors if the roles will fit them, but I love directing new talent and giving the new talent a chance to grow. Talent comes from God and I don’t want to see any that comes my way get wasted because nobody is giving them a chance. I am going to raise a lot of new talent, that’s my goal.

***Now your films are not usually ones that we see here on the Nigerian market, what are your plans towards that?
LOL...I am working on it, I will get them there soon...LOL. Right now, I am trying to work out deals with various companies in Africa to bring my movies there. It is work in progress. They will be there soon, very soon for sure.

***Is there any misconception people have about you?
Yep! A lot of people assume that just because I am in show business that I live a very rough life, like smoke marijuana (weed), drink too much, do drugs, party til I drop, mess around with different women, just live a rough life. But they don’t know that I am a very spiritual Christian guy from the village. A village man...LOL. They think that I am “Pure Hollywood,” but I am not, far from it. I just operate in Hollywood, but I am not Hollywood at all, I am a child of God.

***last word?
Thanks for having me, and may God bless the children of Africa and give peace to the world. God bless all.

 Isaiah Washington(Greys Anatomy,Bionic Woman)

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