Efe Irele, Nigerian actress, says she used to lie to her HR boss to go shoot adverts but later quit the job for acting.


The 30-year-old film star and model was speaking in a recent chat with Silverbird TV. She also spoke on why she aimed at two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. as an actress.

“I’m going to get a Ph.D. I’m going to do another Masters’s and Ph.D. When I was stacking up degrees, I’d no idea that acting is what I’d end up doing. I noticed from when I was young that I had a thing for the camera,” she said.

“I somehow found my way in front of the camera during my commercials when I was younger, appearances on music videos like ‘Shade’ by Adekunle Gold. That was the appearance that gave me an insight into acting.


“My agent started getting calls. At that point, it was a hobby. I was like, ‘not me, I can’t act.’ After I came back, I was working as HR manager at a company. It was a very good job. But I actually left it for acting.”

On why she quit the high-paying HR role for the movie scene, Irele said she felt there was something else for her.

“I wasn’t happy. I felt like there was something missing. I worked for about six to eight months after my master’s. At that point, I would still lie to my boss just to go do an ad. I quit my job; my parents were supportive,” she added.


“It was weird I’d quit a really good job for something I had no idea I’d be good at. I went to film school for a bit and it worked out. I just knew there was something else I needed to be doing and I had found it but didn’t realise that.”

Recounting the experiences of her early acting days, Irele said she was once lured into a hotel by a randy director.

“I had a particular director at the time who said he wanted o cast me for a movie. He asked that I come for a script reading and I agreed. I had gone for an audition and that was where he met me. So I went there and it was a hotel,” she said.

“I knew, when they’re filming, we stay in hotels, which is fine. I asked that we read. I’m too smart to be outsmarted. We started reading and I was reading with him. There was this kissing part and he asked how I’d d it.


“I said that’s the moment he leaves and he was like, ‘I’ll kiss your lips dry.’ And I was like, ‘okay, I have somewhere else I need to go and that was it. I blocked his number and don’t say hi when I see him in the public.

“I could’ve felt like, ‘okay, I need this, it might be my big break’ such that I remain uncomfortable. But I felt if a role is not mine, then it isn’t. I don’t have to extra-hustle or show desperation to give room for useless conversations.

“Sometimes it gets tiring. You get a lot of terrible scripts. Imagine sitting through a 100-page script and it’s rubbish. But, a lot of times, there are movies like ‘Two Weeks In Lagos’ that come and it’s different.

“That’s what I always look forward to. When I have the bad ones, I’m like ‘okay, something will come and wow me.'”


Born Efeilomo Michelle Irele, the award-winning actress started to gain fame after starring in the popular series ‘Aso Ebi ‘, which was produced by Desmond Elliot for ROK studios.

In September 2018, she won the City People Awards for Best New Actress of the year and Best upcoming actress of the year.

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