I cannot wait for you all to see me as a lawyer’ – Ruby Okezie talks About Her Role in Showmax’s Upcoming Series “Agu

Ruby Okezie, known for her incredible performance in the popular Netflix series “Far From Home,” is back to grace our screens once again in the upcoming Showmax legal-drama series, “Agu.” Ruby Okezie has also impressed us with her roles in “Palava!,” “Glamour Girls,” “Beautiful Liar,” and “The Bait.”

In “Agu,” a gripping six-part legal drama, we delve into the lives of three central characters: Etim played by Kanayo O. Kanayo, Pius portrayed by Nonso Odogwu, and Victoria portrayed by Ruby Okezie, as they navigate a court case involving the murder of Pius’ close friend, Jonathan. Joining them in this series are Mofe Duncan as the charming and egotistical boss and mentor to Victoria, Sola; Tina Mba as the straight-forward, no-nonsense Judge Akorede; and Ireti Doyle as Lola “LS” Lateef Simpson, a senior partner in Sola’s firm determined to do whatever it takes to win. Also, keep an eye out for Linda Ejiofor, Ego Nwosu, Vine Olugu, and ex-Big Brother Titans housemate, Miracle Op, who add their talents to the mix.

Coming as part of Showmax’s December content lineup in Nigeria, along with the highly anticipated Season 2 of the hit telenovela “Wura” and an upcoming original feature film, “School Run,” “Agu” is set to premiere exclusively on Showmax on December 14, 2023.

In this exclusive interview with BellaNaija, Ruby Okezie opens up about her journey as an actress, her inspirations, and her role as Barrister Victoria Ameh in this thrilling legal drama series.

Hi Ruby! Tell us how you’re feeling today.

I feel nothing but gratitude. I’m so grateful to God and to everyone who has supported my career thus far.

You’re an actress, model, video vixen, content creator, and brand influencer. Walk us through your career journey and the transition to each of these phases. The highlights, challenges, and how you navigated them

LOL! Wow! This one, right here, is a long story. I hope you’re ready for it. I’ve always had a passion for entertainment, and I knew I was going to make a career out of it. Modelling was my first love. I started off modelling for makeup artists and makeup brands like Bibyonce and Haggai & Esther. Then I modelled for fashion brands such as The 5K Shop and Toju Foye, just to mention a few.

I enjoyed the glam and the fun that came with it, but I wanted more, so I went into modelling for TV commercials, where I thrived excellently just as a model because I got to work with some prestigious brands like Coca-Cola, Mega Growth, La Casera, First Bank, and BOZ diamond jewellery, just to mention a few

I wanted to be recognised as an actor, so I decided to channel my focus more on acting. I attended a lot of auditions and readings, then I landed my first film in Lagos, which was aired on Africa Magic, and then I did a couple of series with SceneOne TV in 2019, which sort of put me out there as an actor.

But I wasn’t seen, and not a lot of people recognised my strength as an actor, so I wasn’t working as I ought to. Then I went into modelling for music videos as a video vixen, which I still do now, but mostly when there’s a story that needs to be told. Honestly, music videos put me out there; I got my fan base, and people got to recognise me not just as a model but also as an actor and a vixen.

i had a goal; I had a list of production companies and directors I knew at the time that I aspired to work with. I started working towards that. I would follow them on Instagram and look out for auditions. I did some smaller gigs before I got the gig that put me out there, which was “Far From Home.” Long story short, I started with modelling, which paved the way for my career in acting and presenting. I’m still a model, and I don’t intend to stop. I started influencing full-time last year, and it’s been amazing so far. Now, I have a full-time career in acting and modelling. I also run a modelling agency where I scout models for brands. I’m a brand influencer and an event host.

What was your childhood like, and how did this influence your career choice?

I had a normal childhood, but not one with milk and honey, trust me. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I knew what it meant to manage and be content at a very young age. I grew up as the last child of seven, and I had older siblings who were busy dealing with life and trying to help my parents. I would always find myself playing alone, and then I became creative with it. I would sit by the mirror, changing costumes and playing different characters. I would dance around the house alone and perform to myself so much that sometimes my siblings would watch me perform my craziness. I was always involved in extracurricular activities in school, such as drama, recitals, debates, choreography, etc.

I’ve always known I was going to be an entertainer because I had it in me, but my parents were not interested in all of that at that time. They just really wanted us to have an education and get a job. It took a lot of convincing and handwork to get them to be supportive of the career I have now. I had to work my way to get here.

Tell us one unforgettable memory from your career journey that you’ll always cherish.

When I got the gig to model for Coca-Cola, that was the highlight of my career. I got a visa to South Africa because the commercial was shot in South Africa and aired in the 2020 English Premier League games. That gig was life-changing for me because that was my first time leaving Naija, and it sort of changed my parents’ mindset about my career.

You’re starring in a Showmax legal-drama series. Tell us everything we need to know about this. From the title and process of getting this role to what we should expect and when to expect it

You know I call Agu my baby because I believe God gave me this gig. It is a funny story because I was going through a rough time. This was late July when I had just lost my previous Instagram account with 105k followers. I was offline. I had lost tonnes of contacts, and I was torn between two gigs at the time. I had to pray about it, and God gave me the guidance I needed.

Long story short, I was called by the Executive Producer of “Agu,” Uche Ikejimba, a very sweet woman who asked me to send in my audition tape, and then I got the final call that I had been chosen to play lead. I was so excited and anxious at the same time because I was going to play a lead role on a huge platform such as Showmax, and it’s a 6-episode show.

I’m really glad I chose “Agu,” and it chose me. When I heard it was a legal-drama series, I studied the script, with an emphasis on “studied”! I had to binge-watch “The Lincoln Lawyer” during our shoot because it’s also a legal drama series, and it helped me get a hang of my character.

“Agu” is a must-watch because it’s a fusion of sorcery and the supernatural, the pursuit of justice, and family secrets. Kanayo O. Kanayo plays my dad for the first time, and we had great chemistry on set. I believe we made a great show, and I cannot wait for you all to see me as a lawyer. Expect drama, suspense, a tussle of power, and romance. Agu is coming soon exclusively on Showmax on the 14th of December!

And are you anything like your character?

I play Barrister Victoria Ameh. I can say there are some similarities between Victoria and Ruby in terms of her strong will. We’re almost the same age, and we both possess high emotional maturity—too young to be called millennials and too old to be regarded as Gen Z. We’re somehow in the middle. We both have sharp minds and quick memories, but Victoria is a tad bit more introverted than Ruby.

But who do you think is more like their character in the series?

Kananyo O. Kanayo is a lawyer in real life and also one in the show, a father figure with a good heart. So, I’d say KOK.

How do you love to unwind when you’re not working?

I like to hang out with friends, travel, draw and paint, read sometimes, rest while listening to some cool music at the beach, or just binge-watch a series while eating.

Who are some of your favourite actors to watch, and how have they influenced your career?

I’ve always admired Genevieve Nnaji because there’s this subtleness to her acting, which makes it so natural and even more believable. We all saw her growth, and I aspire to be as influential as she has become in the industry. I’m also in love with the Hollywood actress Charlize Theron; she has so much presence, and her range is impeccable. I love that she’s so strong, and she’s such an incredible actress.

What should we expect from Ruby Okezie soon?

I’m aiming to become one of the most sought-after actresses in Nollywood and Hollywood. This will be through consistency, dedication, making my films, and telling my own stories to the world at large. There’s more to come for me in my career, as I’ve only just begun. God speed!

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