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Dating my boss was gauche- Iretiola Doyle

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Actress, Iretiola Doyle is an easy-going lady. She spoke with
our Reporter, on what keeps her marriage going, the pain of losing a child, and how she met Patrick Doyle.

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How did your role in the Tinsel series grow big having started small?
I am just an actor on Tinsel. I am also not part of the script
writers, neither am I part of production crew. I cannot claim to be
privy to the decisions that are being made behind the scene. However, I was told by one of the production assistants earlier on when I started working on the production that my character was developed to come in for just a season, but I guess they saw the quality of my work and my level of dedication and decided to expand the role. I can’t take credit for the expansion. In my entire career, I can only take credit for two things, which are showing up and giving 150 per cent of my effort to any given project. That is all I can take credit for. Promotion, placement are not my responsibility. I can’t say I maneuvered myself.
Why do you give Tinsel a first call preference?
Even if I am not a part of the cast I will still give them that accolade. They have created many first; they have created a product that is acceptable worldwide. They have sustained the product for six years. They have reached the 1000 mark, which is a landmark in any production home and abroad. They have contributed to the development of the movie industry and they are a market leader. They have also contributed to raising a whole new crop of young actors. Most of the people on Tinsel were unknown; they were bred and became stars on that show. There aren’t too many productions that can take that credit, so I would give them a thumb up. For me, giving them a first call preference, that is the nature of my contract. Every lead character on Tinsel is on a first call basis, which means that you consider them first in everything you do, and for me that is no skin pain. If I have to sign that kind of contract with any production, I would rather go for an international production that has very high standards like Tinsel.

Why is it that the cast of the production seem to be changing by the day? And why do you attribute the fact that people are waving goodbye to the production to mean that something is wrong or it’s a bad thing?

People have been on that production for six to seven years, we are all at different stages in our careers. For instance, if you take a young actor who has never done something before and that is his first film decides to wave goodbye to that production you can’t say that is a bad thing.
People grow, people move on. I have spent two years on that production and I joined the production at a later stage in my career. I have moved around several kinds of productions and I am here now.

People moving or leaving is not necessary a bad thing or                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       necessary for a bad reason. No matter how big or how successful a production is, you will do it for only a number of years before you begin to say to yourself maybe I want to try something else. It might not even be because you are not happy there, it might just be because you want to go and try something new. It is just the natural progression of life.
How did you sustain yourself in your early days as an actress?

When you have to keep body and soul together you either get a job to pay the bills or you loaf about and let people take advantage of you. I had an education, I had always been independent and I didn’t want anyone to take over my destiny. So, I got a job. At the time I couldn’t narrow it down to presenting or acting, but I knew I just wanted to be in the ambience of show business. So, I got a job in a production house; I was a gofer, I was carrying equipments and rolling cables. In fact, I was the only girl in the team, and you wear your jean and tee-shirt and work like everybody else. In the beginning, it didn’t matter where I was in front of the camera or behind the camera, as long as it was the media and it was showbiz, I was going to learn, I told myself. Fortunately, for me that paid off, from being a table basher and carrying equipment. I became a full fledge production assistant, later I became a scriptwriter, and it was only a matter of time before they said take go and produce your own show. I learnt by
watching the experts doing it; I learnt watching Patrick Doyle and Victor Oladokun presenting.
How did you meet Mr. Doyle, as you call him?
I met him at my first official audition in Lagos State because I had
done a production in Jos, Plateau State, before then. School was shut for a very long time; I was bored, I told a friend this is what I
wanted to do and she said I have somebody who can help, let us go to him. We went and he said there is an audition the following week. He asked me to come and try if I could get the role. The moment I walked into the room on the day of the audition, I became intimidated because people seated in that room that day were very big names, people I grew up watching.
Can you mention some names in the room?
Names like Yemi Solade, Funsho Alabi, Justus Esiri, Joe Adekwa and then the Patrick Doyle himself. That was the very first time we met, and it was purely business for many years before one thing led to another.
How did you feel dating your boss?
Initially, it was gauche. The first time he even mentioned that he
was attracted to me, my inner reaction was like amusing. In the course of work, when we are done, we do go out for lunch, and it didn’t mean anything to me because we were three then and later we were two. It didn’t occur to me because all my time working, I was treated like a boy. The few days I wore a dress to work; the guys would sit and make fun of me. He told me of his attraction during lunch and my first reaction was, oh no! And I was having so much fun here, where am I going to get another job? Where I could learn everything as I was doing? I spent a lot of time trying to tell him why this would not be healthy for the work and he said no. He was sure it would work out. So, he took his time to convince me, he was not in a hurry, but I guess if you are in close proximity with someone long enough and you share certain fundamental values it is only a matter of time.
You fell in love with your husband because of his heart, 10 years on, are you still attracted to him for the same reason?
No, come on, after 10 years of marriage?
So what attracts you to him now?
Patrick is my partner, he has my back. If you tap me and ask, who is that person on your back? I will tell you it is Patrick Doyle. He is my greatest cheer leader. We have too much in common, he is much more than a man; he is a pillar of support and strength in my marriage.
What has been the lowest point in your life?
I don’t know about lowest point. There have being some really low moments, we lost our second son in 2009; that was particularly a low moment. I don’t wish that for my worst enemy. There is something about losing a child. The feeling is indescribable. There has been low moments, but has there been a moment when I said I wish I wasn’t alive, the answer is no.

How have you managed the deaths in your family from your son to Patrick’s wife and the others?
We have lost quite a number of people in our family. He just buried his immediate elder brother about two weeks ago. That is why I say he is my partner, we shore each other up.
Do you have a phobia?
My phobia is for extreme height and extreme speed. For instance, I don’t go on a roller-coaster. If I go to an amusement park, not even the baby ones because I am convinced that the day I will try it I will have a heart attack and die.
There is this speculation that you gave birth barely seven months after your marriage and that means you might have been dating him before the death of his wife, is this true?

Are they kidding me? His last son is 14 years, the child I have for
Patrick is nine years, let them do the mathematics. How is that possible?

Are you aware of this rumour?
That was the talk that was going around way back in the beginning and I have been married to the man for 12 years. Marriages involving actresses have been going off like candles in the wind.

What keeps yours going strong?
It pays to keep your private life private so when the storms hit, they do privately. It is not like Patrick and I don’t have misunderstanding or we have not had our rough patches like every couple, but we have kept them private. The grace of God has kept us going and the commitment that we have decided to remain with each other. Compromise and empathy has also helped.
Sickle Cell Anemia is one disease you don’t like to hear about, why is this so?
That is what took our son and his wife. We have lost two people to the disease in our family.

 

 

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