The famous Yoruba actor, Lateef Adedimeji, who is playing Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State, in his (Tinubu’s) soon-to-be-released biopic, “Last Man Standing,” has described the role as scary.
The actor disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.
NAN reports that Mr Adedimeji’s performance as the lead character in several biopics like ‘Ayinla’ and ‘Ige’ has made him highly sought after by Nigerian producers.
The actor said that he found out that Mr Tinubu has a good sense of humour, through research.
“I have been watching him closely, I have even read and what is most important is seeing the person a few times. Then close your eyes, bring all you have read and heard about the person, and let it flow naturally. Somehow, someway, you will key into it. That has been my pattern, from the way Asiwaju Tinubu talks slowly, picking his words one after the other and the way he drops his jokes.
“A lot of people won’t notice that he can be a comedian because he goes straight to the point, but if you pay attention, you will notice the comic quality in some of his words. So I hope for the best with this production,” he said.
The actor stressed that it was always scary playing a role when the person would sit and watch the movie, and if the actors did not depict the character well, the person could say so.
“I don’t know why I am always called upon to play these roles; this is going to be my fourth biopic. First, I did Ayinla, Ige, Strangers, and now this.
“I believe my versatility and ability to bring the character to life makes you a great actor. Also, studying other people and ensuring that you can drop them when you need to play them and bring them into reality makes an actor unique.
“It is a lot of work, and I had to be on YouTube studying his mannerism, the way he talks, the way he moves, smiles and all of that and try to replicate that, it is about forgetting yourself totally for the duration of the shooting,” he said.
In the 2023 presidential election, the actor noted that Mr Tinubu was not just a politician but a stakeholder in all spheres of life.
He initially declined the role because Nigerian politics can be scary.
“Now, Asiwaju is not a mere politician, and he is a stakeholder, a man with a lot going on around him, lots of controversies happening at the same time, and thinking that in the peak of all these is when they want to put this out, I refused.
“But again, I know that it is going to be another stretch for me as an actor. I am taking this on because I want to rechallenge myself; I want to see how far I can push myself,” he said.
Mr Adedimeji said that acting as Mr Tinubu would further define him as an actor, saying, “Yes, this will be one of the defining points because this is a tough one.
He said Mr Tinubu would have few things to say about his interpretation and pass judgment at the end of it all.
He said he was hopeful that he would perform the role beyond expectation and that viewers would see another form of him as an actor.
“I hope that it is going to be another stepping stone for me in my career. That is all I am about. This career is the most important thing to me now.
“I am putting lots of effort to see that the movie gets me to another level. I pray that I can deliver it in a way that people will say, congratulations, you did well,” he said.
The actor, however, described Mr Tinubu as a philanthropist, go-getter, and someone who goes after whatever he wants, adding that there was a lot to say about him.
He added that the movie would give people a better understanding of Mr Tinubu’s personality.