Beverly Naya is a darling of the screen for many reasons. She is a gifted actress who has been on top of her game ever since she made her debut in the industry a few years ago. But what is very intriguing about her is she keeps growing and breaking new grounds in her career.

A nominee for the Best Supporting Actress at the upcoming AMVCA, she is also a part of the cast of one of the year’s most anticipated movies, Suru L’ere which hits the cinemas tomorrow.

In this exclusive interview with The Brief, she opens up about her role as Omosigho in the movie and dishes on who her ideal guy is among other things.

2016 seems to have started on a bright note with your recent movie coming out soon. How does this feel?
Yes, it definitely has started on a bright note. I’m really excited about Surulere and how it will be perceived. We had the press screening today and it went really well. I’m looking forward to the future because it just sets the pace for me. It’s the beginning of great things. It’s nice to know I’m starting 2016 on an amazing note.

Tell us about the Suru L’ere experience. What was it like shooting with your fellow cast members?
Surulere was such a fun set. I really enjoyed working with Mildred Okwo and all the cast members, from Seun Ajayi who I had most of my scenes with to the guy who played my boss. I didn’t get to work with everyone directly but I could tell there was a lot of unity on set which is necessary when it comes to shooting a film like Surulere.

Generally speaking, there was a good bond among the cast and the crew. We worked well as a team, and most times it didn’t feel like we were working, it felt like we were just socializing and acting and having fun while doing it. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

beverly nayaAre there any similarities between the real Beverly and your character, Omosigho in Suru L’ere?
In my opinion, I don’t think there are similarities. I say this because Omosigho is a complex being in the sense that she really believes that she deserves all the fine things in life in terms of her career, livelihood, fashion… everything. She believes she deserves all of it without having to work hard at all. I’m the complete opposite.

If there is any similarity, it would be that we do want great things out of life, we both want our careers to be the best but the difference is how we go about it. Omosigho does not believe in working hard, she believes that everything should be handed down to her. I, on the other hand believe in hard work. I believe that nothing should be given to you for free. I believe that its more valuable when you work for it. We are not similar at all.

What did you have to do to prepare yourself for this role?
It wasn’t easy but I had to make sure my accent was dropped as much as possible. Omosigho lives in Lagos, she is just your regular Lagos girl and I didn’t want her to sound too British. I also had to think the way she thinks. As I said earlier, I am very ambitious, I believe in hard work but Omosigho does not necessarily think that way, so I had to store that in my brain for every scene. In every scene, you’ll realize that this girl really is delusional, but she was such a great character to play.

There’s a lot of hype and anticipation surrounding the release of this movie. What really makes it stand out?
I’m grateful for the hype and it won’t be in vain because Surulere is such a feel good film. It would make anyone laugh. For me, the unique qualities of Surulere are the fact that it is hilarious, the acting is great, everyone was natural from the beginning till the end. As much as it’s really funny, the story has never been told before. It is relatable as well. I think a lot of people will watch Surulere and see elements of their life in the film.

You have been nominated for the Best Supporting Actress at the upcoming AMVCA’s. Are you hopeful for a win?
Of course I’m hopeful! I really would love to win this award. It’s such a huge honour because I didn’t see it coming at all. I didn’t know what project I would be nominated for. As much as ‘Before 30‘ is one of my favourite projects, I didn’t think it would be that one. When I heard that I was nominated, I was ecstatic. I actually thought I was going to get nominated this year, I didn’t know it would come earlier in 2015. I really do appreciate everyone who has voted so far, keep them coming.

beverly nayaWhat is the next step for you in the movie industry? Directing or producing maybe?
I definitely want to go into production. I want to produce my own films in the near future and I’m leaning towards that. I strongly believe in timing and I know that when its supposed to happen, it would happen organically. For now I’m still acting.

Your twitter profile mentions you as the Founder of #FiftyShadesOfBlack. What does this mean?
I’m shooting a documentary called Fifty Shades Of Black. It is a campaign that I started late 2014 to inspire young black girls to love their complexion and love themselves just the way they are. It’s about self esteem and empowering black females to appreciate their complexion; whether they are light skin, brown skin, dark skin… it doesn’t matter. We are all beautiful. We are in pre-production for the documentary and hopefully, we’ll start shooting it in the next month or two.

What is the most challenging movie role you dream of playing?
Definitely a down trodden person. Something that just takes me out of my element, something completely unexpected of me. I don’t want to watch the film and see Beverly at all. I don’t want to see a weave, I don’t want to see makeup, I don’t want to hear my accent, I just want that type of character that completely removes me from who I am in every single way, physically and emotionally. Thankfully, I’ve been granted that opportunity, and its not in Nigeria. Soon, I will be shooting a film that will take me out of my element and I’m excited about it. It’s a challenging role, a down trodden character that is filled with emotional depth.

Aside from Surulere, what other projects do you have planned for 2016?
I’ve got Something Wicked which should be coming out in May. She Said I Do, Fast Lane and Before 30 Season 2 should be coming out at some point this year. I can’t even name them all, so keep looking out. 2016 is a big year as far as Beverly Naya and films are concerned.

beverly nayaYou are one actress who has never really been linked with anyone in a romantic way. Is it that the men are not asking or you are keeping him a secret?
Laughs… It’s not that they are not asking, they are asking. The main issue my mom complains about is that I can be quite picky. I am picky with reasons because I feel like I have a lot to offer. I don’t want to settle down with the wrong guy. What’s the point? You work this hard, you do so much for your life only for you to settle down with the wrong guy! No, it doesn’t make sense to me. So that’s partly why I’m single. The other reason is I’ve been really busy. I need a guy that understands the nature of my job and doesn’t get so insecure because of what I do. I know the right guy will find me when it’s time. I’m not keeping him a secret, but I am dating at the moment. I am being quiet about that because I don’t think that needs to be in the public just yet.

When you do present him to the world, what kind of man should we expect to see?
You should expect a gentle, handsome, ambitious man who treats me like a princess. A complete gentleman, someone who knows how to treat a lady, dresses well and most likely my ideal man, Amen to that! God, I hope you are listening. That’s what I’m hoping for.

Watch the trailer of Suru L’ere below: