BN Saturday Celebrity Interview: One Year After Her Fairytale Wedding, Nollywood Star Stephanie Linus dishes on the Journey So Far & her New Projects

BN Saturday Celebrity Interview Stephanie Linus - June 2013 - Bellanaija012Beautiful, classy and determined are just some few words to describe Nollywood Star, Stephanie Linus. With over 90 movies to her credit, she has climbed up her career ladder earning a good reputation and several awards to her credit.
Stephanie was born in Benin City, Nigeria and is the sixth child of eight children. She studied at the University of Calabar, where she graduated with a degree in English and Literary Studies. In 2002, she participated in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria beauty pageant and was a runner up in the competition.
The graduate of the New York Film Academy is also a movie director and producer and is set to break new grounds in the movie industry.

Her wedding was arguably the celebrity wedding of 2012. Set in a picturesque castle in France, Stephanie and her husband, Linus Idahosa exchanged their wedding vows on April 21st 2012. Still basking in the euphoria of her wedding anniversary, Stephanie was bubbly and when we had a chat at her home in Lagos. She had a special glow in her eyes whenever she talked about her husband, like a teenager in love.
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You seem to have been maintaining a low profile lately. We haven’t seen you feature in as many movies as we used to. What have you been up to?
I’ve been busy preparing the ground work for my upcoming film, DRY. I’ve finished the first phase of the project and I’m working towards the next phase. It’s a lot of work and it takes a lot of my time and energy.

I understand you are producing, directing and acting in this movie. Isn’t that too much of a task?
It wasn’t intentional. This particular project is something that is so dear to my heart. I’ve been working on it since I was in the University when I heard about Vaginal Fistula and early marriage and what women go through. I’ve done a lot of advocacy programs concerning this particular issue. It’s not like I planned it, I wrote the story and raised the funds for it so that means I became the producer. Then I acted and directed also. It just happened.

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Where did you get some formal training in movie directing?
I went to the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. Also as an actress, I’ve garnered a lot of experience over the years.

So, are you saying DRY is what has taken your time away from featuring in other movies because it does seem like you have slowed down?
At this point in time, I just want to do a project. I don’t need to be in a hundred movies, I just need to do one or two movies in a year and I’m done. If I see good quality movies to be in, I would be, but now I’m just looking for something that would give me the extra push. I don’t want to be a mediocre actress or be in a feel good kind of movie. I need something to push me, and take me to where I need to be. I have about four scripts I’m considering at the moment but DRY is a project that is dear to my heart so I’m concentrating on this and when I’m done with it, I’d be off doing other projects. DRY is going to be released this year.

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Stepping Out Of Her Shell

You launched your blog StephanieDaily last year and in one year, it has garnered so much attention. You’ve also been quite consistent with it. How do you keep up? Are you the one actually putting up these blog posts?
Yes I am, and I have some people working with me. It’s just a platform for me to keep intimate with my fans, and tell them what I’m up to. I’ve been really busy with my project this year and that has taken away some of my attention from the blog but hopefully in the next couple of months, I’m going to give out all the things I promised my fans. They have been very supportive and I just need to do more for them and give them something to talk about.

I won’t classify you as someone who intentionally puts herself out there especially on social media but it seems you are coming out of your shell now… 
Time is changing. With social media, people now expect more from me. I used to think that being an actress is enough of me out there. But a lot of young people need guidance, they want to ask questions, they want to know how you did this and that and it’s good to give them some access to you, to feel like they know you. That is the whole essence of being out there and reaching out to people. I get a lot of emails from people asking for advice and sometimes when I say things to people, it goes a long way to affect them and hearing it kind of likes lights up their day. So I’m adjusting a little bit.

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Still talking about social media, some of your photos have surfaced online recently. In one picture, you are standing beside a car and in the other one, you are playing with two dogs. This seems like a first from you and has already become news.
I was just standing outside, waiting for my husband to come and pick me up to somewhere and I was leaning on his car and checking my phone while someone was taking my pictures. I later shared it on Instagram and the next thing I read was someone saying I’m flaunting my cars. When I read it I was like “are you for real?” It doesn’t make sense.

How about the dogs, are they yours?
Yes, they are mine. They are somewhere in the back making noise. I love my little puppies – Joey and Isy. I think the fans are more demanding, they want to know what my regular day is like and then you just want to share a little piece of you out there. It’s all about sharing these days isn’t it?

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Stepping Into The Limelight

I understand you were a runner up at the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Beauty Pageant in 2002. Did your journey start from there?
No, it started way before that. Right after I finished my final exams in Secondary School, I knew I wanted to be an actress. I was used to singing on stage, performing, taking part in school debates and dramas. Shortly after, I got a role in a movie called ‘Compromise’ where I just said one line. When I came back to school to pick up my results, my teachers told me they had seen me in the movie and that they weren’t surprised I had followed that path. I had featured in 3 movies before I did the beauty pageant which was a good platform for my career.

Can you tell me about your experience at the Women In The World Summit in 2010 where you shared a stage with Meryl Streep and Hillary Clinton?
I was among the 300 women that were selected from across the world. We did a stage reading where a couple of actresses from different countries came to talk about the plight of women and activities that women in different countries are doing. It was a very lovely moment for me.

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A year later, the Federal Government of Nigeria honoured you with the Member of the Fedral Republic (MFR) Award. How did the news come to you?
I wasn’t expecting it. I was in Los Angeles when I heard about it. I actually read it in the papers. It was a good thing to be recognized by my country and also that the Nigerian government is realizing the role that the entertainment industry plays. It is also encouraging for young people.

We were shocked to hear about your accident some years ago. How have you pulled through that period in your life?
Accident is never a good thing but I’m totally grateful to God that I’m alive. It happened in 2005 and I was able to walk properly in 2007. I had three major operations before I could walk and it was a long time before I was allowed to wear high heels. Even now, I can’t wear heels for so long. But I’m very grateful to God for seeing me through and for bringing my loved ones around me when it happened. People supported me. Nollywood was also wonderful to me. Even when I was using crutches, people were writing scripts and adjusting it to suit my condition at the time.

What was the most important lesson you learnt from that experience?
When I was admitted to the hospital, I remember asking the Doctor “are you going to cut off my leg?” At that time I had already started processing that possibility in my mind and wanted to know the best thing I could make out of the situation. But he said no and I was grateful. Now I know that when you’re sick, the healing comes first from your mind and from you being positive about it.

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Her Marriage, Wedding, Husband & Aspirations

I know it’s been a couple of weeks but congratulations on your one year wedding anniversary. How did you celebrate it?
I read somewhere that they said we went to France.

I did too. Is that not true?
Not at all! But it was fun. How time flies! It seems like my wedding was just yesterday but our anniversary was a special moment.

Looking back at the past one year, what has been the difference between your wedding and the actual marriage?
My husband and I are pals. Is the wedding supposed to be different from the marriage? I don’t know.

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People say that the marriage is where the real test begins, where the real school is. Is that true?
Marriage is a school for you to learn, definitely. But when you know what your marriage is founded on, it is peaceful and you are content. I don’t see any difference because the wedding was about us. We weren’t trying to impress anyone with our wedding. It was how we saw ourselves and that is what we brought to fruition. There is still glamour in my marriage. We are just a young couple trying to have fun, live life and be happy. We set our own rules and we live by them and we try to make each other happy and be committed to ourselves and our marriage.

I’ve been itching to ask you this question for a long time. Why did you choose to have your wedding in Paris?
We just wanted something different. If it was in Nigeria, it would have been a real carnival but we wanted something serene. The love is a little bit sweeter in Paris, you know it can be hard in Nigeria (laughs). He feels he is a King and I’m a Queen, that is what we call ourselves, and we wanted to have this whole royal thingy going and we knew that we wouldn’t get that serenity in Lagos. We also wanted our families to bond, we wanted our parents to experience something new, to travel and relax. It was special to us and we wanted everyone around us to have special memories. We wanted something spiritual and divine. Not like we couldn’t get it here, but we wanted something to look back at with joy. We wanted to do us.

At what point did you know that Paris was the place?
I went to Cannes Film Festival with my sisters. When they left, my husband came to join me and the love was so sweet, it was so nice and beautiful and we knew Paris was the place.

Despite the fact that it was a destination wedding, you had a good number of family and friends from Nigeria join you.
It was just God showing himself. We told God that we wanted to get married in Paris and He should give us a sign if we should do Paris. And He gave us a sign. Arik Air donated one full return flight to us at no cost. Also, Air France gave us good discounts on tickets and the Embassy was really helpful with visas. It’s the grace of God that gets us things like that.

Linus Idahosa

It’s never too late to ask this. What attracted you to your husband?
He is very tender and protective, a man’s man. As a woman, when a man loves you, you just know. You know that you’re in it together, regardless of any situation. With him, there was a conviction in my heart that this is it. He is a very charismatic, confident man and he knows who he is. He is sweet, humble, very loving and he takes good care of me.

I remember seeing pictures from your surprise birthday party a few months ago and you looked utterly surprised when you stepped in. How did he pull this off?
He doesn’t like surprises but he knows I like surprises. That day, when I woke up, I remember telling him “don’t try anything oh, I hope you’re not planning anything”. We planned to go out later in the evening so I went out to get my spa treatment and get my hair done. Apparently, my friend who was with me was already in on it. He had told her to delay me till a particular time. She had also told the people doing my nails, hair and facials to take their time and do it slowly. They all ganged up on me. Meanwhile, I was busy calling him, apologizing that I was late for our date. As I approached the house on my way back home, I saw a lot of cars parked around our house and then I just knew that he had done it again.

That sounds really sweet. Sometime in December, rumours swirled that you were pregnant. How did you take this?
It’s a good thing. That means they are praying for me to pop out the little ones. Yeah, the little ones are coming soon, but you know, everything is in God’s hands and I’ll have a baby when I’m supposed to have a baby. I am definitely not under any kind of pressure. We wish for it to happen and of course it’s going to happen.

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You announced some time ago that you were going to launch your Perfume line. How far have you gone with that project?
It is in the works. They sent me samples and I’m almost done with production, just a little tweak here and there and we’ll start rolling.

What inspired you to come up with a perfume line?
I love perfumes, I love to smell good. The perfume line is just part of a whole lot of other things I intend to do but we’re taking it one step at a time.

Her Style

Some women say that when they get married their style changes. Has this happened to you?
Maybe that happens when you’ve added a little weight here and there. But generally, as you mature, there are certain things you tend to change. I won’t say I’ve changed, maybe a little bit.

What should a lady do to achieve a good look everytime she steps out?
I think you need to take care of your body, your health, and your skin by doing your spa and facial treatment. Sometimes, too much hair extension leaves clogs on your skin. You should also take time to relax and try to look the best you can really. Also be yourself, let the inner beauty in you come out.
Stephanie-Linus-AMVCA-Awards
You’ve made several red carpet appearances and almost everytime you do so, you grab the headlines. Which red carpet look however, are you most proud of?
I love the fact that I rocked my natural hair at the AMVCA. I had been wanting to rock my natural hair for so long and when I finally got to do it, I felt really good about myself. I’d definitely do more of it. Your natural look shows who you really are.

Which words would you like to leave your fans with as we say goodbye for now?
I just want to appreciate them all for being with me through the years, especially the ones that love me. I am going to a new chapter in my life, this is a new phase and I’m trying to adjust and also reinvent. I love reinventing myself. They should expect more, something that would make them really proud and make myself proud also.

It was great chatting with Stephanie and from BellaNaija, we wish her the very best!

Stephanie & Linus Wedding

Stephanie in “Through The Glass”

68 Comments on BN Saturday Celebrity Interview: One Year After Her Fairytale Wedding, Nollywood Star Stephanie Linus dishes on the Journey So Far & her New Projects
  • Godsluv22 June 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    This woman is a beauty God bless her :)……The best to her and her career

    • jackie June 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      SHE SAID: “Arik Air donated one full return flight to us at no cost. Also, Air France gave us good discounts on tickets and the Embassy was really helpful with visas.” WOW, SOME OF THESE ACTRESSES HAVE REALLY DONE WELL FOR THEMSELVES… AND ALSO WITH A NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOUR!!! WOW!

      AS SHE HAS GIVEN GOD HIS RIGHTFUL PLACE BY STATING THAT SHE IS WAITING ON THE LORD FOR CHILDREN, MAY GOD BLESS HER WITH CHILDREN IN THE MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS: AMEN.

  • goldfinch June 8, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I read through this interview with a smile on my face.
    I <3 you Steph :-)

  • Awaiting Moderation June 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    “Her wedding was arguably the celebrity of 2012″ abeg Bella wetin dis mean?

    • AW June 8, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      It means that the statement is open to contention, meaning it can be disputed, equals to you fit talk say, no be true.

      • jackie June 11, 2013 at 10:12 pm

        YOU MISSED THE POINT – SHE IS TRYING TO SAY THAT THE AUTHORS MISSED THE WORD ‘wedding’ AFTER CELEBRITY!

  • Angry grandpa June 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    She’s looks real good, perfect couple. I like!!

    • Idak June 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Perfect couple??? How do you arrive at such conclusions?

  • Godslove22 June 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    this woman is a beauty God bless her and her career in life :)

  • Mma June 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I really love Stephanie. So classy and discrete. What being an African woman is about. Her and Genny are very similar in their mannerisms.

    http://africansweetheart.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Funmology June 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Love you Steph… I guess Bella meant celebrity wedding of 2012*

  • uju June 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Very candid! Love u. Steph…God bless ur fam

  • nene June 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    do one or two movies in a year.IN NOLLYWOOD? actors will die of hunger oh.

  • Stella June 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Stephanie I love you everything about u send a message classic classic all d way.

  • Naija Vix. June 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I smiled all through out this interview. She is genuinely happy in her marriage , I wish her and her hubby a Happy Married Life. They are beautiful together. In fact she is glowing endlessly.

  • cathy June 8, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    love you stephanie always

  • Temizzy June 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I loved everything about MR N MRS Linus. God bless you both, Amen. 1 year gone 70 more yrs to go. xoxoxo

  • theeto June 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    awww! me likey…. sweet

  • Pace June 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    yawnnnnn I love Steph but this was booooooring. Bella naija wetin sef

    • Laide June 8, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Yeah I tot so 2

    • Omo1 June 10, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Boring?? What exactly where you expecting?

  • MUNCHIE June 8, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Omotola should take notes just be comfortable in your own skin and behave like a woman not a media butterfly she is.. Jenny u rock doll keep it classy!!

    • ij June 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      i wonder why Omotola should take note , she is doing her own thing like everybody else, there is no one template to being a woman

    • Rsp June 9, 2013 at 10:14 am

      All these Omotola jealous flies sha! Omotola is the beyonce type of Africa. Glamorous, fulfilled with talent and substance, married and enormously famous oh not to forget loved by the press! Jealous? Deal with it bi…Ches! And BOW! Phew!

      • jackie June 11, 2013 at 10:26 pm

        INFERIORITY COMPLEX RSP

        POINT OF CORRECTION, BEYONCE IS THE OMOTOLA TYPE OF USA[if I may borrow your expression]. OMOTOLA HAS 16YRS OF MARRIAGE IN HER KITTY AND 4 CHILDREN, MOST OF THEM TEENAGERS! [e no be beans]

        BEYONCE ON THE OTHERHAND HAS BEEN MARRIED FOR JUST ABOUT 5 YEARS AND HAS A CHILD THAT IS BARELY OUT OF TEETHING, AND IS ALWAYS SHOWING HER BITS TO THE PUBLIC. NOONE IN THE WESTERN WORLD THINKS OF HER WHEN THE WORD CLASSY IS THE SUBJECT MATTER – WE HAVE SAW HER VAGINA IN HER UPGRADE U LIVE CONCERT.[google it] BUT AS USUAL, THE AFRICAN INFERIORITY COMPLEX MUST SHOW ITS FACE AT SOME POINT!

        Imagine comparing Beyoncé to Omotola! I know its a matter of time before you bring up Kim Kardashian’s name, whose porn video is all over the internet!

        African RSP, respect yourself!

  • meee June 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Av always loved Steph! And I totally love her answers in this interview. Wish her all d best

  • Rukky June 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Me too I love you Steph :)

  • krimmyk June 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Steph is a queen. Love her to bits.

  • Oaken June 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Her husband swagger na die sha

  • Mimz June 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Stephanie inspires me!

  • kokoqueen June 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Please, workflow O_o…ve been waiting like forever…Thanks

  • chizzy June 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Classsssssssy

  • CaliforniaBawler June 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I always loved Stephanie!! At first her diction annoyed me but when Tonto Dike joined Nollywood I realized that half bread is better than -50 bread, hheheheehe. She is such a beauty and I’m glad she’s on top of her game and hopefully would stop the wardrobe peeps in her movies from dressing her in pants that are fighting with the floor….lol

    • Msunderstood June 9, 2013 at 6:00 am

      Lol @ pants fighting with d floor. When they no get her length of pant nko.

  • Ade June 8, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    In Jesus Name, I pray all the very best for you Steph. You are loved:)

  • Chyke June 8, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I like Steph sha..just her wanna be a.ccent keeps me s0me miles away fr0m her. She is taking care of herself but dat birthday partyyyy was neverrr a supriseee. Diz celebs sef. Everyth!ng na suprise. 1 or 2 movies? It’s a g0od tin dat u wanna say n0 to ur Alaba brothers. I love d fact dat u don’t jump @d media in 0rder t0 be n0ticed. Om0t0la d media bizy body should learn from you. Susan Peters shld also learn cos na she get IVs pass. U d0n’t have to be everywhere b4 u can be n0ticed. Stay fine dear Steph. God bless U.

    • hope June 8, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Lol..Omotola is such a popular woman! Truly Influential…Well done to Steph, didnt like the interview though..

  • Iphy June 8, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I know her husband he is truly a gentle man, u deserve him girl………God bless ur home!

  • Myne Whitman June 8, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Lovely interview

  • usothirsty June 9, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Stephanie had the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen. Best wishes!

  • dammie June 9, 2013 at 2:49 am

    Am not so conversant with nollywood movies but I reallllyyyyyyy like genny and steph. mfr

  • NNENNE June 9, 2013 at 3:19 am

    Nice interview.

  • Eat, pray, love June 9, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Mehn, that is the kind of wedding I want for myself just pure and genuine. But in a destination in Africa sha surely not naija…

  • Imasu June 9, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Her simplicity trips me… I just love her style

  • Princess Dee June 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Lovely couple,really nice n classy wedding.I love the uniqueness of the ceremony.God bless n keep ur home,Steph!

  • Mayor June 9, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    U so calm and im smiling even rite now….

  • comment awaiting moderation! June 9, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Nice

  • Ajebo June 9, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    2 say it all Staph, u re 1daful and indeed a rare Gem. U re matured, I wish u and ur family a 1adful union. I luv u.

  • debo joy June 9, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Oh Steph! You are such an inspiration to me. God bless u n ur marriage n may d love continue 2 grow wax strong. Amen

  • Therese Bright June 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    waow my dear idol it was a gud time reading yor activities. U are really a woman of substance Steph keep on the gud fight and the almighty God who daved u from the accident will see u thro thro all ur en-devours ok. i cant wait to see DRY. and i wish to become some like u and even more.u guys had a perfect wedding.”LUV FROM PARIS”.Congrates dear n i wish u a happy married life with God’s gift.

  • Josetta Bangura June 9, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    I am from sierra Leone, Youve been such an inspiration to me for as long as i can remember, keep up the good work and all the best in your new phase….God Bless you and your husband!

  • Wow June 9, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Stephanie’s such a pretty lady! Loved the interview (so glad it’s not a video interview cos that her diction na wa). But I love seeing her in photos.

  • Uk June 10, 2013 at 3:41 am

    I love this interview

  • som June 10, 2013 at 4:06 am

    You are certainly the best both in person and in style. #wink####

  • Lola June 10, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I believe she was actually pregnant but u dont expect to her to tell d whole world dat she had a miscarriage?

  • loveth O. June 10, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Good one

  • ammy June 10, 2013 at 9:39 am

    I love stephanie, shez my role model

  • Miss Anonymous June 10, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I also hear she doesn’t have any airs. Some friends once bumped into her at the cinema and she was very friendly.

  • Stella Kashmoney June 10, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Lovely interview. She sounds really happy.

  • MEENAH June 10, 2013 at 10:06 am

    “As a woman, when a man loves you, you just know. You know that you’re in it together, regardless of any situation.”…..thumbs up!

  • Bella June 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    classy and geniune. God bless your marriage sha. You both are so in love and so happy – most can only dream of such!

  • phummie June 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Really like her answers. Now for the pple comparing other celebirites, i think dat is wrong. pple differ ok. and she is completely not like Genny as sumone said…..aiight.

  • ANI June 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Nice interview. Like some other people commented, i also smiled all through. Nice one. I love this gal.

  • Retrochic June 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    she really sounds intelligents, loved her answers to the questions asked

  • FRANCIS GRACE June 10, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    smiling while reading but feeling d romance while watching d wedding, its sooooooo lovely!!!

  • FRANK June 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Hi steffy, ur ever lively. really, ur enjoying ur marriage. May, Lord Almighty bless u with d fruit of womb. Remember delay is not a denial. cheers. Frank

  • anin June 11, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    brilliant response, can’t wait 2 watch dry

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