Femi Oyeniran is an actor who shot to fame in the popular British film Kidulthood, which later provided the sequel–Adulthood, in which he also stars. Femi has now stepped into the director’s chair with his upcoming film It’s A Lot, which is out later this month. Femi took time out of his busy schedule to chat to Spark+Mettle a little bit about his career journey so far.
What is the most exciting aspect of your work?
Each day comes with different challenges. Sometimes I’m a screenwriter. Sometimes I’m directing or producing. Sometimes I’m acting. Others, I’m just being a dad and a husband–trust me, getting good at this can also be work!
How did you decide what you wanted to do after school?
When I was at school, I wanted to be a lawyer so I made sure I got mostly As and A*s and As at A Level. Whilst I was at college, I went to an open audition for a film and that film turned out to be Kidulthood. From there, I got an agent and carried on progressing in the field whilst at university and law school studying.
What made you pursue further study and how helpful has education been for what you do now?
Studying law has been influential in all aspects of my career as it means as an actor, I find learning lines really easy. As a producer, I can negotiate my own contracts or call on some of the brightest minds in the legal profession (university friends) to review them.
What are you proudest of achieving?
Making my own film. It’s A Lot – out in cinemas October 25th. Having Children – out in the world now! Getting Married! Before that, getting good grades at school. I’ve never won an award before though. Never! It keeps me hungry!
What advice have you received that has been the most rewarding?
Find a need and serve it!
As you may know, we like to help people flourish. What does flourishing mean to you?
Striving for more. Growing in your chosen path.
What is one of your top tips for overcoming setbacks and challenges in your career?
Keep going. It took me 18 months to raise money to make my film but I didn’t stop; I kept striving and didn’t give up. I would go as far as saying, expect setbacks and challenges because they make you better at what you do.
What advice would you give someone still at school who wants to do what you’re doing now?
Give yourself options. Entertainment and Sport are like lotteries. Talent doesn’t necessarily equate to success so give yourself a back up plan from a young age.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?