Kissing Avril was ‘kinda’ intimidating – Actor Innocent Waceke opens up

Innocent Njuguna Waceke [Photo: Courtesy]

Innocent Njuguna Waceke opens up to Kelvin Kamau about surviving a road accident, being a bad boy and featuring in the ‘World Tofauti’ film.

Do you consider yourself lucky?

If surviving a grisly accident that nearly claimed my life on January 17, 2015 can be described as luck, then I am one lucky chap!

We had gone to shoot Pendo, a programme that runs on NTV and I got multiple fractures. I was taken to Agha Khan Hospital for treatment and was in a coma for a few days.

I regained my consciousness and I thank God I survived the ordeal.

You are a married man. Didn’t you feel uncomfortable kissing Avril when shooting the ‘World Tofauti’ film?

I was so intimidated! I mean, Avril is a seasoned actor and being paired with her gave me goose bumps!  The film was a love story and I had to fit into that character. I’m a professional and I had to get the job done. My wife understands the nature of my job.

You always act as a bad boy. How did you land this role?

I went for auditions and emerged the best. I took that role because I loved that character and the story line was powerful.

I had to shed off the bad boy look and act decent. I had to shave my beard. World Tofauti is my biggest breakthrough because it has made me mature and offered an opportunity to try something new.

 How did you establish yourself as an actor?

The journey has been long. I used to hawk movies and at some point, I was a tout. The money I made from touting catered for my expenses when I went to the Kenya National Theatre for auditions.

 I tried so many times, but never gave up. One day, I landed a role in Jane and Abel by Spileworks Production, which I can comfortably say was my first big break.

 I was paid Sh3, 000 per episode and that is how I started building my name in this industry.

You have been in this industry for almost three years now. What are some of the fascinating projects you have worked on?

I have acted in a number of local programmes that include Jane and Abel, Pendo, Santalal and MANT (Muslims Are Not Terrorists), a short film inspired by the Westgate mall terror attack. God used people like Pato Kimenz and Keith Chuaga to give me mentorship.

Why do most actors give up along the way?

To be honest, acting does not pay. We do it for passion. It takes time to make a name. Endurance and aggressiveness is important.

 You have appeared in a number of adverts...

I have been on billboards and appeared in a number of adverts like HBOX, Telecom and Kibao, and I thank God for this.

Apart from acting you are also a farmer. How do you balance the two?

I ventured into farming out of passion. I can’t complain.

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