Roberta Orioma is a Lagos-based producer, writer, and actor. Her 10-episode series ‘Grind’ airs on Prime Video in all English-speaking countries from January 20th, 2023. Roberta is passionate about storytelling and the future of the Nigerian Film Industry.
QUESTION: WHAT INSPIRED THE IDEA? ANSWER: I could have been a stripper. It’s that simple. If my life had gone in a different direction, if I had made different life choices, it is possible that you walk into a strip club and I will be there, on the pole, dancing. I wanted to show that these women were humans too. I needed to say, she can be your sister, your neighbor, a friend, a lover. I needed to show that these women were real people, with real feelings, dreams, and families that love them.
QUESTION: YOU PLAYED A LEAD ROLE, HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THIS SINCE IT INVOLVED POLE DANCING? ANSWER: I suffered. I can’t even lie. It is one thing to dance, it’s a totally different ball game to pole dance. I’m very lazy when it comes to going to the gym but I had to learn to lift myself on the pole, this meant I needed to work on my arms, core, thighs and everything in between. My body saw shege, serious one. But I’ll do it again and again. It was a welcome torture.
QUESTION: WHAT WAS THE EXPERIENCE ON SET LIKE? ANSWER: Beautiful, crazy, challenging. I enjoyed going through the different emotions the character needed to express, as painful as it was in some moments.
QUESTION: HOW DID YOU GET YOUR SHOW ON PRIME VIDEO? ANSWER: Afriff. Our journey to Prime Video cannot be told without Afriff. We attended Afriff. There was a session with Prime Video. After the session, we took a leap of faith and started a conversation, it led us here.
QUESTION: WHAT WAS THE REACTION OF YOUR TEAM WHEN YOU TOLD THEM ABOUT THE NEWS? ANSWER: Everyone was excited. We made a film we are proud of and to finally be at a point you know people will get to see your work, is unreal.
QUESTION: WHAT MAKES GRIND STAND OUT? ANSWER: It is a very honest story. It touches on a lot of topics, some more sensitive than others. We see both worlds with these characters. One where they can just be themselves and another where they have to live a lie.
QUESTION: SHOULD WE BE EXPECTING A SEASON 2? ANSWER: I think you should see season one first and let us know what you think.