Entertainment & SocietyHow footage of me in character cost me my career - Hanks...

How footage of me in character cost me my career – Hanks Anuku

June 17, (THEWILL)- Actor Hanks Anuku has revealed how viral footage falsely depicting him as mentally unstable derailed his acting career and traumatised him. In 2022, footage surfaced on social media showing the actor in a seemingly unstable state. His associate and friend, Nonso Ofole, debunked the mental illness claim, stating that Mr Anuku was ‘not insane’ as many had feared. However, the actor said he was healthy and hinted at a potential run for political office. He also denied the video’s authenticity, which depicted him as unkempt and wandering the streets in Asaba and Benin City. At the time, his colleague, Shan George, debunked the claims and said the video was a scene from a movie being shot in Onitsha, Anambra State. George said the actor portrayed a crazy American returning to be a king in the movie, ‘Coming to Onitsha’. Almost two years later, the 64-year-old actor said the footage cost him his career.

He said: “On that day, I was trying to get myself into character for a role that I would play—a madman—someone who was not in his correct senses or right frame of mind. So, I had to naturally visit the environment to see how I would play it in that neighbourhood. Different kinds of people go insane, such as the loud ones, the quiet ones, and all sorts of insanities that you cannot even express.

“But I had to show it in the way the director wanted me to show it. I was meditating and trying to get into character when somebody saw me, brought out his phone, took a picture, took a video, and posted it online, saying something untrue. That video went a long way. It affected my life. I lost friends. Producers could no longer contact me for jobs. I lost a lot of money. I lost my job. I was jobless. People didn’t care about me. It was God who directed my footsteps onto a good soul. How He did it, I don’t know, but I’m giving glory and thanks to Him all the time. I went through pain. If you wear my shoes, you will feel it.”

Glo

Anuku stated that he was unaware someone was recording him while he was trying to master the role of a madman.

The Delta-born actor also refuted claims that he was critically ill and was into hard drugs. Anuku expressed heartbreak over the actions of some Nigerians, noting that he never expected such treatment from people he has brought laughter to throughout his career.

“Regarding my health, they said many things and spread rumours. I was not on drugs or sick. Maybe they saw me depressed. You know, depression can bring stress. But for me to be on drugs, that’s not true, and I’m not a madman. I’m very sane, and I’m very healthy. I exercise a lot. I do my martial arts exercises.

“I do a lot of sports too: play basketball, sometimes volleyball. I can take good walks because walking is good exercise. I do a lot of stuff as a spirit command. This is what I do, man. It’s a free walk. I don’t come to your house and knock on your door if I’m not invited. I want to be free, man. In the States, you’re free. In England, you’re free”, the former special adviser on Tourism and Entertainment to ex-Delta State governor Emmanuel Uduaghan added.

The older brother of Miss Nigeria 1986, Rita Anuku, who died in 2015, said the allegations caused his friends to distance themselves from him and stop calling, resulting in stigmatisation.

“It was like a spiritual and physical war for me. They left me on my own. So, as it is, I am not alone. I am with Jesus Christ, even though my family says negative things about me, and some people say I take drugs. I don’t do hard drugs. Back in the day, I used to smoke, but not anymore.

“I’ve never gone into hard drugs. I had self-control. After a while, I was depressed and had to have a little drink maybe. What I drink is maybe a Star beer or a wine. I don’t drink hard liquor, but I was just isolated because I never thought my people would betray me. You know, it hurt me so much. It’s like what Jesus had done unto him by Judas. It’s scary. It’s wrong to betray people who love you.”

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