June 25, 2024

Nollywood actor Zack Orji has opened up about the profound impact his role in the 1990s hit film, Glamour Girls, had on his personal life, particularly his marriage and his standing in the church. The controversy stemmed from a nude scene with co-star Eucharia Anunobi, which sparked rumors and gossip, leading to significant personal and professional consequences.

In a candid discussion with Emmanuel Ehumadu on the podcast Nollywood Hardcore: The Legend’s Untold Story, Orji shared how the scene led to misunderstandings and strain in his marriage. Despite his wife being an actress, external pressures and gossip created friction between them.

Orji recounted an incident where his pastor contacted him regarding the negative feedback from church members about his role in the film. “My pastor invited me. Then I was a member of the Board of Trustees of the church. He said that he had been receiving too many calls from other members of the Board of Trustees. ‘How can Zack go and do this kind of thing? It is scandalous,’” Orji said.

The pastor informed Orji of his decision to suspend him from church activities, intending to keep the matter confidential. However, news of the suspension leaked to the media. Orji recalled a journalist confronting him on a movie set, seeking confirmation of the suspension. “He came to the set where I was filming and said, ‘I just want to confirm from you before going to press. Is it true that you’ve been suspended by your church?’” Orji recounted, expressing his frustration with the breach of confidentiality.

Following the incident, Orji decided to leave the church, requesting the removal of his name from the Board of Trustees and all related documents. Although the pastor later retracted the suspension and urged Orji to stay, his decision to leave was final.

When asked if he regretted playing the controversial role, Orji firmly stated, “No.”

The 1994 film Glamour Girls, directed by Chika Onukwufor, was known for its provocative portrayal of sex work and gender issues, sparking significant conversation in Nigeria. The film featured a notable cast, including Liz Benson, Ngozi Ezeonu, Pat Attah, and Ernest Obi, and included a controversial bathtub scene with Orji and Anunobi. Orji clarified that while the scene appeared explicit, both actors were not actually nude. “We looked like we were naked but we were not. She wasn’t naked. I wasn’t naked but it was so well done because first of all, as an actor, your primary job is not only to create the illusion of being someone else in the minds of the audience, but it is also your job to create believability in the minds of your audience that whatever they watch you do, they believe that it is real,” he explained.

In 2022, Netflix revisited Glamour Girls with a modern retelling, bringing the classic film back into contemporary discussions.

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