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Victoria Ekanoye: "I can fire breathe!"

Victoria Ekanoye on starring in The Lion King, breathing fire and wanting to play a supervillian in this flammable Lockdown Life 

As an actress, Victoria Ekanoye has proved herself a versatile performer equally comfortable on Coronation Street as Buckingham Palace – she plays Queen Liz Hurley's right-hand woman in The Royals. 

As a singer, Ekanoye has shined on the X Factor Celebrity stage with brilliant covers of INXS and The Animals. 

She claims to have three career boxes left to tick: "write and direct my own work, help my mum publish her life story and play a kick-ass supervillain!"

Handily, Ekanoye can fire breathe – a sure way to bolster your supervillain credentials. 

She's halfway there already. 

Life

What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?

Prior to lockdown I’d just booked a new job, so I’m looking forward to meeting the cast and getting stuck into filming! I’ve also been writing music, so I can’t wait to get in the studio and hear the tracks full steam.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

I would have to say The Lion King is my proudest professional accomplishment - it was what propelled me into the industry and was the beginning of what I thought would only ever be a pipe dream.

If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?

If we’d been in a position for me to go, I would have trained at drama school. It instills great stamina, enhances your skill set and thickens your skin in preparation for the big wide world.

I feel my career may have taken a slightly different path, maybe more theatre based, but having those key ingredients would have helped with the uphill climb.

What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?

Ah there’s so much I want to do!

As far as my career goes, there are three big boxes left to tick: write and direct my own work, help my mum publish her life story and play a kick-ass supervillain!

Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?

As cliche as it may sound, it genuinely is my mum. She’s been through more than her fair share, but remains strong and smiley and a ray of sunshine!

As far as a career influence goes, it has to be Whitney. I learnt to sing (and probably drove my poor mum mad) by playing her songs on repeat up in my bedroom until I learnt every nuance.

Tell us something nobody knows about you…

I can fire breathe!

Lockdown

How are you finding lockdown?

I can’t imagine it’s easy for anyone, but amidst the madness and uncertainty, I’ve managed to settle into a really great routine: incorporating work, pilates, learning to cook new dishes, practicing my french, re-connecting with friends and family and most importantly, some long overdue me-time.

Best thing about lockdown?

I’m usually having to fly off every week with work, so it’s great to have time to take a breath, meditate, re-focus and plan for the future.

Worst thing about lockdown?

Not being able to give my mum and sister a big hug. We’re incredibly grateful that technology allows us to connect, but there’s nothing like the human touch.

Top tip for surviving lockdown?

I recently posted a quote on my IG account (@VictoraEkanoye) that really resonated with me. The message is to simply try to ‘Win Today’. Take the pressure off and take it one day at a time.

It’s unnecessary pressure to worry about what will happen next week or next month, so I like to set myself little daily achievable tasks, whatever they may be, that way I feel I’m accomplishing something, rather than letting the days pass me by.

If you could be locked down with one person, alive or dead, who would it be?

I’m with him! Jonathan and I have been together for three and a half years now, but my work keeps our time together limited and precious.

Finally getting to co-habit ‘normally’ feels like our very own silver lining. So in your face Corona!

What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown is over?

Flying home and giving my mum the biggest, longest cuddle. She’s high risk, like me, so we’re in the middle of our 12 week self-isolation period, but she’s alone right now.

Just like so many she’s missing her loved ones and although my sister helps with shopping and we FaceTime her all the time, I know she just wants her girls home with her. 

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