By Vanessa Obioha
Weruchie Opia, the daughter of veteran broadcaster and longtime ‘Nightline’ host, Ruth Benamaisia Opia, stars alongside BAFTA winner Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum) in ‘I May Destroy You’, the acclaimed HBO’s Drama of the Year.
The hit HBO series showing on Showmax every Wednesday centres on Arabella, a witty, carefree, and successful young Londoner with a break-out writing career, great friends, and a some-time hook-up in Italy. When her drink is spiked with a date-rape drug in a nightclub, Arabella is forced to reassess every aspect of her life: her career, her friends, and even her family. As Arabella tries to process her trauma, she begins an often painful, sometimes hilarious journey of radical self-discovery that leads her to some surprising places – and controversial conclusions.
Weruche plays Arabella’s devoted, fun-loving best friend, Terry, who’s struggling to get her acting career off the ground. The graduate of Drama and Sociology was born and raised in Lagos but moved to London at 14, where her father, Eric Opia, was a professor. Her early roles were mainly in British TV series. She played Nafisa in Channel 4’s ‘Top Boy’ and Cleopatra Ofoedo in Jack Whitehall’s ‘Bad Education’ (series and movie).
However, the movie that brought her to the limelight was Seyi Babatope’s 2014 Nigerian romantic comedy movie ‘When Love Happens’. The movie also fetched her first award nominations such as the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards where she was nominated for Nollywood Actress of The Year; and a nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy in the third Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards. She also went on to star in the sequel movie ‘When Love Happens Again’.
The young actress owns a fashion line, Jesus Junkie Clothing.
During the shooting of the film, Weruche, who is a devout Christian, had her spiritual convictions challenged with the requirements of the role, which included a fairly graphic threesome. She, however, was able to play the part without compromising her faith. She revealed in an interview with an international publication that she didn’t play the sex scenes herself. According to her, a body double played the part and an intimacy director Ita O’Brien was on set to ensure that she was comfortable with how her character would appear on screen. There was also a therapist on hand to support the cast and crew in dealing with the show’s sensitive topics.
‘I May Destroy You’ depiction of the need to ask for help, find support structures, and lean on strong friendships has resonated with audiences and critics alike. The show received positive reviews from critics and sits at #23 on Rotten Tomatoes Best TV of 2020 with a 97% critics rating. The show airs every Wednesday night on Showmax and 1Magic.