Saturday, December 27, 2014

How I deal with sex-for-role -Juliet Mgborukwe

Controversial and fast rising actress and TV presenter, Juliet Chidinma Mgborukwe, is carving a niche for herself in Nollywood as one of the faces to watch out for. In this chat with CHRISTIAN AGADIBE, the TV presenter and divorcee talks career and why she wouldn’t sleep with a director to secure movie roles among other issues. Excerpts:

You received an award recently, could you tell us about it?

Yes, I won CityPeople’s award for Best New Comer (female category). It was a great feeling. It gave me this sense of fulfilment. At last, I am on the right path to leaving my footprints in Nollywood’s sands of time. I cannot help but thank God for it. Winning this award has proved that I am mak­ing relative impact. And this is just the beginning of greater things to come.

How did you get your first movie role?

It started after I had an interview with Yvonne Nelson on one of my TV programmes. We got along so well she invited me over to Ghana to act in her first self produced movie entitled Priceless. It was a wonderful experi­ence and guess what; I got to act alongside Majid Michael and Yvonne Nelson. The movie was directed by Frank Rajah.

Were you jittery when you faced the camera that first time?

No, not at all because it came so naturally to me. Like you very well know, I am a TV presenter so it was quite easy making the switch to mov­ies.

Which movie would you say gave you your break in Nollywood? I can’t really say it was this particular movie or that particular movie but some of the movies I starred in like Ebube The only child, Yankee Students, Sisters Battle, Educated House Maids and School Trouble among many others got me to where I am today and I thank God every day.

So far, has acting been a lucrative venture for you?

I wouldn’t say lucrative, no, not just yet. However, it has been more about putting my foot on the ground and defining my niche. The lucrative part will surely be a by-product of this defined character I am building.

What is your opin­ion on sex-for-role which is rumoured to be quite rampant in Nollywood?

It is an unpleasant situation; very unpleasant I must confess. I have faced such scenarios before but I never gave in. You see, for me, acting is a passion. I am not desperate for roles; not at all. I have turned down such offers and I am glad I did. I won my award based on sheer credibility so I don’t see why I should sleep with anybody to get a role. That would be belittling myself; it is like the Esau Syndrome which is selling your birth­right for a plate of porridge. The movies I have featured were based on merit. There are still good producers and directors out there who want to make real movies with excellent cast and those are the kind of people I have been working with.

As an actress, are there some roles you consider forbidden?

No, everything I do in front of the camera is acting; make belief. I am only playing a character whether as a villain or victor so I don’t consider any role as forbidden. If you see me as a killer in a movie, it is just role playing. Same goes for any other role you will see me play. That is what makes me an actress; the ability to interpret differ­ent roles convincingly.

How about going nude on set?

It is all make-belief. Although our culture frowns at it but people should please understand that it is all a world of make-belief.

Are you currently in any serious relationship?

Maybe, but I have always tried to keep my personal life private and I still maintain that stand; do you under­stand?

What characteristics must your ideal man possess?

My ideal man is the man in the Book of Proverbs. A man who will let me live my dreams, shine without being intimidated and be proud of me just like I am of him; that is a rare species right (laughter)?

What do you consider to be the meaning of love?

For me, love means selflessness which is giving your­self solely to the happiness and well being of others.

Have you ever been broken hearted?

Yes, I have had my fair share of heartbreak. Really, it has a very bitter taste.

Tell us about your growing up, were you born with silver spoon?

I have dined with both a silver spoon and a wooden spoon and both experiences are the things shaping my philosophy of life today.

What were the challenges you faced as an up-and-coming actress?

They were the false representations and unrealistic expectations of me as an actress and a Lady.

What are you working on currently?

I am on different production sets as we speak shooting back-to-back.

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