An Interview With Mercy Macjoe - I Once hawked oranges on the streets to survive TrendyVoice

1 July 2016

An Interview With Mercy Macjoe - I Once hawked oranges on the streets to survive

Actress on the rise, Mercy Macjoe, has begun to
have fame and fortune smiling at her she seems
to be smiling back. But beneath those smiles are
scars that cannot be seen. Like everyone who has
a grass-to-grace story to tell, the nostalgia may
have a bitter-sweet taste but the experience is
always a different thing altogether, even if it had
been lived and dumped in the memory.
In this Interview, Mercy Macjoe, an Economics
graduate of University of Ibadan, studying
English at National Open University relives it
again – it is no make-believe

•How did you get into the movie industry?

My first movie was in 2011. I was featured after
being selected from a talent hunt competition. I
played a very good role and I was opportune to
act alongside Mike Ezuronye. After then, I
decided to take acting serious. I came back to
Lagos and started going from one audition to
another. God has been wonderful. I was one of
the first few people who played a lead role in the
first movie they appeared in. I played some very
strong characters and some very strong lead
roles. Most people think I am from Ghana
because I have featured in some Ghanaian
movies too. There was a time I went to Ghana and
I spent about three to four months. I had a
contract with some producers. I did a lot of
movies and those movies did well. Most people
on my social media pages think I am Ghanaian.

•What was your childhood like?

I didn't have all the opportunities when I was
growing up. I grew up with my mum. I lost my
dad at a very young age so it was just my mum
who took care of me and my other siblings. I am
the sixth in a family of eight. I wasn't born with a
silver spoon in my mouth; I had to do so many
things to survive. I assisted my mum in her
buying and selling business. I sold so many
things with my mum. I remember selling oranges
and some other things with my mum. I am proud
to say it now because the story is different now. I
hawked oranges and some other things, helping
my mum and siblings to survive. I am always
proud to say it because it was in the past and I
can't sell oranges now.

•Is your mum supportive of your career?

My mum is my biggest supporter in the world. I
told you I was part of a talent hunt when starting
out. It was my mum who got the number for me.
She was watching a movie and saw the advert in
the movie for aspiring actresses; she wrote the
number and kept it. Back then, when I watched a
movie, I usually call the contact number I see
after the movie. I tell them to give me an
opportunity to showcase my acting talent. My
mum kept the number and told me to call it. I
called them, they sent me their website address
and I saw the registration details. I did everything
they required. They said they were going to get
back to me. They didn't get back to me till after a
year. After a year, I got a message from them
that I have been shortlisted for a film production.
I have never been to Asaba and Onitsha before.
My mum advised me to go. She said: 'Take
enough money in case things go messy'. I
boarded a bus and I went there. When I got there,
I saw so many people like me from other parts of
the country. We were camped, auditioned and
shortlisted in a particular place. I was so lucky to
have been given a good role. That's how it
What will you regard as your most
challenging movie role?
I did a film called Agony of an orphan. I appeared
in the movie two years ago. It is one of my most
challenging movies till date. In that movie, I gave
out my soul. I remember the producer telling me;
' I know you are talented and you need to make
people see this talent. Take this movie like your
life depends on it'. I sold so many things in the
film and I had to shoot under the sun. I ran on the
road under scorching sun. I did the movie without
a single makeup on. I was a cripple in the movie
and I was also raped by my uncle in the film. It
was very challenging for me. I poured out my
heart into the movie.

•What would you say about the role you
played in the movie, Sex on the beach?

Everything I did in the movie was just acting. It's
a movie, nothing more than that happened. My
boobs weren't exposed. What started the
controversy was a picture someone took while we
were shooting the movie at the beach. Bloggers
made it go viral. I got a lot of negative comments
about the movie. Some people didn't even
believe it's a movie. How can you caption the
picture: Caught making love when we were fully
dressed? I didn't engage in any sensual display in
the movie.

•Looking back would you have featured in
that kind of movie?

I don't think I would have featured in it. It was a
low budget film. If I am given that kind of script
now I will reject it. The way the script was written
and the way we acted it wasn't the way it came
out. This is supposed to be a short film .When the
film came out, the producer or the marketer
made it longer that it was. It had several seasons
and some people didn't understand it. It was
meant to be a full movie not divided into seasons.

•Have you ever acted with someone who got
turned on while acting?

You cannot get turned on during acting. I don't
think artistes should get turned on because they
are not the only ones at the location. You can talk
about chemistry. If it feels real that is different.
Getting turned on means you want to make love
to the person. When you are acting with someone
that you have chemistry with its easier for you to
kiss that person if the role says kiss. You cannot
be turned on when there are a lot of people
behind you.

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