NOLLYWOOD NEWS: The joy of every parent is to see his or her child walk in his or her footsteps or choose the same career after them, but for Nollywood superstar Monalisa Chinda Coker the reverse is the case.
The mother of one also revealed she cannot go nude in a movie. She went on to say she was not sexually harassed because it was not a criteria for one to become an actor.
Below are some of the excerpts from the interview.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Nollywood actor, filmmaker, host of ‘You and I with Monalisa’, a 30-minutes talkshow containing a blend of inspiring conversations, human angle stories, lifestyle tips, business and creative entertainment.
And in this 4th season of the show, we seek to create more youth-eccentric content that aligns with the social media. Also, I do little contracts by the side.
What do you like about your character and what movie are you currently working on?
I am currently promoting ‘Family First’, directed by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen. The film location was Benin City. I played the role of a single (widowed) mum who’s got grown up children in the university.
Having lost my husband to a deadly disease, the character, Itohan, was left to cater for her children alone. Still very desirable and highly admired by other men, Itohan decides to take a shot at dating again, this time to a younger man.
This didn’t go down well with her son who becomes overly protective of his mum. He becomes dangerously aggressive and violent.
Any way, in order not to give the juicy story away, let’s leave it as it is. It’s a compelling contemporary family drama. People should look forward to it when it eventually hits the screens by the grace of God.
What makes one a good actor?
Honestly, if I say to you that Angelina Jolie is a great actor, and you disagree, it doesn’t make my choice a good one and yours wrong. It just means we have different tastes. So, for me, an actor is good if he makes me believe he’s actually going through whatever his character is going through.
I must be convinced ‘he’s jumping out of a bus’, ‘she’s actually giving birth and the doctor is seen delivering her baby’.
The emotion, the physical connection in that character, is called alienation. Again, the character has
to be full of surprises; must be unpredictable, must have so many ways to tell a truth or a lie. Actors must not be predictable all the time.
It becomes boring. An actor must have the voice and the body. He must know how to use these tools to move and talk in expressive ways. There are some actors that are painful to watch, I am sorry. I can go on and on, but let’s leave it as it is.
If you were to compare the industry then and now, what has changed?
I would say the industry called Nollywood has evolved, from storytelling, technological special effects and to social media etc. Way back, we struggled with technical, costumes and make up, but we also had fantastic story lines, captivating plots and great acts. We have become better today.
Our movies are being screened at reputable film festivals all over the world. The industry has created also quality TV series, more profitable movies, web platforms, and on line TV. And of course, not to mention our own Africa Magic whose platforms have put us on a global map, creating shows and awards. We have indeed done well for ourselves.
If you were to groom a new actor, which aspect of you would you teach the person?
I will certainly teach method acting; Method acting gives you the ability to deliver very complex roles, internalization, memory recall, and certainly spiritual realism and self-analysis.
Series of rehearsals and emotional expressions will play hand in hand to bring out the best acting skills from my students.
Have you turned down a role?
Yes, I have.
What can make you turn down a role?
Bad script, nudity, and profane language.
Do you have a price to show little to the imagination?
If I understand you correctly, you are asking if I can go naked in a movie. The answer is no.
When you were coming up, were you sexually harassed?
No. It wasn’t one of the criteria for one to become an actor. It may have existed then, but it must have been hushed. I never recalled that ever happening when I started.
Again, I come from a theatre back ground, from University of Port Harcourt. I have a degree in Theatre Arts. So, we were already ‘made’ from school. It was a matter of choice.
Would you like your child to go into acting?
I am not sure!!
With what’s going on now? I would try to talk her out of it. It’s difficult to deal with fame. The society would expect you to act in certain way, talk in certain way, and not seen in certain places!
It’s difficult. However, I am not God. He may have His own purpose for her. After all, we are here to fulfil our purposes on earth.
So, you can’t just walk.
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