Saturday 4 May 2019

Why I Stopped Taking Romantic Roles - Mercy Johnson Opens Up

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The quintessential queen of the tube spoke candidly with LANRE ODUKOYA about her consciousness of what her status as a mother and wife demands as against what fans love to see.
Mercy Johnson and husband

From the lady who would throw all in to interpret movie roles, a lot has changed about the prolific actor, Mercy Johnson-Okojie.

What excited you about the role you played in your recent movie titled Reunion?

First and foremost, everybody knows that I love movies that treat vices, then entertain and educate at same time.
When I’m picking a script those elements must be there. It must be part of the spices.

Reunion preaches against rape, the real value of true friendship. People watch movies and have different interpretation.
The movie is about friends coming together to help one another heal.

It also tackles deceit, you must not trust anyone, people have their dark sides irrespective of how they look outside.

It’s a national anthem that people have three faces, the one they show the world, the one for the family and loved ones and the one they keep to themselves.

If you have issues, you have to come out and say it how it is, so guilt won’t kill you inside. That’s the summary of what the movie looks like. It preaches against one wearing the attire of a Rev. Father and doing something else underneath.

You played Amaka, right?

Yes, I did. Amaka is a bubbly girl, used to be a good girl but turned bad. She’s like a two-faced character who tried to heal wrongly.

How do you transit to playing different characters in different movies?

Every character I play in any movie is challenging. But I try as much as possible to be new character at any point in time. I try to get better. I also play a lot and draw inspirations from people around me.

For example, if I am asked to play a journalist, I’ll quickly adjust myself to the way you are seated, grab the mic and ask these similar questions you have been asking me. I learn from everyone around me; environment, nature and happenings.

In terms of movie making what is next for you?

I have my TV show, the cooking show coming up pretty soon. It’s different kind of talk show. While cooking, we talk about marriage and its struggles.
The spices of marriage and all that surround it.

It’s not just for celebrities, but for people from different walks of life. Even divorced and single parents can come around, to share their experiences, so others can learn.

It has a slogan of ‘You won’t be honest about it, then don’t talk about it’.

Married ones, can come and tell us how they spice up their homes.

How do you spice up your own marriage, as we see more of you and your husband on Instagram?

Well, I don’t want to talk about my husband. But everybody knows my husband is very cute. Don’t let him take the shine off the interview.

How do you cope as a mother and actress?

I have kids, they always see me like the role model they have. So every day I try to do better to cover up the mistakes I made in the past. I try to make better diaries for them to avoid embarrassment, the internet never forgets. I wouldn’t want them to grow up to see any embarrassing thing about me on the internet.

One day I asked my daughter what she wants to become when she grows older, she looked me in the eyes and said, “Mummy I want to be exactly like you.”

Are you happy with what you have achieved so far as an actress?

Yes, extremely. I can still do better. We are never satisfied. I have goals to accomplish. Some are fulfilled, some I’m working very hard to accomplish. As long as you are alive you always try to do better.

What kind of role won’t you play at this level?

I think now it’s one that flaunts nudity. Any form of nudity.

What if your husband allows you?

He will never give me that consent. My husband is an Ishan man. Yes, he wouldn’t like that kind of thing. But I have to be very careful with everything I do now because I have kids. I have to live right for them. Do everything within my comfort zone to maintain a clean slate. Now, I have stopped doing romance roles, I do more of comedy. I think I have enough and lots of romance movies.

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