Mercy Ebosele is one of the stars in the Yoruba film industry, where she is highly respected by both fans and practitioners. When it comes to beauty, she has it and when it’s about her acting skill, she cannot be shoved aside like some of her colleagues in the industry. Since making her journey into the make-belief world, she has remained a powerful force, commanding good patronage from top movie producers, who run after her. In this chat with MUTIAT ALLI, the Edo State-born actress opens up on the journey so far, current project to mention but few.
What’s been happening to you lately?
Like you are aware my movie ‘Ibusun’ was released few weeks ago. I’ve also been on different sets working as an actor and I’m currently working on the script of my next movie.
You said your movie was released recently, what’s the feedback like?
It’s been favourable. The viewers are quite pleased with the production.
I’m sure you must have put in a lot effort into the production, how did you cope?
It wasn’t an easy task. I consulted my director, Bayo Tijani and after reading the script, he said the project will gulp millions and we aligned committing everything unto God’s hands. While filming, costumes became an issue but God took control and the entire production was a success.
The script you are working on, how soon do you intend to hit the location and what is it about?
We should be through with the script in a month’s time and in two months we shall be filming as well. My last movie was on HIV/AIDS but the new script that I am currently working is a crime story that highlights the extremity and tactics of criminals in the society.
What inspires your storylines?
I get inspired by occurrence around me or personal experiences shared with me but with the permission of the parties involved.
How did you get into acting?
I started acting back in the secondary school as a member of the dramatic society. In 2003, I met Bayo Tijani and Muyiwa Ademola who were in Oyo to shoot a movie. I indicated my interest of joining the movie industry. Later, Akin Olaiya introduced me to Muyiwa Ademola formally and he told me the entire registration process of his drama school. My sister paid the fees because I kept my decision away from my parents because as at then they weren’t in support of my decision to act.
What’s your parents’ position as regards your acting career?
My father gave his blessings before his demise and he supported me; but my mum isn’t in support of my decision to take to acting. Unfortunately in 2009, my father died and he didn’t get to see any of the movies I produced because he passed on after I produced them. It took me six years to position myself as an actress because most producers complained about my small stature.
What are the challenges faced in the course of your career?
Apart from movie producers complaining about my stature, some of my female colleagues complained about my referring to them by their first names; they insist that I use the prefix ‘Aunty’ before their names. Some of them aren’t on speaking terms with me, most times they report me to my boss and he defends me by telling them that I’ve been in the industry for a long time. While some apologise, others keep malice with me. I had to divert to costuming in order to avoid talking to them; my sister gave me ninety thousand Naira to buy costumes. Sadly most of the producers I worked with didn’t pay me. I had to quit after a while.
As an actress, is it right to say that your experience in costuming is a plus for you?
Yes, reason being that I ensure that my costumes align with the character I would be playing. Besides, I tag every costume to achieve continuity.
What’s your take on sexual harassment within the industry?
I’ve not experienced it so I can’t really say.
Do you agree that it exists within the industry?
I’m indifferent because in every industry both gender exists and it takes two to tangle. The consent must be mutual; you can’t be forced into any romantic affair.
Do you have any clique within the industry?
No, I don’t have friends within the industry but I have cordial relationship with my colleagues.
Don’t you think that forming a clique could be an added advantage for you?
I don’t think so. I believe any producer with a good script will invite me if he/she sees me being fit for such role.
Any intentions to join the English genre of Nollywood and do you think you have all it takes to join?
Yes, I intend to join the English genre of Nollywood and I do have all it takes to join professionally. I attended several auditions and am still waiting to hear from them. I believe I will join them soon by God’s grace.
What’s your assessment of the industry as at when you joined and now?
We aren’t where we used to be, we are making progress and I believe with time we shall definitely get there.
As a movie producer, how do you cope with finance?
I ensure that my story fits into my budget.
Do you finance your project solely?
Yes, I do.
Can you describe your person?
Am God-fearing and sincere.
Are you in a relationship?
I’m still praying for a God-fearing man.
What are the qualities you look out for in a man?
I want a God-fearing man.