I smoke and flirt in movies… but that’s not real me —Mona Lisa Chinda
She acts the rebellious female in her movies, clutching a smouldering cigarette, provocatively dressed and plotting the downfall of her next male victim. However, TV bad girl, Mona Lisa Chinda, has asked Nigerians not to judge her by the bitchy roles she acts on television.
The star, who is currently expecting a baby, is happily married to the boss of Hitts Entertainment, Idejo Richards.
“What people see on TV is the personae I have created. Up close I am a very private and quiet person. In my movies, I interpreter roles that are true to life. I am a professional. These are characters we encounter everyday of our lives. There is the private me and a public me. The real me is this, I am well relaxed and at home and just lazing around,” Mona Lisa told Sunday sun in an interview.
Motherhood and acting
Caressing her distended tummy Mona Lisa said: “I am in a joyous state right now, so I am not acting. God means the whole world to me. I pray all the time because the bible says 'pray without ceasing.' I am looking forward to motherhood. I will continue to act after my baby arrives. But the experience has been exciting, giving life to a new generation. I guess I am very lucky I have a loving husband and I thank God every day. It's exciting to know that soon, I am going to be a mother. My husband has been very supportive. I can't wait to be a mother,” she said.
According to the expectant mother, she met her knight in shining amour in 2002. Initially there was no attraction until 2004, when they hooked up again. This time, they knew what they wanted and they hit the aisle.
“We got to know each other better the second time we met in 2004. What attracted me was his level of intelligence. He had a lot going upstairs. It was not love at first sight. When we met in 2002, I don't remember giving him a second look. He was just like any other man I had ever come across. But when we met in 2004, he swept me off my feet and here we are today expecting our first baby.”
Her husband is the boss of Hitts Entertainment. Yet she does not lose sleep when young girls flock around him because she trusts that he will not stray.
“I don't loose sleep when I see girls flocking around my husband. We both understand the industry that we work in. I am not scared of losing him. He gets all the attention because he is a young bloke. No, I don't really get jealous. We both have a basic understanding. I don't feel insecure at all. Conversely, he is not jealous when I get all the attention as well. It has to do with knowing your partner.”
Born the first child in a family of six kids, Mona Lisa had what she described as a strict up-bringing. Her parents struck a balance between spoiling her and disciplining her. “They did not spoil me. I had a fantastic up bringing. I was the first child of six. I was handled with a lot of firmness though. My siblings did not have the kind of training and firmness I got. It has impacted on me today because I am morally sound. I thank God for that. It has helped my career a great deal.
“I started acting in 1992 when I was in school. I began at NTA, Aba, on the set of a soap opera. My first home video was in 1996. I did 'Pregnant Virgin' alongside Ejike Asiegbu. Then we were at the University of Port Harcourt.
“After I graduated from school where I studied Theatre Arts, I did not know what to do for a while. I had my fingers in other pies. I shot a couple of movies but nothing really serious. It was my husband that made me come back fully to acting in 2004. My parents were against my acting in the early days. Their mentality was that I should get a proper job in a bank or an oil company. My dad was particularly disappointed but I stuck to my guns. I was not a stubborn kid but I was determined. They are very happy today. Later they made a u-turn. Today, they are proud of me.”
Mona Lisa is currently in the studios putting finishing touches to her debut album. Anytime soon, her first single, a duet with her husband entitled 'yours' truly,' should hit the market.