THE GENEVIEVE EXCLUSIVE
Genevieve is without doubt one of Nollywood's brightest stars and almost an entire year in abstention did not dim her shine, instead it has given the actress a chance to reflect and reinvent herself. For the first time this year, the sultry actress opens up on her career, 2005 and the future.
So has Genevieve been officially 'unbanned'?
There was nothing official about the “ban”. As I have stated in several other interviews, I was never officially informed of a ban so I remain officially unaware of it. Nobody can really ban you from acting but people can blacklist you. Everyone seems to be calling it a ban, so be it.
Honestly, what did the ban do to you?
IRRITATE ME. It is the truth. I have always believed that there are no issues that cannot be resolved through talking to one another. There is so much power in talking, and guess what, it is free but we hardly talk to one another. Meetings and conferences would have helped a whole lot a year ago but we never had them before the blacklisting began.
We all have just managed to frustrate our fans, and set back the positive growth we had in the industry in 2005. That is very irritating to me. Nevertheless, a lot of Good things happened to me in 2005 and I am grateful to God for that.
Did you miss making movies most of 2005?
Definitely. Even though acting is a job for me, it is also very pleasurable. I missed having fun. I caught some fun shooting 30 Days last summer though.
Is your career going to take a different turn if you return to the screen?
I have taken sometime to reflect and that is definitely my plan. My manager and I are working hard to make sure my career takes a good turn. As in everything planned, God holds the last word.
How about your music career, are you intending to develop that further?
Acting is my first love and all my energy is centered around it right now. I don't have plans of releasing a second album anytime soon if that is what you want to know.
How exactly did you spend 2005?
2005 was quite a busy year for me. First, the Lux campaign kept me pretty busy. We had Lux products re-launched both in Nigeria and Ghana.
I attended a couple of award shows in Beverly Hills, Germany and Bayelsa State. It was my first visit to California so I did all the tourist stuff – Universal Studios, Magic Mountain and Hollywood strip. I also went to Las Vegas, Nevada and it was tons of fun. I still have to do the Disneyland thing though. In Bayelsa, I was honored with AMMA's best actress award. It was a humbling experience that I won't soon forget. I must say the people of Bayelsa know how to treat guests.
I shot the movie 30 Days from late June to August 2005. This was after 10 months of no acting so I enjoyed the experience tremendously. I had more of an opportunity to interact with the crew and cast on this set because of the length of the shoot. I am sure the staff in the hotels we were camped in missed us when we left. In fact one of the hotels threw a party for us before we left.
I also attended and participated in a few charitable events, some were publicized like a couple of fashion shows and others were not. I'd rather they remained so too. I also visited Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver all in Canada for work, and then for vacation, I went to 3 absolutely beautiful European cities. It was my vacation so I am not going to mention the cities. I was in Vancouver to meet with our internet partners and also meet up with fans. That's about it for 2005 I think.
You represented Nollywood at the famous Canadian film festival, what was it called?
The 34th edition of Festival du Nouveau Cinema. In English, it translates to Festival of New Cinema. It was held in Montreal, Canada.
What was it like?
It was exciting and a bit overwhelming for me, a bit nerve wracking but I'm glad my manager and Prof. Okome were there to go through that process with me.
I was thoroughly grilled by the press from the minute I checked into the Hotel Godin. I had one interview after another with newspapers, radio and television stations. They asked very detailed questions about the “work” which I tried my best to respond to. It was great to find out that so many Africans and their friends watch our films in Canada. Our films are in very many corners of the world.
“Private Sin” was one of the films screened at the festival. It was interesting watching it with non-Africans. They laughed in all the right places and wanted to know where they could get part 2 of the movie. Montreal has lots of beautiful people and they play good music both on the radio, in shops, restaurants and clubs. Good fun I must say.
So what is your most memorable film experience?
Considering how many movies I have shot, it is difficult to say. I'll say each and every one of them holds some sort of memory for me, both good and bad.
And what are your plans for 2006?
God willing, you will see them as they are executed.
For the record, how true are the rumors about your feud with Omotola?
I am glad you refer to them as rumors because that's all they are. I am sure I'll get this question again because people just won't let it go.
Do you ever intend to work behind the scenes in Movies say writing, producing or directing?
Absolutely, I see myself directing someday.
What advice would you give young girls coming up in the industry?
This goes to both boys and girls because we do have boys in the industry too. Know yourself - where you are coming from, where you are going and most importantly why you are going there. Knowing why you want to be an actor is very important because that's what will keep you going when times are rough (if you are in it for the right reasons).
How is your daughter doing?
Very well. Thank you for asking.
Thank you very much, have a wonderful 2006.
Thank You. God bless us all.