By JULIET EBIRIM
Fast rising Nollywood actress, Juliet Njemanze is one actress who has been able to carve a niche for herself with her ability to interpret scripts flawlessly. In this interview with Juliet Ebirim, the Imo State-born actress who is the first child and the only girl out of four siblings, talks about her career, relationship and what makes her tick. Read on…
What’s your impression about Nollywood?
Looking at where we started, I’m so proud of where we are now. Nollywood is doing amazingly well. The new movies being released are so good that they can be compared to Hollywood movies.
Do you think you are a spiritual person? Are you the ‘church’ type?
I’m not ‘churchy’ but I’m spiritual. I’m very in touch with my spiritual side. I love God and I pray and read my Bible. I might not necessarily go to church every Sunday or attend church programmes, but I’m spiritual.
Does that influence the kind of roles you do?
There are certain characters I can’t play and there are certain things I can’t do. If the role requires my being blasphemous or saying something that goes against my faith in God, I won’t take up the role. I can’t do sex scenes. I can do romance but not sex.
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from people out there, some of them who say to me ‘I love your movies’. When I get comments like that, I think about ways to improve and be better.
Who among your colleagues do you enjoy working with?
I love working with I.K Ogbonna. I’ve worked with him about three times now. He’s a fun person on set and he makes me act better. I also love working with Mercy Macjoe, Callista Okoronkwo, Esther Ene, Val Edochie and Jerry Williams.
Would you describe yourself as fashionable?
I’m a fashionable person but fashion for me is being comfortable. No matter what you wear, as long as you’re comfortable in it, you’ll look good in it. When you’re comfortable, you’re confident.
Are you in a relationship?
I have a boyfriend, but I don’t like to say that out loud because he’s an actor as well, I’m not going to mention his name. But at the right time, it will be out there.
What was the attraction?
He is a kind person and he has a lot of respect for me. I don’t joke with my respect, so as long as a man respects me, that’s it.
Did you meet each other on set?
Yes, we actually met on set.
How did it happen?
He told me that he really likes me and would want us to have a relationship. Initially, I said “No” because I have an issue with dating in the industry, but he was really persistent. He kept on pushing until I said “Yes”.
How long have you both been together?
It’s been two years.
Which is more important to you in a relationship – sex, money or good looks?
For me, apart from knowing God and all … sex is the most important. He has to be good in bed. It’s definitely sex before money because you could give me all the money in the world, if I’m not sexually satisfied, I will definitely cheat on you.
What part of your body do you think is the most attractive?
I haven’t thought about that before because I love every part of my body. Someone said it’s my boobs. (Laughs)
How do you handle male attention?
I actually pay attention to some of them and then turn them to friends. I have a way with people that even if you want something sexual, after getting close to you, you end up seeing me as a sister.
How did acting begin for you?
Acting began for me when I followed a friend to a job for AGN chapter in Kano State. After rehearsals, the director asked me what I wanted to be and I told him I wanted to be a lawyer and he advised me to go for acting, that I had it in me. That was in 2012. Actually, I would say I started acting professionally in 2015 after I shot Obi Emelonye’s ‘Calabash’. I took acting serious after that.
Was that your first film?
No, the first film I did was ‘Tears in my heart’ directed by Okey Ifeanyi in 2013. After that, I didn’t do any movie till Obi Emelonye’s ‘Calabash’.
So ‘Calabash’ was the movie that brought you to limelight?
Yeah, I think so.
What was your first time on set like?
I was a nervous wreck. That was the first time I would see people I watch on TV like Late Muna Obiekwe and Angela Okorie. I was rapping my lines instead of saying them. And the director called me aside and said “Calm down, they are humans like you…” And gradually I was able to do it.
How has it been since then?
It hasn’t been easy but I’m pushing through and God has been great.
Mention some of the movies you’ve done?
‘5 Wives’ directed by Okey Ifeanyi and ‘Unforgiving Mother’ directed by Ebuka Onuma. Also, ‘Lovestruck’ by Obi Emelonye is currently showing on African Magic. ‘Timeline’, as well as ‘Instagram Girls’ by Michael Parish and many others.
Is your dream of being a lawyer still valid?
Yes, because I’m still in school, though currently studying Public Administration, but I still have plans to study Law.
What’s unique about you?
I’m a very honest person. I detest lies and deceit. I’m real to the core. I don’t know how to sugar-coat things or be ‘diplomatic’. People who are fake call it being diplomatic. I also take my work very seriously. I play but when it’s time to work I just work.