Unlike some of her contemporaries, multi-talented actress, Mercy Johnson-Okojie and her husband have maintained a marriage without scandals.
In this exclusive interview she granted at a film location recently, the screen idol speaks on the ups and downs of marriage and the sacrifices she had to make to sustain a happy home. Enjoy it.
What excites you about the role you are playing in this new movie, Reunion?
First and foremost, everybody knows that I love movies that treat vices, and also entertain and educate at the same time. When I’m picking a script, those elements must be there. It must be part of the spices. Reunion preaches the real value of true friendship and rails against rape. People watch movies and have different interpretations. The movie is about friends coming together to help one another. 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 as it is, so guilt won’t kill you inside. That’s the summary of what the movie is all about. It preaches against one wearing the attire of a Rev. Father and doing something else underneath.
What role are you playing in the movie?
I’m playing Amaka. Amaka is a bubbling girl, who used to be a good girl but turned bad. She’s like a two-face character who tries to heal wrongly.
How do you put yourself up to play 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 adjust myself to the way you are seated, grab the mic and begin to ask all these similar questions you have been asking me. I learn from everyone around me, including environment, nature and happenings.
In terms of movie making, what’s next for you?
I have my TV show, the cooking show, coming up pretty soon. It’s a different kind of talk show. While cooking, we’ll talk about marriage and it’s challenges. The spices of marriage and all that surrounds it.
It’s not just for celebrities, but also for people from different walks of life. Even divorced and single parents can come around to share their experiences, so others can learn.
The talk show has a slogan of ‘You won’t be honest about it, then don’t talk about it’. The 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?
I don’t want to talk about my husband. Everybody knows that my husband is very cute. So, don’t let him take the shine off the interview (laughs).
How do you cope as a mother and actress?
I have kids, they always see me like the role model they have. So, everyday 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 up, 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 happy. But 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 you won’t play at this stage?
I think it’s 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; and do everything within my comfort zone to maintain a clean slate. I have stopped doing romance roles; I now do more of comedy. I think I have enough of romance movies.
Is it because your husband gets jealous watching you kiss in movies?
From the minutes we started dating, I stopped taking body contact or body touching roles. I had to move to the next level.