One of Nollywood’s fastest rising actresses, Mercy Johnson, who many industry insiders have wrongfully pigeonholed as only fit for emotional roles, has come up to debunk the claim. The curvaceous actress, who stunned multitude of movie buffs with her A-class display in
Kill The Bride, in an interview with our correspondent, took it in good fate, then sounded it loud and clear that she could act whatever role that comes her way, whether emotional roles, action roles, bitchy roles, name it, as she is not inflexible in her interpretation of roles.
But those who thought she was fit only for the cry-cry baby role have reasons to argue so. In a handful of the films she’d glittered in, playing emotional roles was more.
Besides, this reporter who watched her from close range on the set of a movie in the making almost concluded so, too, after seeing the ease with which she evoked tears the next minute the youthful director yelled action.
“Those who thought I could only act emotional roles were mistaken. I am a flexible actress. I do action films; I do bitchy roles. It’s not compulsory I do emotional roles; it is just that I carry emotional roles extremely well. Fine, most of my films are emotional films, but I have also done action films like
Just Before The Ordination or Orungbeja; I’ve done quite a lot”, she argued.
On the same set, before the interview held, our correspondent overheard her colleagues describe her ability to conjure tears on time as uncommon. But that is not the only good thing about her acting, she also has an uncanny ability to contort her face and change facial expressions to fit the mood of the scenes as they change.
“I did not have any formal acting training,” the actress, whose maiden lead role was in
The Maid, released in 2002, said, adding: “I attribute my acting talent to God, the same thing for getting the lead role in The Maid, because I was freshly out of the secondary school. I suppose my skills stood out, because we were quite many that rehearsed for the role, but I eventually got it and, if you knew Nek Video boss, he wouldn’t give you a role if you don’t deserve it”.
The Maid might have launched her into fame, but her first movie role was in Moving Train in 2000.
Many video buffs still talk about her outing in
Kill The Bride for as varied reasons as the colour of people’s lips. But more people we’ve come in contact with just can’t stop discussing her kissing binge in the movie.
And so, we asked whether she felt any sensation creep through her spine as she locked lips with the opposite sex.
“I didn’t feel anything. It was quite difficult for me though, but on second hand it is my career; I believe if you want to grow you must go the extra mile, that is the way I see it.
“It’s wrong to kiss that much people in one movie but we are not talking of reality here; it is make-believe and that’s why it is a movie. For people to understand your pain and see what you went through, it is better you do things the way it should be done,” insisted the Okene, Kogi State-born Mercy.
The actress, who was born in Satellite Town, Lagos, told us she would do the lip-locking scenes over and over again if the script requires it.
“I’ll do it over and again. I don’t have to charge more than my normal fees because I have to kiss in a movie,” the forth child in a family of seven said.
The 100 level undergraduate of the English Department of Lagos State University (LASU), described as a homely person, told us her favourite pastime is playing Monopoly with her ex-Naval officer father, giving the impression of one whose family means the world to her. Little wonder she said: “The most important man in my life is my father”, revealing that her eldest sister, Rella, is her favourite of all her six siblings.
“I’m from a family of seven – four girls and three boys. The girls came first and I am the last girl. My brothers are so ‘sweet’, just like my sisters; the three boys are Emmanuel, Samson and Solomon. My favourite sister is Rella – she’s my mother, my sister and everything. She is so because that’s the role she has been playing in our lives for a long time,” the dark-skinned beauty enthused.
Mercy in Last Kiss
Efforts to make her talk about her mother met a stone wall, just as she wouldn’t divulge anything about her boyfriend other than that the chap is not jealous that she is so attached to Mr Johnson, her dad.
Though born in Lagos, Mercy told us she left Lagos to join her father in Calabar, which was why she started her primary education in far away Cross River State at the Nigerian Navy Primary School, Ikot Ansa.
She could, however, not complete her primary school there because her father was transferred back to Lagos, where she lated continued at the Nigerian Navy Primary School, Sattelite Town.
Soon after, off she went again to Rivers State for her secondary school at the Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Port Harcourt.
Some of her movies includes Last Contact, Last Kiss, My Heart Your Home, Oh! Woman, Secret Game, Kill The Bride, Women In Power, House Party, In The Name Of Money and Into Temptatio