Popular Ghanaian actress and TV host Joselyn Dumas has said she finds her acting in Shirley Frimpong Manso’s movie, A Sting In A Tale , her worst performance ever and has explained she was a novice actress at that time.
Though director Shirley Frimpong Manso okayed Joselyn’s performance in the movie, the curvy actress said she was not impressed.
‘Nobody remembers me in A Sting In A Tale . But everybody remembers me in Perfect Picture, though I was in it for just five minutes. It was cameo but people remembered me in it. I think I had 15 scenes in A Sting In A Tale but nobody remembers me. From the director’s point of view, it was good but I don’t think I did well. If I had gotten complacent, like today I won’t be getting nomination for the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.’
Joselyn Dumas said this when she opened up on her acting career, producing her own movie, her childhood dream and her recent nomination for the upcoming Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCAs).
How did you start acting?
I stumbled on movies through Shirley Frimpong Manso’s Sparrow Productions. I did my first production with her; it was cameo role for Perfect Picture and then she called me back for A Sting In A Tale which I performed poorly. I think I wasn’t too serious at the time because at the time television had always been my first time love and movies… So I think that I needed to dedicate more time to the craft and I did that obviously. I had a lot of help from Ken Attoh, Shirley herself and Lydia Laryea from Sparrow Productions. They were really urging me on to pursue it and so I got a call again from Shirley after a lot of persuasion from Lydia and Ken Attoh to put me in Adam’s Apples . She wasn’t sure; my auditions didn’t go too well so I had to audition several times. And then the last time, she had to get KSM on the panel to judge my performance and it went well so she gave me the very controversial Jennifer Adams character. And obviously at the time, I thought like Shirley had given me a few chances and I didn’t take it too seriously so I really wanted to prove myself. At the time I thought I couldn’t even do it but if you put your mind to something and you work hard at it, you can be anything you want to be. So I sort of called Shirley a lot, discussing the character, tearing her apart, trying to understand Jennifer Adams character. When we started filming, everything else was history. They couldn’t even separate me from the ‘Jennifer Adams’ because I had people thinking that I was rude. Yes, I did well. Alongside that, I have been doing my television show. I got a few opportunities to go abroad to feature in movies but I couldn’t because of the nature of the job I had on television full time. So it was a matter of deciding. Being a continual control of my craft, I decided it was better I did pre-recorded shows, put them down then I can travel and do other things as well. That being said, I sort of started doing more movies because I don’t do ‘The One Show’ anymore so there was a bit of more time.
Why do you think you performed poorly in A Sting In A Tale ?
Because nobody remembers A Sting In A Tale . But everybody remembers me in Perfect Picture though I was in it for just five (5) minutes. It was cameo but people remembered me in it. I think I had 15 scenes in A Sting In A Tale but nobody remembers me. From the director’s point of view, it was good but I didn’t think I did well. If I had gotten complacent, like today I won’t be getting nomination for AMVCAs.
What’s your dream role?
The thing is, I am yet to play roles that I have been dreaming about. I mean—that word I can never say it—schizophrenic. I wanted to play that role like last week. I just like the multiple personalities, and it’s quite challenging. I am doing my new challenging role now in a movie by Pascal. There is a lot of fight scenes in the movie and is more like there is more gun fights and more actions. I am quite excited about that. Schizophrenic and being wicked villain are my dream roles.
Was acting Joselyn’s childhood dream?
I wanted to be a pilot. I had an uncle who was a pilot—Uncle Frank Opare. I thought he was the smartest person on earth. I got an opportunity to do a bit of the flying lessons in Arizona but I chickened out; I don’t know why. Plus, the money was too huge. It was a lot of money. I realised it didn’t take so much to become a pilot. You just have to pay for the lessons really and get the hours in. Obviously the theory aspect of it comes but the main thing is, you need to put in the hours. But I wanted to be a pilot, believe it or not.
You are now into producing aside acting?
I wanted to do a production so I spoke to Shirley and she said she had a script, we can do it together. So she wrote the script and I read it and I thought it was so heavy but then my most challenging role yet, which was Love or Something Like That . And my character was an emotional wreck and I am quite a happy-go-lucky person so with those roles, I think I am able to sort of play it. But this one was more like I had to really go inside of myself and sort of find that dark place and stay there throughout the entire production. I co-produced Love or Something Like That . That’s my second production. I did V Republic with her. It’s also my production. So, yeah, I am so glad. It took a lot of work shooting Love or Something Like That . Senanu Gbedawu had to like always bring me back because I have the tendency of being that happy-go-lucky person that I am on set. I tried to keep everybody happy; I am the clown on set all the time but I had to be very…you know.
Love or Something Like That got you a nomination for AMVCAs.
When the nominations came and I got nominated for Best Lead Actress at AMVCAs, I was shocked. I was very happy. I felt the hard work has paid off. The nomination alone, for me, is like wow. Obviously Ghana Movie Awards also came along and I won Best Actress. I didn’t expect it; I wasn’t even in town. The best is yet to come. I now have a bit more time to do more movies.
Do you think Ghana has chances of winning at AMVCAs ?
I think we are going to bring a lot of awards back home but I think we need support, support, support.
What do you have to tell the fans to vote for you since it’s public vote award?
I think Africans in general we support our own. Wherever you find yourself, whether in Kenya, Somalia etc, we gravitate towards each other automatically because we sort of have that sense of identity and belonging when we see each other. But when it comes to the AMVCAs, it is a tough one because… I think we need to submit more movies as Ghana so we can have more nominees when it comes to these awards. It is there to encourage us. For me, I don’t want to use the word ‘validation’, but it almost tells you that you know whatever you are doing, regardless how small you may think it is or the corner you are in, somebody is watching you and somebody is acknowledging the fact that you are working hard. So if that somebody decides to give me nomination, how much more my people. We need to rally behind all of us nominated as Ghanaians to vote for us. P-Square is P-Square because of what Nigerians said about them. Dbanj is Dbanj because Nigerians promoted them. It took the PR of the regular people to take their names as far as it can get. So we are where we are because of the fans. I wouldn’t be Joselyn Dumas if I didn’t have fans. If it wasn’t for them like nobody knows I even exist. And there is somebody out there who is probably better than me but they don’t have the fan base that I do. So I thank God for them. So we can use that to bring all the awards home because if you look at the nominations its more Nigerian. My category like this had only me as a Ghanaian, so are Shirley and Adjetey. The thing is, we are doing amazing stuff in Ghana. When I say amazing, when you look at the budget and the kind of movies we churn out, it is just amazing. Quality photography, quality actors, quality directors, but we need to make a lot more noise and we can start with AMVCAs.
By Francis Addo (Twitter: fdee50 Email: [email protected] )
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