Cynthia Shalom has only appeared in a few Nollywood movies but her quality performances in them have proven that she is one to watch out for. She revealed to us in this interview the trouble upcoming actresses go through to make it in the film industry – plus more:
By Juliet Ebirim & Kehinde Ajose
HOW many movies have you done?
I’ve done a couple of movies. In 2008, I shot about 3 movies that were aired on Africa Magic and then I took a break. I went to school, graduated, and then came back to the industry. I’ve done about three or four movies and then shot some that are still to be released.
Which is your biggest movie so far?
The working title of that movie is ‘Royal Twist’, it’s a cinema movie. It’s on the net
Who inspired you to go into acting?
I don’t think anyone actually inspired me; I started acting when I was young in Secondary School. It became a hubby; it became a combination of things I love – music, dance, and it’s a talent that I’ve had inside that I didn’t know actually was there until I got motivated in school to do something.
Relocating to Lagos
That was when I knew I had this thing in me and thought it would be nice if I developed it.
Where exactly are you based?
Well, I think an actor doesn’t really need a base, that’s what makes you an actor because you can get a job anywhere in the world and you just have to make yourself available. Although I’m trying to relocate to Lagos.
As an upcoming actress, what has it really been like trying to make it or even get noticed?
To tell the truth, it has not been easy. In the industry there are different caucuses that exist and if you don’t belong to any it is very difficult to get an in. This is the major challenge for most upcoming actresses. Another thing is that the established stars look down on the upcoming ones, forgetting they too started as rookies.
But isn’t true that many supposed upcoming actresses have no talent but want to use acting as a platform to hook up to rich men?
I think that’s the reason they hold auditions before they cast anybody into movies. They hold auditions to see if you actually have the talent.
What really counts to make it out there; is it really based on merit or just knowing who is who?
I’ll be as sincere as possible, In Nollywood, most roles are based on merit. You go for auditions, you have the talent, they see it in you and you get the role. For people who don’t have the talent and just want to appear in movies, they sexually harass producers and directors to get roles, that’s the truth.
We’ve been hearing of people paying for roles in Nollywood, have you ever paid for a role?
No, I haven’t.
Why haven’t you paid, no money?
Not having money might be a factor but for me, it is something I’ve decided never to do. The reason is simple, in Nollywood, once you start paying, you will continue paying for roles. It’s for people who are not sure of their talent.
What has been your most embarrassing, depressing moment, that you felt this acting thing isn’t worth it after all?
I’ve gone for auditions that were run in a way that you could tell it wasn’t based on merit. It didn’t even get to my turn and I was there till the end of it. I was angry at myself and asked myself why I even left my house. They were like seven on that table and you could tell that these seven people or judges had their own candidates. I was so pissed at myself, the whole charade and the industry. Why invite people for auditions when you already had people you wanted?
As an actress, how do you work yourself into characters?
I think for me, it’s spiritual, it’s how your mind connects. When I get a script, I read through, it’s not something you just interpret at a go. I read over and over again and then try to understand the story first and try to understand that character which I’m supposed to play.
After understanding the character I try to put myself in that character, asking questions about the person of the character and get myself into the character.
Which actor do you have a crush on?
Majid Michel, he’s a natural guy, he’s cute, and he knows how to do his thing. He’s a very good actor so I admire him when I see his movies
If you kiss him on set, would you be aroused?
No, I wouldn’t be
Do you consider yourself a daring actress or just a casual one?
I consider myself a daring actress, I want to move and do things I wouldn’t think I would do.
Which actress do you want to be like?
I admire Genevieve Nnaji and Mercy Johnson; I think they are the most natural actresses I see. When I see their movies, I feel like I’m where they are playing that role because they are very natural.
What do you mean by natural?
I don’t know how to interpret it but when you’re given a script or a role, some people gesticulate so much, they don’t do all that. They are as natural as they could get, and bring along the character effortlessly.
– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/02/im-one-of-majid-michels-admirers-cynthia-shalom/#sthash.54N38h9V.dpuf