First time I saw Genevieve Nnaji, the world stood still–Majid Michel

Written by Samuel Olatunji
Thursday, 24 March 2011 20:32


He dated only one woman before he got married. He has never strayed into another woman’s arms all the way since 2004. Then he met Genevieve Nnaji and was so struck that he offered to carry her bag and become her personal assistant but he has no qualms about showing his butt in movies. In fact, he’ll do it again. It’s all in a day’s job. Majid Mitchel is one hell of a guy. Find out more about the half-Ghanian, half-Lebanese star actor, in this interview he had with SAM OLATUNJI in Ghana.

I can see that you are passionately liked, is there something else about you other than a talented actor?
Yes, but I am not just about talent. I went to acting school here in Ghana. We have lecturers from all over the world, excluding Africa. For two years I studied broadcasting, performance, editing, writing, acting. I majored in directing.

What acting school did you attend?
I went to Academy of Screen Acting.
When you act, you bring this vivacious personality on the screen, is it just to impress or that is just you?
I will say I just try as much as possible to make it believable, so when you actually think, you don’t think you are watching a movie, you will think what you are watching is actually happening. I watched Sin of a Soul and I actually forgot that I was watching a movie. I thought the situation was really happening and that is what I like when I am watching a movie. It captivates you; you are lost in thought.
I am happy being an actor because it is all I have ever wanted to do.

And fulfilled?
Very, very much but I have certain things to do to get 100% fulfillment and I am working towards it. Every actor and actress has this thing; they want to direct one day. I just want to direct a couple of movies. After that I will be fulfilled.

It doesn’t look like you’ve made much impact in Nigerian cinema?
Well, I have had three premieres in Nigeria; Guilty Pleasure, Bursting Out and Silent Scandal. So I was actually part of three Nigerian movies that were premiered. But I don’t shoot too often there.

And why is that?
I hate flying, but if the script is tight enough, I will come.

So because you hate flying that is why you’ve not been shooting movies in Nigeria?
Yes and because I need an extra ordinary story that will blow me away. It just has to be a wonderful story but then I still have to think of the plane.

It’s not because some people were threatening in Nigeria?
No, I was not threatened. I just decided to stay away from Nigeria. No one has ever threatened me. I don’t know where that story came from.

Are you aware that Lancelot said it is only you and Mercy Johnson he considered method actors? You share his sentiment?
I think Mercy Johnson is a phenomenal actor. I have worked with her twice, one in Nigeria, once in Ghana and I think she is one of my favorites. Actually she is in a class of her own. If you put her in a proper and international establishment, she will be one of the best in the world.

What about you?
Me, I am still learning. There are a lot of things I have to learn more to get really rooted in the industry and I am still working on it. I want to know my weak points, where I fall short. So whatever you see now, I am just warming up.

Who are your favorite directors?
The one I work with every time in Ghana is Frank Rajah Arase. He simplifies my job before we go on location. He makes it very easy for me to run through all my lines. I also liked Amafor.

What about producers?
All producers, obviously Abdul Salam and other good guys doing well. They are all great producers to work with.

Is Majid actually married?
Yes I am married. I have been married since 2004. I am married with two daughters.

How old are your girls?
One is three, one is six.

But I’ve heard people say that you are a play boy?
People talk a lot, so you should expect anything from them.

So Majid is not a play boy?
No, of course I am not a play boy.

Well one actress has actually complained to me and said you are a playboy.
She was just talking. She was just being funny, just to make you laugh.

Even looking at you, you look like a play boy.
No, I’m just a friendly person and very easy to be with.

You’re seen with Jim Iyke a lot.
Yeah, Jim Iyke is my friend, he is a very good friend in Nigeria and we are quite close.

Who are the other guys you are close to in Nigeria?
I hang out with Ramsey. I just met Mike Ezuruonye and he is an amazing guy.
Lancelot said you once told him that you’d faint if you work with Genevieve.
Yes, I really thought Genevieve was an incredible figure on the screen, I just love the way she acts. I said if I ever get to work with Genevieve I don’t think I will be able to act as I will be gazing into her face. By the way Lancelot is very close to me as well, he is a friend.

When you met Genevieve what came to your mind and what did you do?
Everything stood still. I didn’t exist anymore. The world was on a pause, Nothing else was moving apart from me, I guess, watching everything. I offered to carry her bag, she said she had a PA. I told her I would love to be her PA.

When you worked together, I’m sure you kissed in the movie. When you did, what was passing through your mind?
Nothing, truthfully there was nothing. Genevieve is so professional and she knows what she needs to do. We had both discussed the script together and she knew the entire scene very well. That was not the first time I was kissing in a movie. Kissing her was not the high point but meeting her was the high point of it. We were just being as professional as we could to portray the movie well. So, don’t let anything run through your mind.

Is it true you two are dating?
It is a normal thing for people to talk like that and it will not be the first or the last. People talk about those things every time.

To be continued….

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