See excerpts of Nollywood actress Shan George’s recent interview.
What has kept you going in the movie industry for 20 years?
I think it’s the passion. I don’t have money. I have never given anybody the impression that I have made a lot of money in Nollywood. I have produced, written and acted. I have produced over 25 movies.
But I am still here because of the love for the craft. It is the freedom the industry gives me to be myself, to write stories and make movies that touch lives, that impact positively on the society like this movie, Grey Shadows, that I find exciting.
Was working with the governor of Cross River State likely to land you a political appointment?
No. I am no longer that young. Perhaps I would have been more receptive of it if I was about 30 or 40. I can’t learn to handle files at this age. My job is movie production, that is basically all I can do.
You don’t ask a good surgeon to do the job of the police. He would have to start learning all over again. Those who take such appointments probably know how to accommodate the career shift. The governor saw me as a movie maker and he called me to do a movie for him. I delivered as promised and I am fine with it.
What was your journey into Nollywood like?
When I gained admission into the University of Lagos, I didn’t have money to pay my school fees. While I was contemplating how to raise the money, I met a lady called Blessing Orime, who is now Pastor (Mrs.) Blessing Stevens. She used to act in one of those NTA soaps with Regina Askia. I met her in a salon and discovered that we are from the same place. She told me she was going for an audition for a movie to be produced by Emeka Ossai and the late Jennifer Ossai titled Thorns of Rose. I accompanied her to the place. When we got there, Jennifer saw me and was like, “This is Joan. This is our lead character”.
That was how I was given the script. I didn’t know what to do but because I needed money for my school fees I had to do it. The truth is I didn’t play the role well because I was nervous all through. Fred Amata was the director while Ejike Asiegbu acted as my husband in the movie. All these were big names in the movie industry so I was star struck. I was also not certain my mother would like it.
How much were you paid for your first movie?
N20,000 but that was 20 years ago so it was a huge sum back then and I was so excited.