‘I am fulfilled and happy’
A couple of days back, Nollywood star, Mercy Aigbe-Gentry was unveiled as brand ambassador of Prestige Cosmetics and she smiled home with a juicy package.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had a phone interview with the Edo born actress cum film maker on this and much more, on Sunday, June 21, 2015.
The latest about my career is that my new movie, Victims, is going to the cinemas soon. It was directed by Lancelot Odua Imaseun. The movie parades Nollywood super stars, including Olu Jacobs, Seun Akindele, Funsho Adeolu, Fathia Balogun, Saidi Balogun, Jude Orhorha, Juliet Ibrahim and more.
What’s your assessment of the industry since the beginning of this year?
My assessment of the industry since the beginning of this year till date is that piracy has been on increase and it’s gradually killing the industry. It has made things difficult for the stakeholders. The nefarious activities of pirates have caused a lot of damage. It has not been easy at all coping with the phenomenal menace. As a result of piracy, artiste fee has dropped, producers are scared of investing so much in movies because of fear that they may not recoup their money at the end of it all, let alone making any gain. Piracy has really affected us. I am using this medium to appeal to the Federal Government to help address the issue because of the enormous contribution of the entertainment industry to the economy of this country.
Most people out there are of the belief that actresses have turned themselves to prostitutes due to the dwindling nature of the industry. What’s your view about this?
Sincerely, I don’t believe that because I don’t know of any actress turning herself into a prostitute. So, I can categorically tell you that it’s not a belief but an ordinary impression which is very wrong.
Apart from you, a lot of your colleagues have also turned shop and boutique owners. Is it because movies are not really doing well again?
Left to me, I went into fashion business because of my love for it. I have always been a business oriented person. Even before I started acting, I had a business. I can’t say for sure why other colleagues of mine are going into business but all I can say is that it’s very good for one to expand his or her forte, have more than one source of income.
What do you want the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to do to make the industry better than what it is now?
I will be happy if the present administration can come to our rescue in the industry by coming up with strong anti-piracy law and making sure it’s enforced. I believe if that’s done and with sincerity of purpose, piracy will be curbed and the entertainment industry generally will move forward.
With the situation of things in the industry right now, do you regret being an actress?
I don’t have any regret as an actress. Acting is my passion and my first love. I feel very fulfilled as an actress.
Your marriage to popular hotelier, Larry Gentry has spanned about seven years, has there been any moment of regret being in the marriage?
There is nothing like that. I thank God that my marriage is going on strong. It has been very much intact. I married my soul mate. So, I don’t have any regret at all. I give God the glory.
When was the period of turbulence in the marriage and how were you able to weather the storm?
Would you now say marrying Larry Gentry is the best thing that has happened to you?
Yes! Marrying Lanre is the best thing that has happened to me. He has been so supportive.
You’re just made the face of Prestige Cosmetics, how does that feel?
Wonderful! I am so happy, I feel very blessed being the face of an international brand like Prestige Cosmetics. In fact, I am really humbled.
How much exactly is the cash benefit of the endorsement deal?
I am sure you won’t expect me to disclose that. All I can say is that it’s really rewarding. I bless God for that.
How long will the contract last?
It’s just for a year. Additional contract ends next year June.
What are the other benefits of being the face of Prestige Cosmetics?
Apart from the monetary reward, I get to travel often to represent the brand within and outside the country, and that creates avenues for networking. I also get free supply of products, free makeovers and product placement in my movies, and my production company gets paid and much more.
What’s your duty as ambassador of the company?
My duty as the brand ambassador of Prestige Cosmetics is living and breathing Prestige Cosmetics for a year (laughs). I will be representing the company at events, shows within and outside the country. My role also includes giving out giveaways to customers at events, creating strong presence for the brand on social media and more.
In what way has that changed your life?
Being a brand ambassador of Prestige Cosmetics has opened more doors for me just within the few days I was unveiled and I know it can only get better. I thank God for everything.