28 year old Cynthia Shalom emerged the winner of 2015/2016 edition of the Next Movie Star. The budding actress beat 15 other housemates to wear the coveted crown and smiled home with a brand new SUV, management deal, movie contract for three years and mouth-watering wardrobe allowance.
ENCOMIUM Weekly on Wednesday, October 12, 2016, had an interview with her and she spoke about how she feels emerging the winner of the prestigious Next Movie Star and much more…
How does it feel emerging winner of the Next Movie Star?
It was a really exciting moment for me. I had mixed feelings. I was excited. I was happy. I wanted to cry at the same time. Standing out among 16 people and then eight finalists, it was a humble experience.
What do you think gave you an edge over others?
I will say my versatility. In as much as I act, I am also a good cook. So, I was always cooking for the house every day. I dance and I try to participate in every activity. I am not saying I am better than every other person because we had good talents in the house and I was always on time, spontaneous and able to deliver tasks. These were the things that gave me an edge.
You have good looks, do you think that was a plus in winning the competition?
Yes, I will say it was a plus, though good look is not enough. Even talent is not enough, but it’s good to look good. So, yes, it is a plus.
What do you intend doing as the Next Movie Star winner?
I have some projects on ground that we are to work on. We just completed a family sitcom called Dear Diary Season 2. It airs on AIT Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7pm from the stable of Digital Interactive Media.
We have Nobert Young, Rachel Oniga and many other actors and actresses. The story is basically about this family that stays abroad and came back to Nigeria to face the Nigerian society.
What role did you play in the movie?
I played the role of Chinagorum. She is a fashion blogger who forms too much and has heavy accent. She is always quarelling with her cousin who came to stay in the house with them. She is always scared of her aunt because she’s too spiritual. Whenever the aunt is around, everybody is always at their best behaviour.
Yes, it was an advantage because I already have an idea of acting. It was easy for me when we got task to do because being in the house without a phone, without a wristwatch and you are given a task without any access to the internet, you have to use your brain at every second. That is why it is a task, it is different from the reality, whereby I get a script and interpret a character. I do my research or go on the internet or watch a movie that relates to the character.
But in this case, we did not have access to all these things. We had to use our brain. Acting already gave me an edge. It had opened my eyes to a lot. So, when I got a task, it was easier to interpret.
How will you describe your experience in the house?
My experience in one word was memorable. It is something I will never forget because it was a mixture of everything. I made friends, quarrelled, fought though not physical. So, in all, I was able to put my interpersonal skills to play.
When you heard your name as the winner, what came to your mind?
I can’t remember what came to my mind. I just screamed and said ‘thank you God’. I had mixed feelings and they started playing the song, Stand up for the Champion.
What were the things that came with being the winner?
I won a brand new Nissan SUV, a movie contract that I spoke about which is already airing and other projects we have on the line and cash prize.
Would you recommend any of your friends or family members to register for Next Movie Star?
For now, the Next Movie Star is the only reality show that concentrates on acting. So, yes I will not say I will recommend. I already have a lot of them that have bought forms because it is credible. My car is parked outside and everything they promised, they have fulfilled.
Apart from all these, they also have intensive one week training. So, it is not about going in for the show but we learnt a lot.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I should become the top producer that everybody reckons with.
If you are given a role as an actress to act nude with a mouth-watering pay, will you do it?
No, I will not do it.
Because I am not selling nudity. Though it is acting, what is the moral of the story? What is the reason for going nude? These are the things that should be addressed before taking such roles.
Most actresses complain about producers harassing them before they get roles, what can you say about that?
I have not had such experience. It is rare to actually see producers and directors ask actresses for sex. This is because when people go for auditions, they meet thousands of people. You feel inferior, so you give them the reason to ask for sex. I will rather say most actresses harass producers and directors because if you are good and talented, you will be picked and if you are not picked, you should try and understand that you do not fit into their story and you move on.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I am a graduate from the University of Port Harcourt. I studied Business Management. I graduated with a 2:1.
With a good grade and an interesting course of study, why did you choose acting as a profession?
Like I always say, do what you love to do. Acting is a job. It is something I enjoy doing and in as much as I enjoy acting, acting should also pay my bills.
Are you single?
I will like to keep that private. I am not searching and I am not a baby mama either.
What are the qualities you like in a man?
For now, I do not think that is what I am looking at. I am actually concentrating and focusing all my energy on my career.
How supportive are your parents?
They are very supportive. Even before it became professional, they have always been in support, 100 percent.