Beautiful Juliet Ibrahim, a respected Nollywood/Ghollywood actress, film producer, singer and humanitarian was last week cornered by the editor, FOLORUNSHO HAMSAT. On request, the stunning award-winning showbiz girl agreed to speak on her journey into movie stardom, her passion and womanhood. Excerpt…
How have you fared in the industry?
I would say great; it has been a wonderful experience. It’s a little over 10 years now and I’m still standing, ready to do more. This is just the beginning for me, there are more fields to be conquered.
Would you like to share your very best and not too rosy moments in the acting industry?
I would say my best moments are when I’m able to interpret my roles perfectly and when I get recognized for my efforts. As for the not too rosy moments, I don’t think I have any. Maybe days that I’m tired, moody and stressed. One is not always in a good mood certainly not on a daily basis but when it comes to your job one has to be ever ready to get into character. You can’t bring your personal issues on a movie set as a professional.
Your roles in movies have always been glamorized; tell us about your most challenging role ever.
My roles are not always glamorized. I have played the role of a pauper before, the role of a village ghost seeking revenge, the role of an obese imbecile, the role of a snake princess and so many more.
How would you define your personality in and outside movie?
Well, my personality on stage has to fall in with the script I’m supposed to interpret. Off stage, I’m just me, a happy, reserved and down to earth woman.
Have you always wanted to be an actress, and how did you really come on board?
Music has always been my dream; when I was a little girl, all I dreamt about was being on stage and singing in front of millions of people. I performed on several school talent shows and back then, Celine Dion was my role model. I sang in the choir for many years so I just thought that it’s about time I do what I have always wanted to do. I stumbled on acting in 2004 after I had just won a beauty pageant and was crowned “Miss Ghana institute of languages” (Queen of languages). I went to try out my luck at an audition for one of Ghana’s biggest film production companies and I never knew that was going to be the turning point in my life. I got the lead role and was given a script to feature in ‘Crime to Christ’ where I played the role of the girlfriend of a notorious armed robber. That’s how it all started.
Which of the films you have featured in so far remains your favourite and what character did you play in it?
Films that remain my favourite will be my personal movies because I invest a lot into my productions to make sure they are top notches. Hence I take pride in my own products.
You are a cross-over actor who had acted in Yoruba films despite you being a Ghanaian; how challenging was the role you played in Yoruba?
There were really no challenges on Mercy Aigbe’s set. I just had to learn to speak some Yoruba while on the set and I think I coped well. The director and crew and cast were amazing to work with. They made it so easy. I am a versatile actress so I could be acting Yoruba movies today and tomorrow I’ll be speaking Igbo or Hausa. I am always ready to challenge myself. I also love languages as you know I already speak French fluently as well as Spanish hence learning a little bit of Yoruba in the movie didn’t really become an issue.
Who are your favourite Nigerian and Ghanaian actors and actresses?
Olu Jacobs, Patience Ozorkwor, Pete Edochie, Majid Michel, Kofi Adjorlolo and Kalsome Sinare.
You act, sing, produce films and with a background in journalism; which of these is taking most of your time, and have you been coping with others?
For the records, I went to Ghana Institute of Journalism but studied marketing, advertising and public relations. Then for acting, singing and producing, they are all intertwined, so it’s not as if I’m doing anything different and by the grace of God as for the others which include running a boutique, House of Glamour, my Jewelz Production outfit, the Juliet Ibrahim Foundation, a NGO focused on creating awareness on kidney cancer, malaria, HIV AIDS, Ebola and other diseases and providing necessary interventions to ensure a society free of such issues in Ghana and Africa, I’m doing a pretty good job! (laughs)
Share something interesting about your family.
My childhood was very eventful because we grew up in war torn countries, so my family and I were always relocating. I grew up in Liberia, Lebanon and Ivory Coast before we finally moved back to Ghana. My family and I have gone through a lot together; things you can’t just imagine but we are ever so resilient. There were happy moments when I was in school but most of my childhood moments are not quite exciting and worthy of recounting.
You are one of the few scandal-free actresses both in Ghollywood and Nollywood, what is your magic wand?
Really? That’s contrary to a lot of stories I read often times online about myself. Sometimes, I discover new relationships that I’m supposedly having online.
What comes to your mind when you hear about actresses sleeping their ways to fame?
Well, nothing really, I don’t hear about that because I keep my nose where it should be, in my own business. If it doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t concern me. As adults, we are all responsible for any action we take.
What was your most interesting encounter with men who want more than being your fans?
I once had a stalker, it was scary but that was handled before he became a menace.
Tell us about your upcoming big project.
I’m releasing my 4th Music video, I’m also unveiling my new TV series, ‘Every Woman Has A Story’ EWHAS and a Reality TV Show which will be in the news any moment from now, so just keep your fingers crossed.
If you had the opportunity to be in your teen again, would you have a different plan for the future?
Not really, I must say I’m living my dream. Everything is falling in place for me, I couldn’t have asked for more.