Chicago-based up and coming actress, Joycelin Gyimah has expressed great disappointment at Nigerian director, Pascal Amanfo’s inability to carry through a production that brought the actress to Ghana recently. According to Joycelin, she took a leave from her regular work in the US to come all the way to Ghana for the production of ‘Immoral Affair’ only to be told by the director that he would be unable to shoot the movie because he has another engagement with another producer.
Although a newcomer to the movie industry, Joycelin has written five complete scripts already including the movie, ‘Hidden’ starring herself, Juliet Ibrahim, Vicky Zugah, Nana Ama McBrown, Slim Busterr and several others. ‘Hidden’ was written and produced by Joycelin and shot in Kumasi by director Ola Mickey. It has been released in the US and soon to be released in Ghana. In addition to writing and producing, Joycelin Gyimah is also a costumier and make-up artist. She has ambitions of hosting her own Talk Show eventually when she moves back to Ghana. She also wants to do TV series among many other things.
I interviewed the all-round movie talent about her career, ambitions and recent disappointment with Pascal Amanfo, the director of movies such as ‘My Last Wedding’ and ‘Shakira’.
Ameyaw Debrah: How did you find your first-ever acting role in ‘Hidden’?
Oh my goodness, it wasn’t easy, it was very challenging. I imagined that it would be easy but when I did my first two scenes it was too late to back out so I had to finish it. It was very hectic.
Ameyaw Debrah: What inspired you to get into acting?
I enjoy watching a lot of stars and they enticed me to be an actress. Personally it had been my childhood dream to be an actress, but sometimes in life it takes a long time to pursue what you desire. I find this time to be the right time for me to pursue that dream.
So how do you get your African movies to watch in the US?
They are very easy to find in African stores. We now have African movies on Block Buster, for instance Ghallywood Angels Productions in Washington, is trying to sell Ghanaian Movies in blockbuster and very soon my movie would be added to it. So that’s how far we are going.
Ameyaw Debrah: What brings you to Ghana now?
I came down here purposely for a production and I have been disappointed. I now have to change my date and go back or just hang around and have fun without doing any work. I actually came down to shoot my new movie. The title of the movie was going to be ‘Immoral Affair’, a drama film laced with romance and mystery. Pascal Amanfo was supposed to direct it but he disappointed me on that. He booked an appointment with another executive producer to shoot another movie within this same period. So my production had to be dropped and he is now on set shooting the other movie.
Ameyaw Debrah: Did you call to make him aware before you came down to Ghana?
I called him before coming down and made all the necessary arrangements with most of the stars but I don’t know why everything just went down the drain.
Ameyaw Debrah: What excuse is he giving you now?
He wanted me to hang on for a while but before I came down I took a vacation from my job and it not easy to extend my vacation unless I have a very tangible reason. It won’t be good for me to reschedule the production because I am here on a time frame.
Ameyaw Debrah: What other projects do you hope to do?
I am interested in doing a Talk Show eventually when I move back to Ghana. I also want to do more TV series and other things.
Ameyaw Debrah: Is there any particular Ghanaian director you want to work with?
The director that I would be working with the next time I come to Ghana is Kobby Rana, who directed ‘Kiss Me if you can’; the movie that is causing so much controversy at the moment.
Ameyaw Debrah: What is you opinion on showing so much explicit sex scenes in our movies of late?
To be honest and realistic, I know certain things are not accepted in our culture and as a writer I haven’t thought of writing such stories yet but when the need arises, I would write it. And when I write it, the director would have to direct it in such a way to make it real and I don’t see anything wrong with that.
Ameyaw Debrah: So would you play such a role?
If I am an actress, I have to be ready to act like a mad woman or play any role that comes my way. That makes you the actress that you call yourself, you are just acting and putting yourself in another character and that is not who you are. So I don’t see anything wrong with Heart of Men and Kiss Me if You Can. The problem is that our children are not supposed to watch it. I think it is even educational because some people don’t know certain styles when it comes to sex. So these movies broaden our minds and introduce us to skills that we can practice with our lovers.
Ameyaw Debrah: So would you consider having a different director for ‘Immoral Affair’?
To be honest, I don’t have a problem with Pascal Amanfo. In every situation in life, if God has not signed it, it cannot come into being. So I imagine that maybe this is not the time for the movie to come out, emotionally and physically so I don’t blame Pascal too much. I am only hoping that it come out.
Ameyaw Debrah: What should Ghanaians expect from you?
A lot! They should expect a preacher, a nurse, an actress, a beautician, a hero and everything else.