The Ghana Movie Industry is doing relatively well. The industry has also come to an appreciable level where its actors and actresses get recognition at prestigious awards on the African continent, Europe and lately in America.
But I strongly believe that, it won’t be too strong a word to say that, the industry lack versatile actors. Truth be told in plain language, versatility is almost non-existent in Ghanaian movies. Also, the industry is small, that every actor who does a movie gets noticed.
Very often Ghanaians [annoyingly true] mistake how good-looking an actor is to mean he is a good or versatile actor, but that’s utterly not true. Let me remind you that being all good-looking has got nothing to do with how great you are when interpreting movie scripts.
Being a great actor like Harrison Ford or Nicholas Cage is one thing and being a handsome bloke like Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio is also another thing all together. It should be noted that, I’m not in any way saying Harrison and Nicholas are the best of unappealing actors, neither am I saying Brad and Leonado are not good actors.
I get more confused if not worried or worried if not confused whenever a scriptwriter writes a script with a particular actor or actress in mind. This practise is rampant in Africa. In a way, it goes to show that, the said actor is a typecast who specialises in particular roles and also means the person isn’t versatile.
Acting is an art that can be acquired but most actors were born with the talent – those actors are naturally versatile. In football, a versatile player is referred to as a utility player – a person who can operate and play any position in his team. It doesn’t matter the challenge, such a person will fit in perfectly especially when someone is injured or suspended.
Versatility in acting is when an actor is able to play many roles and still be in character. The actor should be playing varied roles from a different genre [romance, comedy, blockbuster, thriller among others] to another.
It is not mostly about playing different characters though, it’s about being able to act different roles and look believable. A great and versatile actor knows how to get into character and switch back when the need arises. This means that, Ghana has only few versatile actors out of the whole lots.
An actors’ mannerism when interpreting any role is very important. Interestingly, offer a role to a Ghanaian actor and you are sure to get the same person in return. Give an angry-looking role to good-looking Kofi Ghana to interpret and you will surely get good-looking Kofi Ghana in your movie.
Such actors are called typecast. They are only there to play one particular role in all their movies. There are no ‘wow factor’ for such actors, since they appear to be the same in all movies.