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Genevieve Nnaji reveals Why She Does Not Feature in a Lot of Nollywood Movies



Gene BellaNaija 2014It’s Genevieve Nnaji.

The Nollywood superstar in an interview with Anna Okon for Punch Newspaper dished on fame, acting and why she is rarely seen on the big screen.

On the dedication to her craft: “I have respected myself as an artiste. I think the success stems from the fact that I have given acting my all. I have not deviated from the realisation that all I ever wanted to do was act. It’s hard to tell, what I would do differently if I were to do it all over. The fact is, I can’t imagine my life any other way.”

On fame: “I don’t see myself as a special person beyond the fact that God has blessed me with a talent that is working for me and I am forever thankful to Him.”

On fashion: “My mood and comfort level also determines my choice of clothing. I don’t think there are many clothes I would not try on. I am very daring when it comes to fashion.”

On her favourite role: “Wind of Glory. I enjoyed the challenge that came with the character.

Till today, it is one of the movies I am proud to have been part of. If you ask me for the titles of most of my movies, I can’t tell you, but I will never forget the Wind of Glory.

When I watched the movie, there was a sense of pride that came with the conviction that I interpreted the role well.

People asked me if I researched the character but I did not. Acting is all about creativity. It is about taking on the soul and spirit of the character, using imagination to bring the character to life and making people believe in the role.”

On not starring in a lot of productions: “I guess I haven’t found the right script yet. Creativity and depth are the qualities that I look out for in a script. In the beginning, the movie industry emphasised quantity but things are changing and there is an improvement in trend.

I am among the people who advocate for the improvement of the industry. So said, I am constantly watching out for the kind of stories I take part in. I am in support of movies that show a great deal of professionalism and creativity.

Having practised my art in international and professionally produced stories like “Ije“, “Mirror Boy” and “Tango with Me“, I don’t think I can return to the blandness and mediocrity that characterised Nollywood in the past.”

On likes and dislikes: “I dislike people who exude negative energy. On the other hand, I like people who are strong, loyal and honest.”

On retiring: “I will retire when I am too old and weary to carry on.”

To read the full interview, click here



  1. Tantra

    July 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Way to go girl. I am glad you don’t feature in those nollywood films that are a waste of time.

  2. happiness

    July 2, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Gen is still my best,everything about her is unique,

  3. Busarni

    July 2, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    way to go girl

  4. Queen Esther

    July 2, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Hi bellanaija. Congrats on the new website. I’m loving it. Very easy to navigate and pictures are clearer now. However, do consider putting the number of people that have posted comments next to the ‘comments’ section. Kudos to you.

  5. Folusho

    July 2, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I Just love this lady. She speaks class. I hope I can meet her one day, I have a lot of questions to ask her. I wish she comes on Trending or Juice as a guest

  6. ***slim dee***

    July 2, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Omg genny u r so emazing that was why oprah winfrey called u juliet robert of african ND CNN also feautured u twice u r indeed OUR NOLLY WOOD diva of all time kudos to her…………

  7. Mabel

    July 3, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Fab interview from a fab woman. Bella Naija


      July 3, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Thanks for your feedback Mabel! We appreciate all constructive feedback and we are definitely listening and learning.

  8. Laide

    July 3, 2014 at 12:57 am

    I love this lady.
    bn congrats on your new layout. I think you should remove the love button for each post though, as it’s easier to just love a post rather than leave a proper comment. I personally come to read the comments, but I have noticed comments have reduced and we now have more ‘love’ ( which is actually not bad, considering the current situation of things in Nigeria). Also people seem to be loving the wrong things, I don’t understand why anyone would love the bomb blast posts. Anyways that’s just my opinion, was too lazy to send an email. Still love bn

  9. Mary Cole

    July 3, 2014 at 4:07 am

    Always a pleasure to see and read anything about Genevive. Love everything about her, period. She always exudes class, humility, dignity and integrity. God bless.

  10. NNENNE

    July 3, 2014 at 4:12 am

    Genny is real.
    Love your website change Bella. It screams class!

  11. jonz

    July 3, 2014 at 7:15 am

    The called mediocre” nollywood brought you to fame, you are not a good actress anyway..The last movie you made called weekend getaway was not so good dear. just say you are struggling to get a script, Rita Dominic,Nse etc still get a good script from nollywood.. after so many years of hype about being on oprah, you would think she should be on lupita level right now. Good filmmakers like Tunde kalani,Izu Ojukwu etc are still making good nollywood movies, genny please ask them for a good script.

    • mrs chidukane

      July 3, 2014 at 9:26 am

      I don’t believe Genevieve struggles to get scripts. Just think, how many of the people she started acting with still act regularly? What recent movies has Omotola acted? Or even Rita Dominic apart from the meeting that she produced? Don’t even call Nse because she’s an up coming actress and Genevieve ‘s fee will be way higher than hers. And as for Lupita, that girl was just lucky and even she acknowledges it.Besides, what nollywood or bollywood actor has made it in Hollywood?

  12. Changing Faces

    July 3, 2014 at 8:04 am

    As a movie producer asked, what has Genny done to improve the industry that made her? She acted in many terrible films before she got here. Even some of her recent movies are nothing to write home about; weekend getaway, Dr. Bello. Why can’t she produce her own movies, to show others how it’s done? Nollywood may be terrible, but it made you a star. So drive that change you want to see…

    • mrs chidukane

      July 3, 2014 at 9:09 am

      Not everyone wants to be behind the scenes and you must confess that a lot of Nollywood movies are bland and mediocre. That is just the truth. That she acted in such movies before doesn’t mean she should continue now that she knows. She also earns a very good living from endorsements and probably doesn’t feel like she has to act to be relevant. I don’t know why nollywood lovers can’t accept the truth. I personally have lost all respect for Olu Jacobs cos he jumps from set to set acting rubbish. He shows no class at all

    • amy

      July 3, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Yes, Nollywood made her and she acted in many terrible films. I cannot see where she has disputed that. What she has simply said is things are changing in that same Nollywood and she wants to change with it; hence “I don’t think I can return to the blandness and mediocrity that characterised Nollywood in the past”; keyword being “past”. And not everyone needs to be a movie producer, the new trend in Nollywood. She wants to remain in her craft but would like something new and refreshing. After all, we move on in our jobs if it no longer gives us the satisfaction and joy. And I do not see anything wrong in being discerning.

  13. nene

    July 3, 2014 at 8:59 am

    i don’t believe some of the answers she’s giving in this interview, it seems like she’s the only actress who gets mediocre scripts, then she needs to check herself or even collaborate and write something better. a lot of her colleagues have branched out and explored different characters, while she’s always stuck with the uptight wife or uptight boss roles and unfortunately her films post 2006 have been boring. nollywood was mediocre in production but the stories were always good, although repetitive. she’s the only a list actor who keeps doing the same roles, and i find it hard to believe that nobody has ever offered her a challenging role beyond “wind of glory”, which was probably challenging because she played a blind girl, but it was a typical nollywoood story and a boring film.

    • jcsgrl

      July 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      For once I actually love your comment. If Nollywood is offering her mediocre and she doesn’t care about it, then we should be seeing her on international movies. Or like you said collaborate to find good stories and feature in it. Me thinks the phones are no longer ringing for Ms Her Royal Highness both internationally and Nigeria for movie roles. So Genny go and take several seats

  14. teepoes

    July 3, 2014 at 9:12 am

    i wish i can double like ur comment @changing faces. true talk

  15. Floetry

    July 3, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Genevieve has my heart…Love Her!!!

  16. portable

    July 3, 2014 at 9:59 am

    gen will alwaz luv u

  17. bukola

    July 3, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Genny remains d best actress in Nollywood. She’s so beautiful, cool, wonderful completion, humble. … just name it. She’s just 2u much. I love everything abt her.

  18. Ella

    July 3, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Genny has said the truth about Nollywood, majority of their movies are inept and lack creativity. All they are interested in is acting meaningless volumes. at her level, i don’t expect she’ll take up just any script for the sake of staying relevant in the industry. But what has she done to improve Nollywood? .

  19. Joycrown

    July 3, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Luv u Genny,u are d best.

  20. bob

    July 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Well, while she waits for the superscript she craves for, she can continue life at the pedestal Nollywood presented her. Gratitude means the same thing in every language including Igbo.

  21. Wise D

    July 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    What a woman, i will even like her to marry an igbo man, she is so creative, fast and intelligent, i jus lov her

  22. lilian

    July 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Genny is simply the best

  23. tunmi

    July 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    There are a lot of budding and up-and-coming writers, directors, and producers abound making short films on YouTube. Genevieve needs diversity and needs to be challenged. She has no variety. She is a good actor but she is lacking. This same speech has been said again and again. Either go find those new people who can help your craft or siddon there dey complain…didn’t you guys also agree with Uti about complaining?

    • nene

      July 3, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      gbam. i think she’s making excuses, she’s not saying the whole truth about why she’s no longer acting as much as before

    • Vee

      July 4, 2014 at 1:48 am

      What truth? Are you still where you were several yrs ago?

  24. Ch

    July 3, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Honestly, some of the comments posted here lacks thoughtfulness and creativity which is what Genny is referring to. First things first, she has carved a niche for herself in acting, why must she turn to a producer? The likes of Ini Edo, et al who produce movies like that rubbish weekend getaway y’all are quick to mention hasn’t even perfected her acting skills. If she wants to branch into producing cos she feels it’s better for her, then so be it. I dnt think Genny shld follow suit just 2 keep up wit the Joneses. Secondly, the statement she made, emphasis is on past. Just cos Nollywood made her doesn’t mean she has to accept everything hook, line and sinker. She is better exposed now, more in tune with international standards of production, why shld she keep going back to the mediocrity that characterised her beginning? Is that not the essence of learning, growth and development? Let’s face facts, the average Nigerian loves mediocrity, is self-absorbed in it and celebrates it so much so that when higher levels come, they find it hard to accept it. I am a big fan of Genny simply cos I have watched her grow these years, seen her get better even in the low standard films such that it was easily translated to the higher standard ones. If she decides to draw the line now, she has earned it and we’ll at that. Keep hating haters, her big break is just around the corner and let’s see who has the last laugh.

    • Vee

      July 4, 2014 at 1:50 am

      Well said. She has been in that level and she has grown passed that level. She knows where she is headed.

  25. Olivia Ruth

    July 3, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I guess she wasn’t thinking when she was on that bullshit talking about I don’t think I can return to the mediocrity… Blah blah! Verbal diarrhoea much?
    It’s “okay” for us viewers to diss Nollywood, but not her and not in those words, she could have implied the same thing and not been so uppity…
    Nollywood created the platform for you to “practice your art in international and professionally produced stories” diva…
    I can name you five of the so called “mediocre” movies you have starred in diva Genevieve Nnaji! Nollywood MADE YOU, so cut that shit!
    *goes back to watching my nigerian movie*

    • Vee

      July 4, 2014 at 1:55 am

      She cant return to mediocrity. Yes she has grown passed that level. After all you hve grown passed the level u were when she was acting in such roles. So y re finding it so hard to come to terms with the fact that Genevieve has passed the era of acting in such role. She has passed that level deal with it.

  26. Amh

    July 3, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    The scripts are not coming simple. Miss overated needs a job but no scripts are coming. Terrible actresss. Mercy johnson is far better.

  27. Vee

    July 4, 2014 at 1:59 am

    Some comments here are very stupid. If Genevieve acted in some of the stupid nollywood movies being produced these days. Same set of people condenming this interview will come out and hate her. There are words like GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT people. She has grown passed that stage of acting in lame roles. Just accept the bitter truth and deal with it.

    • die hard

      July 4, 2014 at 11:05 am

      How much are you paid to do this or are you Gen? can see your comments all over.

  28. MsBlossom

    July 4, 2014 at 11:31 am

    @ Die hard, My thoughts exactly towards “Vee”. If there’s anything that brings someone down that should be pride and unnecessary self righteousness. Its a good thing to upgrade from one level to another but “attitude” in the process is a determining factor. I like Genenvieve cause she’s pretty, but I don’t think I like her attitude towards climbing the success ladder, regardless she’s made already. I can only wish her well and wish myself “BETTER THINGS” ***wINKS***

  29. hope

    July 6, 2014 at 10:38 am

    She is just too proud for my liking.

  30. KEITAR

    August 2, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Honestly Nse,steph okerke,omotla are far better actress than Genevieve.she is just a lucky woman and shld thank her stars she is from nigeria cos if she were to be from where im from she wouldnt be an actress in the first place.there is actually nothing outstanding about her.she comes out as a proud bitter person losen up an actree u should smile always to infect people with happiness and hope xpecilly the less priviledged.

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