But how come you’re so versed in Yoruba language when you’re not a Yoruba lady?
I am not Yoruba, I am from Edo State but I do Yoruba movies. But a point of correction, I do both English and Yoruba movies because I am a cross-over artiste. The only thing is that I am more popular in the Yoruba movie industry. I actually started with English movies but I felt that I was more comfortable doing Yoruba movies, where you are recognised for your merits. There is no tribalism and everybody recognises your talent and encourages you.
Did you make an effort to study Yoruba?
No, but when I have to do an epic movie, I go to people who will put me through. All I know is that I feel real good in Yoruba movies and even better than some native speakers.
Some people believed that actresses are wayward..
No, we are not. I think it is the way the society perceives us. We are serious-minded people. The actresses that I know are not wayward, so I don’t know where people get that impression. Actually, that impression has always been around. While growing up, we learnt about the Greek theatre, where artistes are seen as never-do-wells, layabouts but everything has changed now. Acting now is a profession where serious-minded people are involved.
A director would want to have a beautiful person like you in bed before giving you a role, does it not happen?
Thanks to you press people who are blowing up stories of how directors sleep with actresses to get roles. But personally, I have never experienced that kind of a thing. I believe that if you have the talent, you are determined and believe in God, you don’t have to do something like that. This sexual harassment thing is not only associated with the acting world. It cuts across all spheres. As a beautiful woman, if you go to seek employment anywhere, your would-be employer could want to have you in bed. You people are just saying it as if it is the acting world where we experience such. I believe that if you are a well-cultured lady, with talent, you don’t have to sleep with anyone to get roles.
Why are actors and actresses having failed relationships and marriages?
I am not married and I am not involved with an actor, so I may not be able to answer that. But what I think is that it is bound to happen when two people with different backgrounds come together. Anyway, those who have experienced such are in a better position to answer that.
But they say stardom easily go to your head, I mean actresses, after one or two movies…
When you met me, did I appear like someone who has grown wings? I think it has to do with one’s upbringing and personality. Mercy Aigbe is a very humble person. I am not swollen-headed because I am a star in quote. Stardom can never get into my head. I don’t mix business with pleasure. I am a professional to the core. I am not just doing this because I have the talent, the body or face, that is why I went to school to have a degree in acting. I take my job seriously because it pays my bill.
But some people say acting does not always put food on the table.
It puts food on my table and I don’t know about others.
Very soon, you would want to produce your own movies. Why is everybody turning out to be producers?
It is because actors, particularly in Yoruba genre, are not paid well. The main reason is that you can make more money as a producer. If not for that, I would just remain an actress without stressing myself to produce. Acting is what I love but to produce is a lot of headache.
Why do most actresses dress wild?
Am I dressed like that? Let me tell you something, like I earlier said, everything you do in life has to do with your background, your upbringing…
Tell me something about your upbringing.
I am from a strict Christian home, my father is a very strict person. That was the way I was brought up. There were some things I couldn’t just do as a child and even now.
Can you date an actor?
Why? After all, you are in the same profession.
Must I date someone in my profession? Because I work in a bank does not mean I must date a banker. I won’t date an actor. Anyway, I have someone that I am dating but let me tell you why I won’t date an actor: we do the same job and we would be out of the house almost at the same time. For goodness sake, who will take care of my kids? I want to marry someone with whom I can plan together in taking care of the kids.
But some actresses seem not to be keen about marriage and building a home. They say once they have one or two kids, they can move on…
Ok, I, Mercy Aigbe dream to have a good and happy home, I don’t know of others.
How does your man take the stories written about you?
He knows the kind of woman he is dating. He knows what I can do and what I can’t do. He loves me, he loves my job and he encourages me. I think I am very lucky to have the kind of man that I have.
How does your man feel when he watches you playing romantic roles?
He laughs; he even says we don’t do the kissing stuff very well.
So, to what extent would you go in playing a romantic role?
Just kissing, I won’t go beyond kissing.
Suppose your fiancé says you should stop acting, what will happen?
That is a very difficult question because I love him and I love my job. I pray that he never says that because if he actually says that, I don’t have a choice. I believe that will mean that I will have to make a sacrifice which is painful. He will not say that because he knows how much I love my job and I am sure he will not want to have a moody, unhappy wife.
You look beautiful, but do you think you can be more beautiful by going for some body enhancement surgery?
I don’t believe in plastic surgery because all those that have done it, whether they want to accept it or not, regretted it at a point. I don’t believe in being artificial, I believe in being naturally beautiful.
Lest I forget, why didn’t you take part in beauty pageants while you were in school?
My father would have killed me. How could I have done that when I had to battle him to study Theatre Arts. I am sure that by now he would have thrown me out of his house. My father is old fashioned. Ah, beauty pageant? To wear pants and bra, ah! Coupled with the fact that I was doing Theatre Arts, I would have been killed.