Silva is her maiden and stage name. She is married to the veteran actor Olu Jacobs. Acting has always been her passion since childhood. The graduate of English from the University Of lagos has been in the entertainment industry for almost three decades. She studied drama at the prestigious Weber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts in Liondon.
The international actress of repute has featured in several stage productions both at home and abroad and several movies. One of her works includes an international film “Secret laughter of Women’. In this interview the delectable and ageless beauty talks about Nollywood amongst other things and the way forward. Joke Silva in her own words.
ON THE MOVIE INDUSTRY
Our movies is one of the things that represents us abroad much more than our ambassadors can. And is not very fair that everything is screwed towards violence, rituals and sex. And it seems that’s all we are about. Which is so untrue. I will like to see a bit more balance. One is not asking for intellectual work, but a true representation of Nigeria. It’s just like there is a threadmill going on at the moment. A production line like a factory producing home videos. There is no quality control in what is coming out.
People have decided or they have discovered that sex and violence sells. So sometimes they go over board with the violence and sex. The stories are just not well thought out. I believe in well made movies where you give your actors enough time to assimilate and understand their roles. And also the director took enough time to be creative. You will find out this kind of movies sells. Rather than making a movie in seven days. A lot of producers just wants to make a short film in a shorter. We should be thinking of doing things rightly. But then we have mastered the art of producing a movie in six days or lesser.
ATTRACTION ON SET
It happens all the time, at least for me. I am always attracted to somebody on a set. And it started from my student days at the Weber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. During my student days we were made to realize that it happens and it is alright to feel attracted to your co- actor on set. It doesn’t necessary have to be a co-actor it could be your director. But it all depends on the energy of the play. Because there is an openness that has to come into creativity and which is usually what happens when you are falling in love with somebody.
You are opening up and when you are opening up to the camera you can mistake it for passion. From experience I have learnt that it has nothing to do with being emotionally attracted to someone at all. Rather it is the energy of the play and once you know that after a while it wears off. But you must give it that time to wear off. Don’t jump in and say ‘Oh I have met the love of my life. If you do that you are in trouble because once the feeling wears off suddenly you ask yourself what do you find attractive about him or her?. And it’s too late you can’t do anything about it. Or may be you have done something you wish you never did. But all professionals know it’s the energy of the play that indicates the passion when acting. I have never experienced any passion outside the stage except with my husband.
Yes I think it’s part of the work terrain for women. Men do it all over the world. They just kind of have this sense that, if you are working with them they have the right to sleep with you. And it’s now up to you to say No, if you don’t want to. I have never had the stints that if I didn’t sleep with this person I wouldn’t get work. I was too passionate about my work. My work was just so consuming for me, that it just never crossed my mind that anybody could affect my career. It just couldn’t because when I said No I meant No. And this has never affected me afterwards never.
So far I never felt it necessary to play a nude scene. Would l? It is always dangerous to say never. Because we never know what life might throw at us. But I pray to God that I never have to be in a situation where I must, if it is necessary. My culture does not particularly accept it. I cannot imagine taking off my clothes and then having either of my sons going to school the next day and their friends pointing at them. Even if it is a good role that necessitates it I cannot do that. I have never had the urge to take off my clothes on set even before I got married. And then I had a beautiful body. I had a real nice body when I was younger It wasn’t a necessary part of the entertainment scene in the past and I don’t think it is necessary now. I believe a lot of what people are doing now is pornography. They are trying to pass pornography as an art. Trying to pass it as a main stream work. I don’t think it is an art at all, it is all rubbish. I know a lot of people have accused me of being a moral snob. And they are sure I work such scenes in foreign movies and all that.
PLAYING ROMANTIC ROLE
My husband doesn’t mind watching my romantic scenes. But when he is on set he walks out. But he watches the finished product.
I don’t discuss my fees with people. For me it is not business like to do that. I don’t think it is right for me to say I earned this amount of money or lied that I have earned so high a fee.The highest fee I was paid was when I went to England to do an international film. The film is titled “laughter of women’. I was paid in pound sterling. I have heard people say they earned this or that fee and when you hear the budget of the movie you wonder .
A sex scene? It is possible to do a love making scene, but I think usually it’s better to do a love making scene that’s in the imagination of the audience. They don’t actually see you make love, but they imagine you have. And I think that is more exciting. But again that is a matter of taste.
FORTUNE AS AN ACTRESS
No, No, not at all. For me a person is rich when you can’t count the person’s money. I can count every kobo that I have.
As per my dreams Yes I have definitely fulfilled my dreams as an actress. But financially I have not. Because the industry does not pay one enough to survive on. That’s one of the reasons the producers gave for doing thread mill home videos. That they will pay actors so that they will always have work to do.