Star actress, Mercy Johnson is walking down the aisle in August, and this is no lie. Her wedding date is August 27, 2011. She told BIODUN KUPOLUYI she’s never announced any wedding date prior to this interview with her on Wednesday, May 18,2011 at Villa Sophie Hotel over breakfast. Flaunting her glittering diamond wedding ring, she described her encounter with her in-laws pleasant and looks forwards to a fairy tale wedding day that nothing will be spared as she jets out to Italy and America to shop till she drops.
You have picked the final date for your wedding to Odi, why the several postponements as reported in a section of the media?
There were no postponements in the past, if there was I would have told you, I’ve always insisted on a dream wedding on my birthday, I never said this year or next year, all I wanted was a wedding close to my birthday. I heard people saying August 28 but I came out to say my wedding is not August 28 because I wasn’t specific about a date. So I simply said the wedding is not August 28. I wanted it to be close to my birthday because it takes a lot of planning. You can remember last year, the date was a Saturday. All I said is that I wanted it to be close to my birthday and that’s all.
How did you feel about media speculations about the issue?
It wasn’t anything, it was like people were wishing me very well, after I’d done well for myself in my chosen field, people couldn’t just wait to see me walk down the aisle. People are excited about it and they can’t wait but they should not worry.
So the new date is realistic?
There is no new date, the real date is August 27th, and so there was never an old date.
You have any event planner for this?
Yes, I’m talking with Royal Landmarks, but I can’t really specify for now who’ll handle the wedding.
I can’t imagine what you’ll be wearing on your wedding day, because it would look smashing, so what designer are you looking at?
I’m actually going to Paris to shop for that, I’ve got lots of catalogues. I’m going to the U.S with my hubby next week to also search for good ones because it just has to be perfect and that means I have to travel a lot this period.
Who’ll make your hair?
Agatha, simply because just one person makes my hair and makes me smile
Are you having a church wedding or a traditional wedding?
The court wedding is 25th of August, the traditional wedding is 26th of August, the church wedding is 27th of August and the thanksgiving is the next day.
Who’s your bride’s maid?
I can’t tell you for now, everything is ready but I can’t tell you.
That means you have friends amongst actresses in Nigeria, afterall?
Everyone can’t be your friend, I have my girls in the industry, and everyone has their favourites, so also me.
How did you trim it down to one actress and what did you see in that person?
I just chose my girls to do the thing and we all agreed on who was going to do this and that, so it wasn’t anything out of the blues.
How did he propose?
(Laughs) He was straight and normal.
Did he kneel down?
No, he didn’t kneel down because he’s a prince. In November last year, when we went to visit our parents officially, he had the ring before he came back from the UK, but certain things happened which I’ll never tell you and he gave me the ring.
Why are you marrying Odi?
I ask him every morning, and I keep telling him that if I don’t marry him someone else will not marry him. He’s not that multi-billionaire, I just love that man, he’s a handsome man, a good man, I just love him, plus his flaws, even when he pisses me off I want to kiss his knees.
You have your flaws too, how has he been able to contain it?
We understand each other, so we try to work on them not criticize, he’s too blunt. Odi tells you the way it is irrespective of how you feel, I prefer he says you are stupid in a subtle manner, you know sometimes you don’t act normal, I’ll wish I could change that too, for me too I know I need to attend anger management classes, all the same that is why we are friends, so we can tolerate ourselves.
Can you recall how you guys met?
It was at the salon Make Me in Surulere, Lagos.
What really attracted you to him?
He’s a likeable person, he’s just IT. I don’t know how to explain it.
Are you looking at a lavish wedding or budget wedding?
A lavish wedding; yes, because it has to be big.
How many children are you looking at?
Four, I love kids, at home I squeeze clothes into my stomach and ask Odi how do I look and he just laughs at me, in essence I love kids a lot.
How do you combine your project and your work?
My publicist Samuel makes lots of movement, and basically where we go to is schools, hospitals and distribute stationeries, gifts, as a result of this I might not be active on the acting scene just to concentrate on my project, I actually have a TV show coming up soon.
Is it that you don’t have time for movies or they have not been coming your way?
They haven’t been coming my way.
What’s the best gift Odi has ever given you?
Odi gives me everything, and the best thing he ever gives me is attention, Odi can just be in the parlour and I scream my leg! He comes rushing to the rescue.
Any special gift you’re expecting on your wedding day from Odi?
Yes, there is something I’ve been telling him to get for me, which I know he would get for me but he hasn’t admitted it.
Mercy, who will not be at your wedding?
(Laughs!) I don’t see any reason why I won’t want to see anybody at my wedding; the invitation might not reach you, although I don’t want the whole place crowded and clumsy.
Are you drawing the list?
Yes we have a list, my event planner has a list and it will be brought to me for approval.
Do you have Mama G (Patience Ozokwo) in the list?
Definitely, Mama G is the mother of the day; ask her she’ll tell you, so she is going to be there.
Rumours had it that you went to Germany for skin wash, was it in preparedness for your wedding?
I don’t know where that is coming from; I didn’t go to Germany, look at my skin to see for yourself.
Can you recall your first encounter with your in-laws?
It was pretty; I’m a very playful person. It was pleasant; they are very friendly and nice. I’m extremely close to my mother-in-law.
Does she watch your movies?
No and I’m so glad she doesn’t.
You told me once that Odi wanted you to stop wearing those skimpy clothes after wedding, what do you think?
Yes of course, I’ve had enough of these skimpy clothes, I’m going to start my TV show soon, and I can’t afford to wear skimpy clothes on national TV, and please I’m not pregnant, when I was single I had to answer to myself but now I’m not.
Where did you dump all the skimpy clothes?
We’ve got upcoming movie girls, the Biola Ige’s, Angelina Okorie, Annie, they are all my girls so they are taking over, watch their movies.
Will marriage make you reject some roles?
There is no character I’ve not played, unless they want to refine roles. So any role that is going to embarrass my family I’m definitely going to drop it.
So you admit the fact that there were some roles you played in the past that were embarrassing?
They were not embarrassing, it’s make believe, nobody has asked me why I shaved my hair, the reason is to make things come out well and that is the reason why I wear skimpy things. But I must say that my hair is really growing fast. (She pulled her wig to show her head).
Have you relocated away from Lagos?
No. It’s just that I do most of my job in the east but I still live in Lagos.
What is that one thing you should do and not do in this industry?
One thing you shouldn’t do in Nollywood is not to limit yourself and if you want to go far you have to be daring and that’s one thing I learnt from Genevieve Nnaji and things you should do is persistence and work on yourself because you are never the best.
They say if you have it flaunt it, why hasn’t Odi stepped out with you?
He doesn’t like publicity but after the wedding I’ll drag him along once in a while.
What is he into?
Oil and gas.
You are well known for your outburst, how do you want to cope with it in your marriage?
I think most of the problems I had is, sometimes, you just flip one second and you remember that personality that ought to be seconded by who you are. Who you are comes first and the personality you portray comes next and not first, becomes when you allow it come first; you see everybody as below you. So I think we all flip once in a while and when it’s me, it becomes news. I have colleagues who fight on set, so when you flip you just lose it, but you remember let me just calm down. I remember when I offended Mama. Mama knows me so well that it was an important issue for her, because she knows that I don’t play with her, so it was just sad that with all the work stress, shooting and everything gets you all messed up properly. You lose it, but you just have to remember for who you are as a person comes first before that personality anytime.