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I’m not a cheap actor: My name alone scares people


I’m not a cheap actor: My name alone scares people

imagesA new movie, the Royal Diadem has been rolling at the cinemas. It premiered on 7th August, 2015 at the West Hills and Accra malls.

What is the fuss about this movie, which is produced by Eric Attakora and directed by Eddie Nartey? Well, it tells the story of young people who go beyond their selfish desires to protect their loved ones.

But that is not the matter at heart. Rather, in the Royal Diadem, you will see Mr. “Twoosweet Annan” – the man whose real name is Eddie Annan. The 30-year-old is only seven years old in the Ghana movie industry but already distinguished as one of the finest actors ever to enter the fold.

In this warts and all interview with the Weekend Sun, Annan x-rays life as an actor since his advent in 2008 when he was only 23 years old. One of the more specific revelations is about how he was compelled to act movies for free for the first five years of his career.

Also, find out about the female actors whose mere presence made Annan

tremble so much that he became too weak to even perform.

And, the Happy Deathday actor also disclosed something very personal about actress Juliet Ibrahim.

Now, sit back and enjoy the following excerpts.

How did you become an actor?

It all started in 2008. But then, I nearly gave up on acting because at almost every audition I attended, I was offered a role which I wasn’t comfortable with. At a point, I wanted to give up until I met Joseph Serebour of Peace Films who offered me a role in a movie. He gave me my first job – it was The Supremo which starred actors like Jackie Appiah, Kalsoume Sinare, Juliet Ibrahim and John Dumelo.

How old were you at that point?

I was 23.

Were you done with school?

I had just completed my Fine Arts course at the College of Art and I was ready to start my acting career.

Does it mean that acting has always been something you wanted to do?

Yes; because I used to act as a child. So after I finished my Fine Art course I knew I would go back. It was not a mistake.

Was your family receptive of your decision to do movies?

My mother was fine but my father was always complaining. I used to attend auditions with a cousin of mine and at some point that cousin got an energy drink advert deal. My dad kept asking when it would be my turn because he felt I was wasting money and resources moving from one audition to another. So, when my first job came out and my mum called to tell me she saw it on television, I really wanted my dad to also know about it. After he saw it, he was so proud and encouraged me.

Before that time, did your father have other plans for you?

Yes. My dad always wanted me to be a fashion designer like him. Actually, after Junior High School I worked for him for a while; about eight months before I went to Senior High School. It is still in me but I am just waiting for the right time to bring it out.

Let’s go back to acting. What is your inspiration?

Well, when I had my first job I didn’t really struggle to get other jobs because after my first job people kept coming. So it wasn’t so tough.

You seem to be saying that your journey so far has been an easy one.

It is not as easy as I make it sound. I knew what I wanted in the industry. When you begin you are not paid enough, sometimes you are not even paid at all. When I began I was more focused on building a career rather than the money. So, I was actually not charging for five years.

How do you mean you were acting for free for five years?

It wasn’t really for free but when someone approached me, I didn’t charge them. Rather, I just told them to give me what they deemed befitting for the role. So it was more like I was doing it for free. I just did it because I was enjoying the acting. I used those five years to pay my dues. But in 2013, I began to charge.

So how expensive are you?

Very expensive to the extent that when my name is mentioned people normally say: “I can’t pay him.”

Would you say you have arrived?

Yes, the time is here and now.

How many movies have you acted?

I’ve lost count but I would say about 40; mostly Ghanaian but I just got back from Nigeria where I went to shoot my first Nigerian movie titled “Circle of Trust.”

Which movie would you say has since been your best?

“Happy Deathday” is my best movie.

Any awards yet?

Yes! I won the best upcoming actor award in Abuja in 2012. I also had the most promising actor award in 2013.

Talking of promising talents, do you think the Ghanaian industry allows the growth of young people?

I think it is better now. I have been on jobs where I met new actors who are really good.

What are some of the challenges you face as an actor?

Challenges, I used to get really nervous whenever I acted with someone new. When I started acting with Jackie Appiah, I was really nervous. My second job I met Nadia and it was worse. I think that was one of the biggest challenges but now I’m okay.

Who is your crush in the industry?

I would say Juliet Ibrahim; and in Nigeria, Genevieve Nnaji and Monalisa Chinda.

Are you in a relationship?

Yes, I am. I have been for a very long time; about seven years. People don’t see me to be that kind of a man but I am faithful and a one woman man.

How soon would the marriage be?

All I can say is it would be very soon.

How do you manage the female pressures as an actor?

Well, I think the key is to keep them in the circle. You don’t entertain them too much but be nice and don’t cross the line. It is very difficult but I try.

Is the Ghanaian movie industry lucrative as much as the Nigerian movie industry?

It is very lucrative. I get paid well.

What is your worse moment as an actor?

I think it’s when the director is not in a good mood because it makes the whole “set” tensed. It can be really tensed.

Apart from movies what else do you do?

I currently own a pub at East Legon called “briefcase”. Although my job doesn’t really give me the luxury of time I am very much involved in its operations.

What do young people who look up to you need to know?

It’s not rosy. It is very tough out there. They just have to keep pushing because someone might be somewhere watching. That’s how it happens. They need to also be very humble.


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