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Going nude for the cameras is a daring stunt that actors are often asked to pull. The excuse for those behind this in entertainment has always been that “sex sells”. While some actors wouldn’t mind a strip tease in movies, others would say No!
Budding actress and presenter of Cine Afrique Premieres on Multi TV, Magdalene Mensah, says “I’d love to play any kind of role…I like to challenge myself, but then the only thing I wouldn’t do is to go nude. I wouldn’t do this for all the money in the world”.
She has played in movies such as Legon Demons, Asylum Down 1 and 2, Rough Game and Passion of the Soul.
During our interview, Magdalene who’s noted for naturally beguiling her viewers with her sweet smiles appeared relaxed and would giggle every now and then before answering some of my questions.
It is claimed that Ghanaian men tend to have a preference for light-skinned ladies and being a light-skinned lady, one could only imagine that Magdalene would be the object of admiration of many men out there. When I asked Magdalene whether she’d often been complimented for her looks, she let out a shy smile as if to say “you shouldn’t be asking this question”.
She then responded “this is something that happens to many women, but in my case they say I’m pretty and that they like my smile especially when they watch me on television. They say that’s what they love about me the most”.
Talking about the attention she gets from men and how she manages this attention, the actress revealed “if you know how to handle attention from men then you’re OK. You’ve got to be firm but nice and polite”
Even for a lady who believes in being polite, Magdalene admits it can be a bit annoying when an admirer keeps calling or sending text messages even when she’s sent signals that she’s not interested. “I just tell them that I’m not ready for what they want and that we can be friends or if they’re not willing to accept that then that would be the end”, she said.
Being an actress and a television presenter gives Magdalene the opportunity to taste a bit of both worlds, and most certainly use experience gained from one field to enrich the other. “Because I’ve been acting for quite a while, I’m not camera shy like most people. When I started presenting on television, I was made to do a dry run and I felt quite comfortable before the camera because I‘d been acting before”, she said.
The soft-spoken presenter further disclosed that the fact that she gets to meet different personalities on her programme, and ask them questions with the view of knowing them better makes her presenting job exciting.
“Working as a television presenter has made me a better actress because I’m bolder now. You can’t be a shy person as a television presenter because then you can’t get the people you interview to open up. Some of these people are shy themselves so you’ll have to be kind of an extrovert and friendly”, Magdalene mentioned.
Away from the spotlight, she admitted that although she was naturally an introvert, she could also be outgoing. “I’m naturally an introvert, but could be an extrovert…I’m not a loud person and I stick to myself most of the time…I’m kind of shy, but with the right company I open up.
Pressed to tell the craziest thing she’d done as an extrovert, Magdalene let out a giggle and replied “I think they’re too crazy for me to mention so I’ll keep them to myself”. We both cracked up laughing!
In an era where some industry enthusiasts are suggesting a shift from the more refined English language movies to local language movies, I asked the actress whether she’d featured in any Akan movie. Her response was simply “I haven’t done an Akan movie, but I’d love to do one…I’d love to join Agya Koo and the others”.
Magdalene Mensah may be known by many as a presenter and an actress, but she’s also a graduate of marketing from Central University College. When asked if Ghanaian filmmakers market their films enough, her opinion was that the poor quality of our movies was a major limitation in marketing our movies.
“I think our filmmakers are trying because Ghanaian movies are selling a lot in Nigeria…our movies are also selling well in America but then more can be done…there is always room for improvement. I think we should publicise our movies some more and improve the quality. If the quality is good, we could enter some of these movies into film festivals and this would be a plus for the Ghanaian movie industry”, she added.
For many upwardly mobile young women, settling down to make a family comes with its implications. The career of an actress could be disrupted by the prolonged period of maternity. For Magdalene, this challenge isn’t one to hold her back. “If it comes along and I feel ready I’ll do it. I’ll get married and have a family whether there are movies coming up or not. I wouldn’t let my career dictate to me”, she said.
Beauty, it has been said, lies in the eyes of the beholder but it’s interesting picking the mind of a pretty lady what true beauty really is. “True beauty is skin deep, but you should take care of yourself. As a woman, you should be well groomed and you should look like you care otherwise people are not going to take you seriously”, Magdalene said.