It was not so long ago that a beautiful damsel graced our screens and warmed our hearts in the much acclaimed, epic movie ‘Amazing Grace’ (2005). Her moving, heart-wrenching performance endeared her to the hearts of many and we longed to see her again. We didn’t need to wait for a long time before she resurfaced in ‘Sweet Tomorrow’(2007) as the love-sick Tamuno to Ramsey Nouah’s Akan. But, it was her role as the impish Mira in ‘Reloaded’(2008) that sent us in gales of side-splitting, laughter which made us realize that she is more than just a pretty face! Then all of a sudden, just as we were expecting to see her as a staple in Nollywood, she vanished! Only for her to resurface with a bang in the much anticipated movie, ‘Black Gold’. Welcome to the world of Mbong Amata!
Bola Aduwo of Nollywooduncut caught the exclusive and very private actress just shortly after she got back from her Christmas holiday in Los Angeles, California and she had plenty to say! Listen up!
BA: Mbong! Where have you been?!
MA: (Much laughter) I’m here! (laughter) well, I’ve been here ever since.
BA: But how come we haven’t heard from you? We haven’t been seeing you in that many movies? Why is that?
MA: Ha! Straight into the deep end? (laughter) okay, but I have been acting… I’ve done ‘Sweet Tomorrow’, ‘Reloaded’, Kidnapped…
BA: You know what I mean..
MA: Yes I do.. okay, after Sweet Tomorrow and Reloaded, I got married.
BA: Aha! To Jeta Amata?
MA: Yes… then I had a baby… so I had to take out time to look after her because that is of utmost importance to me; the welfare and upbringing of my child. I decided to take a few years off to take care of her.
BA: I know… that’s good. So are you back now?
MA: Yes I am. She’s older now so at least I can go back to what I was doing before.
BA: Okay, let me start from the beginning… Amazing Grace (2006). What was the experience like? Acting and all that?
MA: Amazing! (laughter) Yes it was. First of all, I got to work with a wonderful cast, then when the film was first released it, we did a Presidential screening in Aso Rock, Abuja with the then Head of State, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. We took it for 2006 Cannes Film Festival, France as well as the Sundance Film Festival and so many other ones… some in other parts of Europe.
BA: Wow! You had fun, yeah! Is that when the love bloomed for your husband?
MA: (laughter) Next question please! (General laughter)
BA: Okay, ‘Reloaded’! That role you played! Do people recognize that it was you who tricked poor Desmond’s character into removing his clothes in the office, while you ran off with them?
MA: (laughter) They do! Especially now that it has been playing on DSTV, they see me in the shops and wag their fingers at me! But I want to thank the director as well as my co-stars, especially Ini (Edo) who helped me do a good job.
BA: What are the new projects we should expect to see you in?
MA: Well, I have done a few… there is one called ‘Frozen’ where I acted with Yemi Blaq, Desmond Elliot, Uche Jombo and another called ‘Kidnapped’ which I acted with Joseph Benjamin, O.C Ukeje, Omoni Oboli and some other great actors. I can’t wait for that to come out.
BA: Hmm…. ‘Kidnapped’ looks very intense…
MA: It was! I was pulled, carried, slapped… name it! I was like more or less the only girl in cast. Oh, Omoni was there too but she was more of a tomboy in the film. I have never acted in a film that was so physically demanding before… well until ‘Black Gold’…
BA: Tell me about ‘Black Gold’.
MA: Well from the trailer, you can see that ‘Black Gold’ is a film about the cry for justice, the struggle for survival. It also stars several Hollywood actors like Vivica Fox, Eric Roberts, Micheal Madsen, Tom Sizemore etc. It is on the Niger Delta struggle and I’m sure when it comes out many will be touched by the story.
BA: You played lead?
MA: Yes, I did.
BA: I notice they’re doing massive publicity for it… taking it on CNN and stuff.
MA: Yes, Paramount Pictures is co-producing it so they are handling publicity.
BA: Hmm… when you people do your stuff, you usually do it big.
MA: Yes we do.
BA: when should we expect to see it?
MA: Definitely this year.
BA: Its going the cinema route, right?
MA: Of course. Across the world.
BA: I can’t wait. I can already feel the excitement.
MA: Yes, feel it o! (General laughter).
BA: Thank you so much, Mbong. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.
MA: Its been a pleasure too.