“Between Desmond Elliot &I”
Ghana movie star Lydia Forson finally opens up
Speaks on her role in SouthAfrica series Scandal
The name Lydia Forson sure rings a bell in the Ghana Movie Industry where she holds sway as one of the A list actresses rocking the movie scene.The greatly endowed dark skin beauty who made her debut in the make believe industry 8 years ago with her role in the popular soap Different Shades of Blue,hit the spotlight about 3 years ago and has garnered several awards for her unique acting skills.She is one bold,daring and very talented act who will keep movie lovers glued to the screen .city people Vivian Onuorah had an interview with the sultry actress and she opened on her career,love life,and many more.
What have you been working on lately.?
Recently I have been to Sierra lone and Liberia,I did some movie projects with Desmond Elliot,but lately I have been in South Africa for a couple of months, I just joined their series SCandal,a very popular series over there.I will be definitely heading back there shortly for the next season.
Talking about the South Africa series,how did you get the role .?
First of all I think I have a great agent with a very good management team,it’s something people have criticized and probably misunderstood but because of where I want to go with my career,I had to get professionals to help me achieve that.I knew I was going to South Africa late last year but I couldn’t tell anyone for confidential reasons,it was also a collaboration between Etv Ghana and Etv South Africa ,Global media Alliance.Thats the only tangible explanation I can give but also favor because I learnt that there were lots of other acts up for that role but they specifically chose me and wrote the character around me.Also the fact that am a Ghanaian.
What’s the series Scandal all about?
Scandal is like one of the biggest soaps in South Africa showing in Etv.It’s all about drama and my character is that I come from Ghana and cause havock which is what am very good at doing.(laughs)
What’s your unique selling point as an actress?
I think my unique selling point as an actress is that I push boundaries,am not afraid to cross the line ,I always feel like I want the audience to feel me.Although when people see you they judge you by the characters you play but showbiz is not just to entertain,it’s also to educate.May be you are playing a character in a movie that people have been in the same situation,while watching it they may be like ” ah when this thing happened to me ,do you think it was easy like you are making it look” so as a professional ,you have to do justice to every character you are given .For me that’s my selling point and producers call on me because they know Lydia is never afraid to cross the line.When I say cross the line I don’t mean that in the negative way,but the fact that am never afraid to take up any role, even if it means looking my ugliest,I will do that.
When you say you ain’t afraid to cross the line,how far can you go especially since now a lot of nudity is seen in Ghana movies?
A lot of people say Ghanaian actresses are very daring but for me ,daring is not sexual,some of those Ghana sex movies in my opinion are very tacky .I have a lot of movies with sex scenes but no one has ever come out to criticize me about that and that is because the producers knew what they are doing ,people right now want to do something that they don’t know how to do.In those sex movies,we rehearsed and choreographed,we knew in the position we were going to act it so movies like this you watch them and you are not disgusted.I think people complain because of how these movies are done.I for one never say never to anything but I also try to protect my image .I am not trying to say am the best but I have been fortunate to work with directors who know what they are doing.movie making is an art so when you know what you are doing,it’ helps you do it right.
So can you play sex roles if the message is right ?
Honestly,I never say never to anything but I always pray am never put in a position to make certain decisions.In life it’s so easy to say I will never do something but you never know what future holds in stock for you.For example if am playing a rape scene,I won’t mind going the extra mile just to evoke that pathetic feeling ,but am not going to get on camera just because I have a sexy body and want to show it off,no.Movie making is the act of make believe ,there is a way of shooting these films that makes it look so sexual but in the real sense you have not even seen my back,all you have seen is my neck, but because of how it was edited it looks so good.That is what a lot of people are trying to achieve now but they are getting it so wrong.
What has been your most challenging role as an actor?
Every role has been very challenging, but my most challenging recently is one I shot with Desmond Elliot,it’s not out yet but it’s titled Kamara’s Tree.The challenge for me was that at that point ,I was going through a lot of emotional challenge,I wasn’t in a very happy mood and my character was an extremely funny one.So imagine me going on set everyday pretending to be happy and then go back to my hotel to be my old sad self again.It was very challenging but for me that’s the mark of a true actor ,no matter what your problem is ,you have to still go on set and deliver.
Is that the only movie you have shot with Desmond?
Desmond is like one of my greatest friends and a talented film maker,we endorsed a project in Ghana few years ago,we were the face of rLG phones.I think we have done about 4or 5 movies together,one is out and the rest are yet to come out,the movie In The Cupboard which I co wrote,am a writer as well.I think the rest will come out later.
What about the story that you and Desmond had something going,how did the story emanate.?
I actually haven’t commented on that for a long time now because I found it so funny,I don’t know what we have done because I just feel that in all logic if you go online you see pictures of us because we are working together .I think it all started when we were the face of rlg, and because of that project we were always together,taking pictures together and doing all kinds of stuff together.usually I would have commented about this rumor but the only reason I did not react to it was I felt it was not just relevant because what on earth would make anybody think that I was dating Desmond,not even as if there was any picture of us in an uncompromising position,I really don’t know.I .am even too selfish to date a married man.
What was your reaction when the news broke out?
Nothing serious,we just laughed over it ,I know Desmond very well so those things don’t bother him,he has an amazing wife and children .For me when rumors like that happen ,am not even thinking about myself ,rather am thinking about his family because it can’t be easy for him to handle that.He has to give them the assurance that listen such thing didn’t happen.I think he has a very strong wife who understands what he does and that’s just it.
Its strange to hear a young lady of nowadays say she doesn’t like dating married men,why don’t you like married?
I hate to date married men for three reasons,one it is very wrong to do so,and secondly, am extremely selfish when it comes to my man,I don’t like to share and three,am a lot of woman to handle ,I don’t think any man can handle me with another person,it just can’t work.For me if you are married and you are dating me,it means a lot of things to me because I feel cheap,I feel like am second best and I hate that feeling ,I just have to be the number one in your life,how can a man put all of this I posses in a number two?its not just possible.
What kind of guy appeals to you ?
Honestly am not concerned about the looks ,it has to be your ideas.From childhood my class teacher once told me that I was going to marry a very quiet man because I talk so much and am always getting into trouble.I think the man who appeals to me is a man who respects me,every woman should be with a guy who respects her,because he will not cheat on you,he will rather take care of you and support you,everything falls under respect .Most of the guys I have dated before,they respect me,,my opinion and they are also very quiet and listen to me talk.
Are you in a relationship now?
No,infact I don’t know.it depends on my day,if I wake up on the right side of the day then I am,but if I don’t then am not.
What has been your biggest challenge as an actress?
I think that will be the fact that I refuse to conform,I refuse to do things the normal way,I want to do things my way and a lot of people won’t take that.Thats why a lot of people complain they don’t see me in movies and all that but I know what am doing.
Can you talk about some of your best awards?
I think my best award was Ghana Movie Award where I got Best Screenplay,am a writer as well but people don’t know that side of me,they only know me as an actress.So when I was nominated for that ,I was also nominated for best supporting actress but I really wanted to win best screenplay because that would be an opportunity for people to know about that side of me so when I won,I was very excited.
So how many scripts have you written?
Basically what I do is like script doctoring,when people have bad scripts,they bring it to me and I work on them.I have written 3 scripts that have been produced , and I have written a lot as well.but I choose script doctoring because when I write a script and give to people ,they don’t bring out the best in it just like I would want so I rather prefer to work on their already written scripts.
Do you look forward to making your own movie?
Yes definitely but what I do is write and let my manager take charge of it,am taking my time for now,I don’t want to rush it.Am a very patient person,people don’t know I have been acting for 8 years now,I started acting 2005 and then nobody knew who I was and see how long it took for me to be known,so I like to take my time so you do it right ,there is no rush for me.
Take us into your acting journey..
I started acting professionally in 2005,I started as a television actress in a tv show and the I moved on to star in another tv show which was aired on dstv called Different Shades of Blue,that was when I had permed hair,people knew my character then but people don’t remember it’s me because I had a long hair in it,my first movie was in 2006 and it won 6 Africa Movie Academy Awards,then it also won PanAfrican film festival award,then I went for the next movie star and when I came back from the reality show,I became popular.
How do you cope with male admirers?
I really don’t know but I don’t pay attention to them. Am also a little bit oblivion in the sense that I feel when am walking I don’t believe people would be starring at me irrespective of my body.
What have been most embarrassing moments?
Not much but few days ago in Nigeria, a guy told me to come,that is the most annoying thing,I can’t stand it when a guy calls me,where I come from a man doesn’t call a woman,he walks up to her.like also a guy sees me and the first thing he says is wow you look hot!but that is not the first thing I want to hear from a guy.
When you aren’t acting,what do enjoy doing?
I love my work so much but am a very regular person when am not acting.I am always there with my nieces taking care of them,then I love to cook so much but that’s if am in the mood .
That means you also eat a lot?
Funny enough no I don’t,my biggest problem is remembering to eat ,I can stay the whole day without eating,even my doctors complain.
How do you cope with competition in the industry?
Competition is great,it keeps you on your toes,healthy competition though.
Who are some of your colleagues you are close to?
My best friend is Adjetey Annag,he has been there for almost 20 years and I look up to the path he chose,then Naa Ashokor,we are so close as well.the rest of my colleagues we only have a professional relationship.