Monica Davies began her career in 2003 with Vinasha Production. Her performance in a movie called ‘Child of Destiny’ with GAMYAA turned her into a household name, making producers and directors to sign her for jobs. She worked with several Gambian production houses. The outstanding Gambian actress was featured in two movies namely; ‘Genesis of Love’ and ‘Saviour of Humanity’ as a major character alongside Nollywood Actor Ali Nuhu and Ladi Joy Torty in 2011. In 2014, she played a leading role in the film “Tama or The Diamond” alongside Nollywood Actor Yemi Blaq.
She also acted for a Ghanaian Production; Tplus production in the Movie ‘Wrong Identity’ alongside Oge Okoye and Desmond Elliot in 2009. In 2015, the board of directors and members of PAH conferred on her the Most Promising Actress of the year in Ghana. She acted in twenty-eight movies, including Banjul Cops, Child of Destiny, Inspector Wagan (Local Drama TV Series), The Heart of a Woman, Unpredictable, Tears of Vengeance, amongst others.
Below is the continuation of the interview Bantaba with Monica Davis.
Bantaba: Inshallah you will get a good husband and a perfect wedding, so what’s keeping you on acting, because as far as I know, there’s no money in it?
Monica: The passion I have for acting is what is keeping me stuck to it. I strongly believe that with time the industry will change to be better and I will contribute my own quota in making it work. Even if I have to quit acting in future, some of my colleagues and I will leave a legacy that upcoming actors will look back and appreciate our efforts into making the change.
Bantaba: So those with no talent but have pretty faces how do they fit in?
Monica: I have always been saying this, beauty without talent can’t make you to become a giant or climb the limelight in the film industry. Most of these young and beautiful upcoming actresses have such notion. The wise ones humble themselves and accept correction thereby scaling up in the game but some of them come into the industry to acquire fame, compete with their colleagues and not seeing the faults they do in any job.
If you are beautiful and really want to take acting as a professional career, then you need to humble yourself, be ready and accept to be corrected and improve your skills by doing lots of research on different characters and watching movies. My advice to upcoming actors is that don’t come into the industry because you want to be famous but because you love the art of acting. Then try to appreciate those who are there before you.
Bantaba: How true is it that some people offer themselves especially to international directors just to get a role in auditions?
Monica: This is something that happens not only in the acting industry alone but in other fields and disciplines. This doesn’t only happen only with international film makers but caution should also be taken with home based film makers who brainwashes some actresses into believing that they can turn them into stars.
Some of the actresses that indulge in such activities in my own opinion lack self-confidence and the skills of what it takes to be an actress. It is said that even with all the back door activities some don’t even have ‘Waka Pass’ roles (means non-speaking roles). As a lady, you should always value yourself and not allow the love of fame and money push you into things that will degrade your dignity. What works for Star actress X,Y,Z can never work for you!
So many actors are being exploited in the sense that their talents are being used without being compensated for. Yes the film industry is yet to grow to expectation, yes, there is no movie market but why does one have to go into the movie business if one knows that such things are not in place and they don’t have the resources?
Why the frequent shooting of movies everyday if film producers say there is no money and hence they can’t cater for actors or is it for fun? It is only in our industry that some film makers don’t work with a maximum budget which I believe is a criteria they should meet before they are given licence or permission to film. In the light of correcting some issues of exploitation some experienced seasoned actors saw it necessary to have an actor’s guide.
Bantaba: Will Monica play romantic role in a movie?
Monica: It is not possible for one to take romantic roles away from acting both local and internationally. What matters and makes many actors standout is the way such roles are interpreted. In as much as an actress should be versatile personally, I have my limits in whatever role I am given to play. I have acted in two movies in which I was expected to kiss…I can vividly recall one on the set of Mother’s Joy, I tried to play smart and the director Young as he was, had to order the Director of photography to shut all the cameras until I gave him what was on the script…hahaha.
It was a tough one. I have turned down some roles from a seasoned director and writer because I wasn’t comfortable with some scenes. The story was beautiful but it was something that I can never imagine myself doing.
The truth of the matter is all these scenes both regular and romantic are done in the presence of colleagues, the camera man and director so the concept that people always have about certain things happening behind the camera is wrong. I believe that actors can act romantic scenes but respecting our tradition and cultures, know their limits and not going nude.
Bantaba: Thank you for your time Monica.